Taking as its starting point the world of difference that exists between the cities of Bruges and Warsaw - one survived World War II relatively unscathed, the other was decimated, then carefully reconstructed - A Vision of Central Europe seeks to explore the connections between the burgeoning art scenes of the countries annexed during the Cold War, the artistic influences of which are once again being felt around the world, and Western European cities such as Bruges.
The exhibition is the brain child of Luc Tuymans, who has co-curated the show for Brugge Centraal, the major arts and culture festival currently taking place across the city (until 30 January 2011).
For the exhibition Tuymans has focussed on the work of Central European artists who, like him, are concerned with such themes as history, identity, war and trauma, and whose work spans from the Second World War to the present day. Highlights include work by Andrzej Wróblewski, the revolutionary Polish painter who died tragically young in a mountaineering accident aged 30, and a portrait of Julia Warhola by her son, one Andy Warhol - the Warholas being, of course, working-class emigrants from northeastern Slovakia.
Currently the subject of a major retrospective touring the US, Luc Tuymans will be in the Phaidon Store in New York on 5 November for a book signing to mark the launch of his new monograph, Luc Tuymans: Is It Safe? this autum.