Art Guide East, the East-Europe Lonely Planet for art fans
Art-lovers considering a visit to Eastern Europe will want to pick up a copy of Spike publishing's Art Guide East. Spike's Lonely Planet-style cultural guides highlight the main cultural attractions of Europe's Eastern capitals while also backgrounding the artistic and political climate of each city.
Art Guide East endeavours to address the fact that since the Second World War, Western Europe has taken little notice of art scenes in the East. In doing so it exposes English-speaking audiences to an insider’s knowledge of some of the important artists and key groups who have been working in the region during this time.
Inspired by the successful city portraits published regularly in spike art quarterly since 2004, the publishers asked their authors to bring their material up-to-date for the guide, and to provide a more comprehensive list of insider tips. However, it should be noted that as a historical overview the books do not claim to be an exhaustive documentation of what has occurred in these cities since the fall of the Iron Curtain, but rather a starting point from which to begin an exploration of the local contemporary cultural scenes of these intriguing locations.
The first publication showcases the best places for ‘art, eat, party and sleep’ in Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Ljubljana, Prague, Sarajevo, Sofia, Vienna and Zagreb; while the second volume will include Berlin, Kiev, Krakow, Moscow, Riga, St. Petersberg, Pristina, Tallinn, Warsaw and Vilnius.
The 334-page, travel-sized paperback guide includes colour photographs to contextualise the historical outlines. It also includes a stripped-down version of the kinds of travel survival tips found in Lonely Planet. While only a page or two is dedicated to each city, it’s sufficient for the seasoned traveller who may only be spending a short stint in each location. Considerately, free wifi access points and some children-friendly cultural festivals are mentioned.
An excellent guide for art-lovers researching your next Eastern European holiday.
Antje Mayer, Rita Vitorelli (Eds.):
“spike Art Guide East. A Briefing on Contemporary Art and Culture in Central and Eastern Europe, Volume 1, spike, Vienna 2009”
336 pages with numerous illustrations
€ 25 /$ 34 /£ 23 /CHF 39