Under the Radar

The Czech sculptor Kurt Gebauer found communism so oppressive that he withdrew to an isolated hilltop house near Prague and in 1973 declared it his own state — complete with its own anthem. "State Gebauer" became an "island of free expression" populated with whimsical figures of swimmers, gnomes and cows. And being a largely abstract concept, the sculptor's retreat escaped the attention of the authorities.

Many unofficial artists working behind the Iron Curtain created private cocoons where they could work unhindered, though this meant their work was rarely seen. Now a new museum in Prague seeks to rescue...

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