Views and Re-Views: Soviet Political Posters and Cartoons

9/20/2011–12/4/2011
Main Gallery

man holding flag posterGustav Klutsis,The USSR is the Stakhanovite brigade of the world’s proletariat, 1931, lithograph. Courtesy of the Ne boltai! Collection.

Two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, Views and Re-Views: Soviet Political Posters and Cartoons invites a post-Cold War assessment of Soviet graphic arts through posters, cartoons, and photomontages from the time of the Russian Civil War (1918–21) into the late Soviet period.

The exhibition includes well-known Soviet graphic works, by such artists as Viktor Deni, Dmitri Moor, El Lissitsky, and Gustav Klutsis, as well as lesser-known, but equally compelling works by the Kukryniksy (a three-artist collaborative), Alexander Zhitomirsky, and others.

The exhibition suggests that artistic merit may be found in art in the service of political belief and subject to state regulation and that there is a range of stylistic diversity within work that is too often simply (and dismissively) characterized as Socialist Realism. Viewers may also note that with the passage of time it has become possible to see that not all criticisms of the West by Soviet artists are completely spurious or inauthentic.

Views and Re-Views: Soviet Political Posters and Cartoons was organized by the David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University.

The Northwestern University Library, 1970 Campus Drive, will have three exhibitions of Soviet art and culture this fall. They Were Fighting for Our Freedom: American and Soviet Propaganda Posters of World War II and Dmitri Shostakovich at Northwestern will be on display September 20, 2011 to March 19, 2012. Papering Over Tough Times: Soviet Propaganda Posters of the 1930s runs November 2, 2011 to June 15, 2012.

The Soviet Arts ExperienceThe Block Museum is proud to participate in The Soviet Arts Experience, a showcase of works by artists who created under, and in response to, the Politburo of the Soviet Union. This 16-month-long showcase includes visual art, music, dance, theater and more at 26 of Chicago's prominent cultural institutions.

Visit sovietexperience.org for more information.