Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago Opens Vision and Communism

The Smart Museum of Art presents Vision and Communism an exhibition on view through January 22, 2012.

Viktor Koretsky, “Africa Fights, Africa Will Win!,” 1971. Poster. Ne boltai! Collection

The Soviet artist and designer Viktor Koretsky (1909–1998) created aggressive, emotionally charged images that articluated a Communist vision of the world utterly unlike that of conventional propaganda.

Koretsky’s captivating scenes of survival and suffering were designed to create an emotional connection between Soviet citizens and others struggling for civil rights and independence around the globe. This vision of a multicultural world of shared sacrifice offered a dynamic alternative to the sleek consumerism of Madison Avenue and the West and, according to the curators, can be thought of “as a kind of Communist advertising for a future that never quite arrived.”

Drawing on an extensive private collection of Soviet art and propaganda, this exhibition presents nearly ninety of Koretsky’s posters, photographs, and original maquettes. It is the first major museum exhibition in the United States to focus on Koretsky, who remains largely unknown in the West. Together with a publication that explores the dissident public culture nutured in the Soviet bloc and a screening of films by Aleksandr Medvedkin and Chris Marker, Vision and Communism offers a striking new interpretation of visual communication in the USSR and beyond.

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