One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, Lenin Lives, co-curated by Lia Newman, Gallery Director/Curator, and Roman Utkin, Assistant Professor of Russian Studies, explores the afterlife of one of the most enduring and spectacular personality cults of modern history – the worship of the first Soviet leader, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov – Lenin (1870-1924). As the myth of the immortal Lenin developed, the image of the Revolution’s iconic leader became, not ironically, larger than life. For the rest of the tumultuous twentieth century, Lenin came to embody the idea of communism and the Revolution itself.
The fourteen artists presented here experiment with canonical images of Lenin in varying media and instill them with new meaning. Unlike the Soviet depictions of Lenin that were sanctioned by the Party and produced to communicate a single unquestionable truth about the Leader’s greatness, the art gathered in Lenin Lives compels the viewer to look beyond the familiar. These Lenins subvert propaganda and instead prompt questions about history, society, art, and ideology.
Yuri Avvakumov, Emmanuil Evzerikhin, Yevgeniy Fiks, Cynthia Gutierrez, Alexander Kasolapov, Victoria Lomasko, Davide Monteleone, Larry Rivers, Dread Scott, Leonid Sokov, Oleg Vassiliev, Masha Vlasova, Andy Warhol, and Liliya Zalevskaya