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Leonid Sokov: Ironic Objects

January 26, 2013 at 12:00pm — July 14, 2013 5:00pm

| 71 Hamilton Street | New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Posted September 28, 2012

This exhibition of approximately 50 works is the first major show in the United States of one of the most significant Soviet nonconformist artists, Leonid Sokov. His multi-layered visual and verbal puns provide the viewer with a deeper insight into contemporary culture, politics, and life in general.

Born in 1941 in the village of Mikjaliovo, Kalinin (now Tver) region, the artist studied at the secondary art school in Moscow and the Moscow School of Art and Industry (former Stroganov School). Sokov immigrated to Austria for a short time before moving to New York, where he has lived and worked since 1980. Soviet nonconformist artists deviated from the officially prescribed patriotic style of Socialist Realism, creating their “unofficial art” following Stalin’s death in 1953 until Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika in the late 1980s. Sokov is associated with Sots Art, one of the most influential developments within Soviet nonconformist culture and prominent during the 1970s and 1980s. Sots artists mocked the regime’s efforts to control all forms of creative expression by distorting and defacing recognizable elements of Soviet propaganda in their work. While some artists examined societal attitudes and the hollow authority of Soviet power, Sokov addressed the monotony and deprivations of daily life. He applied strategies developed in Sots Art to a broader cultural context, juxtaposing traditional images of Russian culture with popular cultural myths of both communist Russia and capitalist America.


HOURS: Tuesday - Friday, 10am - 4:30pm. Weekends, Noon to 5pm. First Wednesday of each month, 10am - 9pm. The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays, and the month of August.

ADMISSION: Free for Rutgers students, faculty and staff (with ID), museum members, and children under 18; $6 for adults; $5 for adults 65 & over. Admission is free to all on the first Sunday of every month.

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