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with essays by J. Speed Carroll, Andy Willimott, Pepe Karmel; interviews By Bela Shayevich
As we recognize the 30th anniversary of the dissolution of the USSR, it is worth remembering the rich history of Soviet art from that period: the colorful and radical posters of Glasnost
Confronted with a failing economy and the twilight of the Communist mode of governance, General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev rolled back many of the core tenets of the Soviet Union. In this era of Perestroika (Restructuring), the Soviet Union opened itself to foreign investment, inaugurated a process of decentralization, promised transparency, and accepted previously prohibited critiques of the government. The second development, Glasnost (Openness), brought with it artistic alternatives to the state-endorsed Social Realism, with posters becoming vehicles for confronting the history of the USSR from the vantage of its impending dissolution. As a result, Glasnost became a movement that began a new important chapter in the visual culture of Russia.
The book features approximately 212 reproductions of posters from the Martha H. and J. Speed Carroll Collection, and comprises insightful essays by Russian history scholar Andy Willimott and art historian Pepe Karmel, with anintroduction by J. Speed Carroll. The publication also includes three interviews with authors of posters from the period by Russian translator Bela Shayevich.
Andy Willimott received his PhD in Russian History from the University of East Anglia, UK. Pepe Karmel is an art historian, critic, and Associate Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Bela Shayevich received her MA in Russian Translation from Columbia University. Since 2010, she has been working as a translator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.