Raising the Banner: The Art of Geli Korzhev

Some say that time heals all wounds. It's hard to imagine that an exhibition featuring the art of Geli Korzhev would have made it to the states some 30 years ago and be met with a warm reception. But over time the Iron Curtain has melted, and our fear of Russian domination seems quaint. Thankfully, time also allows us to look at history and art with openness that the past may not have allowed. Many Russian art historians regard Korzchev as one of the most influential realist painters of the second half of the 20th century, and for the last few days that the exhibit of 61 original paintings remains here, Minnesotans can see in person why his art is held in high regard. Though not commissioned by the government, Korzhev held the Communist party in high regard, and still does. Some images are patriotic in ways that are oddly reminiscent of patriotic art from America at the time—soldiers hugging citizens, images of working and peasant-class individuals who look as depressed as they do determined. Sixteen of these paintings are on loan from the two largest Russian national museums. Times have changed greatly, indeed.
Sept. 10-Jan. 5, 2007

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