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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Shemiakin (Chemiakin), Mikhail Mikhailovich
Culture:Russian (b.1943)
Title:Untitled
Date Made:1977
Type:Print
Materials:Color lithograph on wove paper
Measurements:Sheet: 24 1/4 x 19 1/8 in.; 61.6 x 48.6 cm; Plate: 16 3/4 x 16 13/16 in.; 42.5 x 42.7 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2001.430
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937)
2001-430.JPG

Label Text:
At the age of eighteen, Shemiakin was expelled from art school for his non-conformist views. To cure him of his “sick modernistic tendencies,” the authorities subjected him to psychiatric treatment in 1961. Further confrontations prompted Shemiakin’s emigration to France in 1971; he would eventually settle in New York ten years later.

Here, the artist transforms the Soviet Union’s national symbol, a bear, into a critique: with its mouth tied, the beast forces free-thinking citizens into the private refuge of their minds. Two vertical signal lines seem to hang suspended in air, without substantial support, suggesting a failure of security. Meticulously rendered in line and color, the print restricts its joyfully saturated composition within cautious, vigilant borders.
MW, 2010

Tags:
abstract; stylization; birds; faces; animals; lines; patterns

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=AC+2001.430

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