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Maker(s):Vassiliev, Oleg Vladimirovich
Culture:Soviet (1931-2013), active in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the United States
Title:The House with the Mezzanine, No. 23
Date Made:1991
Materials:Lithograph on cream paper
Measurements:Sheet: 29 3/4 x 21 in.; 75.6 x 53.3 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2010.161
Credit Line:Gift of Joan Afferica, L. Clark Seelye Professor Emerita of History, Smith College
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
The headlines on the page of Pravda read, "Official visit of M. S. Gorbachev to the United States and Canada" and "Ways to Consent." Vassiliev places Mikhail Gorbachev, the last secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, at the top of a red triangle. On both sides, anonymous workers, recognizable by their caps, observe Gorbachev.

Vassiliev often refers to the geometrical abstraction and the extensive use of red and black by the Russian avant-garde in the early twentieth century. In this print, the triangle's function is ambiguous: It puts Gorbachev in a position that is both exposed and distinguished. The color refers, of course, not only to the avant-garde but also to the Soviet banner, while the shape can be seen as a pedestal, a red carpet, or a ray of red light.

BJ, 2013

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