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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. 1
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 2010.139
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:
This print serves as a foreword to the series, summarizing the misery that Vassiliev experiences in his contemporary Soviet culture. It features the artist’s self-portrait in front of a completely dilapidated nineteenth-century Moscow manor. The house saw better times, which realist landscape painter Vasili Polenov captured in his painting Grandmother’s Garden (1878). In this print, Vassiliev references both the building itself, in its lost and present conditions, and Polenov’s painting, to represent Russia’s pre-revolutionary culture as well as its abolishment during the Soviet era.

The newspaper in the background—a page of the party’s official organ Pravda from 1990—conveys a sense of the Soviet propaganda that appeared as ubiquitous background noise in all situations of life.
BJ 2013

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