Archive for the ‘Playground of the Autocrats’ Category

Available on Issue.com: art catalogue accompanying Peasants, Clans, and Effervescent Autocrats!

Friday, September 7th, 2018

I’m thrilled to announce that the catalogue accompanying Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for Russian Studies exhibit of my art is now published on Issuu.com!  The fully-illustrated catalogue will be available for free for the length of the exhibit.  It’s an unusual, very personal artist’s catalogue with a sometimes-startling view into my artistic process and the history visualized my art. I hope you’ll take a quick look or a long look! Have fun with the magic of turning virtual pages! Best is to view in Full Screen. You can enlarge using the + icon on the bottom, and scroll around the enlarged page with the arrow, via dragging your mouse (like the hand on google maps).

Columbia University-Harriman Institute exhibit of my art: Clans, Peasants, and Effervescent Absolutists!

Friday, September 7th, 2018

Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies is currently exhibiting my art about Russia, in PEASANTS, CLANS, AND EFFERVESCENT ABSOLUTISTS!   Sept. 4-Oct. 18.

Please join us for the exhibit reception Sept. 20, 2018, 6-8 pm in the Harriman Institute Atrium.  More information is here.

I will give an artist lecture in the Atrium Oct. 2, 2018, at 6 pm.  More information is here.

My upcoming exhibit at Columbia University: “Peasants, Clans, and Effervescent Absolutists!”

Friday, July 13th, 2018

Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for Russian, East European, and Eurasion Studies has announced their upcoming exhibit of my art about Russia: Peasants, Clans, and Effervescent Absolutists!

The reception will be held September 20.  I will also lecture about the art and its Russian history content on October 2, at 6 pm, Harriman Institute, 12th Floor, Columbia University International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St).

Please join us!

Panel 5 of Darling Godsonny Stalin (Ivan the Terrible Advises the Infant Stalin)

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Click on image for enlargement.

Panel 5 of Darling Godsonny Stalin (Ivan the Terrible Advises the Infant Stalin) . 68″ x 32″ . Acrylic paint and digital images on canvas and board

Click on image below to see enlargment.  These are actual items that the Soviet elite secretly enjoyed behind closed doors and hidden within special guarded, walled housing areas.

DETAIL of Panel 5 of Darling Godsonny Stalin

Panel 4 of Darling Godsonny Stalin (Ivan the Terrible Advises the Infant Stalin)

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Details are followed by an image of the entire Panel 4.

Panel 4 onion dome of Darling Godsonny Stalin (Ivan the Terrible Advises the Infant Stalin) . Acrylic paint and digital images on canvas and board

DETAIL: Left side of “The Noble Clans,” Panel 4 of Darling Godsonny Stalin.

Panel 4 of Darling Godsonny Stalin . 67″ x 32″ . Acrylic paint and digital images on canvas and board

Click on image above for enlargement.

Panel 5 is here.

Panel 3 of Darling Godsonny Stalin (Ivan the Terrible Advises the Infant Stalin)

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

These are details of Panel 3 of Darling Godsonny Stalin, which is narrated in song by “fairy godfather” Ivan the Terrible.  Ivan gives his infant “godson” Stalin the blessings of Russia’s past and “advice” on how to follow the example of Ivan’s own 16th century terror against individual members of powerful clans, portrayed in the central onion-dome of the artwork.  (For more about Ivan’s terror, click here.)

__________

The left side of the triptych’s large onion-dome portrays Ivan’s Oprichniki (his private army) throwing Novgorod clan members off a bridge, then pushing anyone who surfaced back down under the ice.

Historians today all agree that Ivan the Terrible killed thousands of his own people during his terror.  But – due to the skimpy historical record – historians continue to debate exactly how horrific Ivan’s methods were.

The right side of the artwork’s central onion dome portrays the members of powerful clans whose land was expropriated, and who were exiled to live on estates in Ivan’s newly conquered territories around Kazan.  For more on these exiles, click here.

Stalin’s 20th century purges, remarkably similar in many ways to those of Ivan in the 16th century, peaked in 1937-8.  Stalin executed virtually all of the Bolshevik leaders who had led the revolution (Lenin had died of repeated strokes in the early 1920s).

DETAIL of DARLING GODSONNY STALIN: Trotsky’s assassination.

 

Trotsky – who Stalin viewed as his most threatening rival – was expelled from the USSR.  Trotsky’s sons had both been killed at Stalin’s behest, and Trotsky knew the noose was tightening around him as well.  He was living in Mexico when he was assassinated, by means of a mountaineer’s ice pick,  in 1940.

Other Bolsheviks – whether careerists or dedicated, hardworking idealists – were arrested and transported on trains to slave labor camps in Siberia and other locations across the Soviet Union. Some died of starvation, thirst, or illness while being transported thousands of miles.

DETAIL of DARLING GODSONNY STALIN: Prisoner transport to GULAG slave labor camps.

Some prisoners were executed and buried in mass graves.

DETAIL of DARLING GODSONNY STALIN: Execution and mass graves.

Political prisoners were put to work building large-scale infrastructure projects: canals, mines, and cities in the far north (such as Norilsk).  Soviet Russia was overwhelmingly non-industrialized, so much of this labor was done by human power with non-mechanized equipment like picks and wheelbarrows.  Inadequately fed and clothed, this was a devastating experience for many who had once been leaders of the new young country.

DETAIL of DARLING GODSONNY STALIN: political prisoners excavating a canal and removing the soil with wheelbarrows.

 

The push for rapid industrialization required construction material.  The heavily-forested far north provided an unending source of lumber.  The cold, tens of degrees below zero, was unbearable for prisoners whose ragged clothing couldn’t protect them.

Roads had to be built, and lumber was plentiful, so they were used.

 

DETAIL of DARLING GODSONNY STALIN: building a log road in the far north.

DETAIL of DARLING GODSONNY STALIN: Prisoners in Magadan, in the far northeast, mined gold and diamonds using wheelbarrows.

 

The rich gold and diamond fields of the USSR’s far northeast were mined by political prisoners using wheelbarrows and picks.

 

 

Prisoners were housed in freezing barracks.

DETAIL of DARLING GODSONNY STALIN: interior of political prisoners’ barracks.

 

 

_____

PLAYGROUND OF THE AUTOCRATS Gallery

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Please scroll down for images from 4 polyptychs in my series PLAYGROUND OF THE AUTOCRATS.  Click on any image for more information and closeup details.

Studio shot

Studio shot: completing pentaptych Darling Godsonny Stalin

 

Darling Godsonny Stalin  Mooney Gallery

DARLING GODSONNY STALIN (IVAN THE TERRIBLE ADVISES THE INFANT STALIN) . 3 panel iteration exhibited in “Russia Through the Looking Glass” . By Anne Bobroff-Hajal . 9′ x 6′ . Acrylic paint and digital images on canvas and board

Panel #2 of what will eventually be a 14-foot wide, 5-panel piece, DARLING GODSONNY STALIN (IVAN THE TERRIBLE ADVISES THE INFANT STALIN) . By Anne Bobroff-Hajal .  Panel 2 is 64″ x 32″.  For close-up details, please click on the image, then scroll down.

DETAIL of Panel 2, DARLING GODSONNY STALIN

 

Detail of Panel 2 of DARLING GODSONNY STALIN

Home Security At Any Crazy Price

“Home Security At Any Crazy Price,” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal . 36″ x 40″ . Acrylic and digital images on canvas and board . 2009

Detail, Panel 1 of Darling Godsonny Stalin

Detail 1, Panel #1 of “Darling Godsonny Stalin (Ivan the Terrible Advises the Infant Stalin)” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Detail 2, Panel 1 of “Darling Godsonny Stalin (Ivan the Terrible Advises the Infant Stalin)” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Detail 4, Panel #1 of “Darling Godsonny Stalin (Ivan the Terrible Advises the Infant Stalin” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Panel 1 of “Darling Godsonny Stalin (Ivan the Terrible Advises the Infant Stalin)” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

More enlarged details are here:

Panel 3

Panel 4

Panel 5

Catherine the Great Character Design

Character Design for Catherine the Great, who will appear in several polyptychs. Her personal triptych is “Dress It Up in Resplendent Clothes” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Stalin in Sheep's Clothing

Stalin character design as he appears in Panel 1 of “Dress It Up in Resplendent Clothes” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Gallery Talk Dress It Up In Resplendent Clothes

Artist talk: “Dress It Up in Resplendent Clothes” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal . Acrylic paint and digital images in layers on canvas and board.

Detail: Center Panel “Dress It Up In Resplendent Clothes” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Detail 1 Center Panel

Detail 1 Center Panel “Dress It Up In Resplendent Clothes” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Detail: Panel 1 of “Dress It Up In Resplendent Clothes” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Detail of Russian peasants in Left panel of “Dress It Up In Resplendent Clothes”

Detail Panel 3 “Dress It Up In Resplendent Clothes”

Detail lower left panel of Home Security at Any Crazy Price, by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

“The Most Exposed Terrain on Earth” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal . Acrylic paint and digital images on canvas . 24″ x 48″

Detail of middle panel “The Most Exposed Terrain on Earth” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Enlarged detail of center panel: “The Most Exposed Terrain on Earth” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Detail middle panel “The Most Exposed Terrain on Earth” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Detail middle panel of “The Most Exposed Terrain on Earth,” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Character Design for Peter the Great, by Anne Bobroff-Hajal. Peter appears in several PLAYGROUND OF THE AUTOCRATS polyptychs.

Almost finished multi-year project

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Final studio touchups

Details of various parts of the work are here.

 

DARLING GODSONNY STALIN in Crown St. Window Project at ArtSpace

Friday, February 27th, 2015

I’m delighted that Darling Godsonny Stalin is being displayed in the Crown St. Window at ArtSpace, New Haven, CT, until May 2, 2015.  This complex triptych – on its way to becoming a 5-paneled piece – has been almost continuously exhibited since I completed it in October, 2014: first in my solo show, Russia Through the Looking Glass: Terror, Humanity, and Geopolitics Through History (Castle/Mooney Gallery, College of New Rochelle) – then in the Katonah Museum of Art’s “Line Describing a Cone,” and now in New Haven.

ArtSpace gallery’s fascinating Vertical Reach: Political Protest and the Militant Aesthetic Now! “looks at the current political climate in Eastern Europe to explore how acts of protest and assembly operate when framed as artistic practice. The show brings together socially engaged works by collectives and individuals from Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and the USA to look at how freedom of speech manifests now.”

Darling Godsonny Window in ArtSpace Crown St. Window during the run of Vertical Reach

ArtSpace New Haven Crown St. Window

 

RUSSIA THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS opens at the Mooney Center Gallery

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Russia Through the Looking Glass: Terror, Humanity, and Geo-Politics through History opened Oct. 26, 2014.  DARLING GODSONNY STALIN, a complex mixed media piece 9′ x 6,’ went on display for the first time.

The exhibit was extended at the Mooney Center Gallery through Nov. 25, 2014.

For closeups of each piece below, please click on its image (for some, scroll down to see larger details).

DARLING GODSONNY STALIN . Acrylic paint and digital images on canvas and board . 2014

_____

Viewers were very engaged in the art!

_____

Viewers read wall text for DRESS IT UP IN RESPLENDENT CLOTHES Oct. 26, 2014

_____

Mooney Gallery Oct. 26, 2014
Visitors to opening of RUSSIA THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

_____

Viewing HOME SECURITY AT ANY CRAZY PRICE.

_____

Visitors discuss Ivan IV, the “Terrible.”

_____

Viewers read explanatory wall text for THE MOST EXPOSED TERRAIN ON EARTH.

_____

Viewers get up close and personal with Ivan the Terrible.

For more about Ivan the Terrible, click here.