Archive for the ‘Russian Society & History’ 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 Working Women in Russia Under the Hunger Tsars recommended on Library of Congress website for readings about 1917

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

What do you recommend reading for the centenary of the Russian Revolution?

I was delighted to find my book, Working Women in Russia Under the Hunger Tsars, was recommended on the Library of Congress website last year:

“This year there will be an outpouring of writings on the Russian Revolution – many of which will, unfortunately, downplay the role of ‘ordinary’ peasants and workers.

“Here’s a place to list readings that tell the real history of the revolution. What would libcommers recommend?

“To start us off, here’s some writings on the February Revolution – which began on 8 March, International Women’s Day, 1917:

“Choi Chatterjee, Celebrating Women; Gender, Festival, Culture and Bolshevik Ideology, p43-54.

“Temma Kaplan, ‘Women and Communal Strikes in the Crisis of 1917-1922’.

“Jane McDermid and Anna Hillyar, Midwives of the Revolution, especially p147-157.

“Anne Bobroff-Hajal, Working Women in Russia under the Hunger Tsars: political activism and daily life

“… Also check out https://socialhistories1917.wordpress.com/ for recordings of recent talks on the revolution.”

 

Post.at.MOMA interview with Anna Bitkina

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Anna Bitkina is one half of TOK Curators St Petersburg, Russia (Maria Veits is the other).  Anya recently did a video interview for post, the Museum of Modern Art’s online resource devoted to art and the history of modernism in a global context.  You can also see my response to Anya’s interview there, “Keeping the Baby While Throwing Out the Bathwater: Socially Engaged Art in Russia and the US Today.”

In Defense of Society: An Open Platform

Monday, July 18th, 2016

As the space for free public expression of dissent narrows in Russia, a group of Russian activists and intellectuals penned and signed a Platform about the current political situation in Russia and what must be done to change it.  I wrote a response in support.  You can see both here.

Detail from my “Dress It Up In Resplendent Clothes.”

Post.at.MOMA.com essays on Russian and US culture wars

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Check out Ilya Budraitskis on Post.at.MOMA.com, “Art and Politics in Russia in a Time of Crisis,” about the Russian government’s use of “culture wars” to try to legitimize itself.  I wrote an essay in response (same page) about the parallels to the U. S. far right’s use of culture wars to shift our entire national political discourse way to the right.

 

E-Flux conversation with Ilya Budraitskis

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Detail from “Dress It Up In Resplendent Clothes” by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

See my e-flux journalAnne Bobroff-Hajal Responds to Ilya Budraitskis: Fear Of, By, and For the Government” – you’ll need to scroll down beneath the response authored by a former Putin buddy, First Deputy Chief of the Russian Presidential Administration (!).  Both respond to Ilya’s “THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF GUY FAWKES” in which he writes, among other things, about the Kremlin’s “anti-revolutionary” strategy and the film V for Vendetta.

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

 

Delightful praise from Russian historian Chester Dunning

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

After sending images of my latest Playground of the Autocrats panel, I was delighted to receive the following email (quoted with permission) from Chester Dunning, author of the wonderful Russia’s first Civil War: The Time of Troubles and the Founding of the Romanov Dynasty:

Wow! Thank you for sending me images of your amazing artwork.  I have been teaching Russian history for over thirty years, and your art really captures the sad, crazy quilt of Russian history and culture.  Congratulations on getting it exactly (insanely) right!

Best wishes,
Chester Dunning
Professor of History and
Murray and Celeste Fasken Chair in Distinguished Teaching
Texas A&M University

 

“Your Grasping, Scheming V.I.P.s:” Artist talk at Blue Door Gallery

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Recently, I gave an artist talk at Blue Door Gallery in the Artists’ District of Yonkers, NY.  I spoke about the newest painting in my PLAYGROUND OF THE AUTOCRATS series, which tells stories about Russian history in pictures.  Below are some photographs of the talk.

Bobroff-Hajal painting, sketches of Ivan the Terrible face

Right: Audience teases “When did you shave your beard?” as I show them my sketches for Ivan the Terrible’s face, because I posed for it myself in my bathroom mirror. Left: My final painting of Ivan (Detail of “Your Grasping, Scheming V.I.P.s.”)

Bobroff-Hajal artist talk: Ivan the Terrible

Responding to an audience question about my  process of creating this panel, “Your Grasping, Scheming V.I.Ps.”

Your Grasping, Scheming V.I.P.s is the first panel in what will become a 5-paneled work – a pentaptych – entitled Darling Godsonny Stalin (Ivan the Terrible Advises the Infant Stalin).  The completed pentaptych will playfully tell the tragic story of Russian rulers’ recurring terror against their own people, from Tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible) to Stalin, who caused the deaths of upwards of 20 million innocent Russians.

I believe the past is godparent to the present, and that landscape and environment are godparent to all.  One way I visualize this in my art is via my fantasy of Ivan the Terrible as one of Stalin’s godparents.  You can see Ivan singing to the infant Stalin in the top of the panel above.

Your Grasping, Scheming V.I.P.s is about Ivan the Terrible’s relationship to his nobility before he began his terror against them.  (For more, see Ivan the Terrible: Madman or Crazy Like a Fox?)

Detail Bobroff-Hajal: Ivan the Terrible & noble clans

Ivan the Terrible lived within a “spider’s web” of noble clans, whose “aristocratic pretensions could not fail to come into conflict with the autocratic aspirations of the first Russian tsar.”

To become a true autocrat, Ivan had to cut his way free of a “spider’s web” of powerful aristocratic clans.

Russian Nobility under Ivan IV

Russian noble clans sometimes formed marriage alliances and sometimes fought each other as they vied for influence with the tsar.  Detail of my painting “Your Grasping, Scheming VIPs.”

Sweet dreams, baby Stalin….

Bobroff-Hajal painting: Ivan the Terrible & Stalin as infant

Stalin’s godfather, Ivan the Terrible, flies on a broom topped with a severed dog’s head – both Ivan’s symbols of his Terror against his own people.