Crumbling Empire, an exhibition combining dozens of Soviet-era political posters with works by American street artist Shepard Fairey, is currently on view at the Cold War–centric Wende Museum in Los Angeles.
The Soviet political paintings were recently acquired by the Wende from local collectors Tom and Jeri Ferris, two Americans who traveled regularly to the Soviet Union during the 1980s to collect works of contemporary art. The colorful and subversive works, produced during Mikhail Gorbachev’s outward-looking tenure, present critical takes on the waning years of the Soviet empire.
Fairey’s graphics and illustrations present contemporary foils to the posters while touching on similar themes. Also included in the exhibition is the central panel from Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid’s monumental 1993 work Unity, a portion of a large mural created by the Sots Art artists for the lobby of the U.S. Bank tower in Los Angeles. The exhibition also includes works from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, San Diego’s Ron Miriello Soviet Poster Show Collection.Crumbling Empire: The Power of Dissident Voices The Wende Museum 10808 Culver Boulevard Culver City, CA Through June 2