Soviet Underground Art Exhibit
Menu JTA Search

Soviet Underground Art Exhibit

Download PDF for this date

A Soviet Underground Art Exhibit will officially open here May 1 at the Judah Magnes Museum. The exhibit sponsored by the Bay Area Council on Soviet Jewry, consists of 40 photomurals of the works of 12 Leningrad-based Jewish artists. The photomurals are a documentary of Judaism as seen through the eyes of Soviet artists.

Their works were smuggled to the West and arrived in the form of extensive film coverage of an underground exhibit which opened in Leningrad in the one-bedroom-apartment of the painter Evgeney Abezgaus, the Council reported. All 12 artists represented in the exhibit are graduates from the finest art institutes in the Soviet Union.

“They are barred from membership in the Union of Soviet artists,” said Regina Bublil, executive director of the Council, “because their modes of artistic expression do not conform with the official dictates of ‘Socialist Realism,’ and they are therefore prohibited from working as artists.”

This is the first time works of this quality and quantity have been smuggled out of the Soviet Union, she noted. After the premiere opening in Oakland, the exhibit is projected to travel to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Pittsburgh. Philadelphia, Denver and New York.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund