May 22 – August 29, 2021

The Ironic Curtain features artists who worked under political repression in the decades just before the fall of the Soviet Union, making “official” art by day and their own experimental art in secret. The results are wild and darkly witty, with symbols of the Soviet government used to parody its power rather than to celebrate it. 

Sots Art, a socialist version of Pop Art, is well represented in this exhibition among paintings, sculpture, prints, and photography by nearly three dozen artists, including the artist duo Komar and Melamid, Ilya Kabakov, Alexander Kosolapov, and Leonid Sokov. 

Having been officially repressed or relatively contained to émigré centers such as New York City, many of these works are little known, and some works in the exhibition are being shown in the United States for the first time. The CMA has organized this exhibition from the premier Neil K. Rector Collection to create this rare opportunity.