previews

  • Elizaveta Nikitina, printed textile manufactured by First Factory of Printed Cotton, 1928-30, plain-weave cotton, 5 1/2 x 4 1/2“ From ”Designing the Modern Utopia."

    Elizaveta Nikitina, printed textile manufactured by First Factory of Printed Cotton, 1928-30, plain-weave cotton, 5 1/2 x 4 1/2“ From ”Designing the Modern Utopia."

    “Designing the Modern Utopia: Soviet Textiles from the Lloyd Cotsen Collection”

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    465 Huntington Avenue
    July 26, 2006–January 21, 2007

    Curated by Alex Huff and Pamela Kachurin

    The figurative art of Soviet socialist realism has recently claimed attention previously reserved for the Russian avant-garde—think of the spectacular socialist realism room in the recent “Russia!” exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. So this show of more than one hundred figurative Soviet textiles and drawings made between 1927 and 1933 is particularly timely. Unlike Russian Constructivist textiles, with their familiar geometric patterns, these works feature abstracted but legible tractors, airplanes, harvesting peasants, and children playing ball. What can the little figures on these fetching fabrics tell us about life in the USSR under Stalin? The catalogue, with an essay by Soviet-art scholar Pamela Kachurin (who is cocurating the exhibition with the MFA’s Alex Huff), should help provide an answer.