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Eva Levina-Rozengolts: Reflections on a Siberian Exile

Presented as the fifth installment of the Discovering 20th Century Russian Masters exhibition series, the art of Eva Levina-Rozengolts (1898- 1975) is an intense creative response to the traumatic experience of exile during the Stalin era. The exhibition of Rozengolts’ work includes forty-five works on paper created after the artist’s return from Siberia in 1956. United into several cycles: People, Trees, Sky, and Marshes, these remarkable pastels and ink drawings articulate the artist’s painful memories as a Siberian exile. Eva Levina-Rozengolts was one of the few Soviet artists who managed to creatively transform and express the trauma of Stalinist repression in a striking visual language.

 

Trained in the celebrated VkHuTeMas, the hotbed of early Soviet avant-garde, Eva Rozengolts worked as a textile designer and later a copyist at the Soviet Artists’ Union production studios. She was arrested in 1949 and sentenced to ten years of exile in the depth of Siberia where she lived in a settlement on the Yenisei river, in the Krasnoyarsk region. She was assigned to work as a woodcutter, wall painter, and later medical assistant. After returning from exile, she regained her creativity, undeterred by age and failing health. In fact, it was after her return from Siberia, that her talent came into its own. Unknown to the broad public, her work stirred the attention of the new generation of unofficial artists that emerged after Stalin’s death. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Eva Levina-Rozengolts became recognized as one of the outstanding figures of the ‘lost’ artistic generation of the Stalin era.

 

This exhibition is on loan from Joan Afferica

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