Cooper Union Show About Russian Art School to Open Following Outcry –

Cooper Union, the famed New York art school, said it would soon open an exhibition about a Russian art school that it had postponed earlier this year, leading to a widespread outcry from academics, art historians, artists, and activists.

The show, which focuses on the Vkhutemas art school, is now set to open in the spring, the school said Monday. But the exhibition will now contain “additional contextualizing material” meant to help elucidate the school’s activities, which helped nurture a modernist avant-garde in early 20th-century Russia.

Related Articles

An angular building with the word 'COOPER UNION' over its glass doors.

There will also now be “a series of sessions with Cooper Union students as well as a public roundtable in conjunction with the exhibition’s opening to unpack the multidimensional issues relating to the exhibition and its presentation—including the importance of uncovering a history lost to political suppression and an exploration of how histories can be instrumentalized for political gain today.”

Vkhutemas, which was active between 1920 and 1930, had on its faculty a range of notable artists, from Lyubov Popova to Vladimir Tatlin. Initiated under Vladimir Lenin’s administration, it was shuttered by Josef Stalin, who claimed that the school put forward an artistic style that was opposed to state’s preferred one.

Cooper Union said in its statement on Monday that it had made the decision to postpone the show in January after hearing from “individuals expressing anger over what was perceived as a celebration of Russia’s contribution to architecture and the timing in light of Russia’s ongoing brutal invasion of Ukraine.” There had been an Archinect op-ed from Peder Anker, a professor on the faculty of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, who claimed that the show was a form of Russian soft power.

A range of art world figures bitterly critiqued the decision to delay the show, writing in an open letter that doing so marked “chilling impingement on academic freedom and education.” PEN America, a national organization that fights censorship in the arts, also got involved, with its leadership saying this week that the postponement was a “disappointing capitulation.”

On Monday, Cooper Union said that it had made the decision to open the show in the spring with students, faculty, and members of the local Ukrainian community.

“These conversations have been important and instructive, and have underscored both the significance of this exhibition and the need to frame this work within the broader geopolitical context, both then and now,” Cooper Union said.

Source link

Latest articles

Related articles