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Freedom

Freedom

Artist: Leonid Sokov (American, Born in Mikhalevo, Russia, 1941)
Culture: Russian; American
Date: 1991
Medium: Acrylic, gold leaf, and newsprint on paper
Dimensions:
Image and Sheet: 49 15/16 x 38 1/4 inches (126.8 x 97.2 cm)
Edition: edition AP 5/5
Classification: Mixed Media
Credit Line: Gift of John Schwartz
Label Text:Leonid Sokov was a major force of Sots art, an unofficial movement popular in the former USSR in the 1970s and ‘80s. Sots artists used the visual and commercial forms of Pop art, such as bright colors and text, to deconstruct and criticize both Western and Soviet society. This later work also incorporates these stylistic traits, depicting a bear (a symbol for Russia) relieving itself onto (or spelling) the Russian word for “freedom,” made out of newspaper. The sun, made in the colors of the Russian flag, shines in the golden sky, as another smaller sun sets below the horizon in the bottom right corner. Made after Sokov immigrated to the United States in 1980, Freedom reflects the artist’s ongoing fascination with art historical legacies, mass media, and wry irreverence of both his homeland and adopted country.
Object number: 1998.7.1