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Image #21 from the series House with an Attic

Art © Oleg Vassiliev/RAO, Moscow/VAGA, New York, New York. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

Image #21 from the series House with an Attic

Artist: Oleg Vassiliev (Born in Moscow, Russia (formerly the USSR), 1931–2013)
Culture: Russian
Date: 1992
Medium: Lithograph on paper
Image: 25 1/2 x 19 5/8 inches (64.8 x 49.8 cm)
Sheet: 29 5/8 x 21 1/8 inches (75.2 x 53.7 cm)
State: 9
Edition: 40
Classification: Print
Credit Line: Gift of the artist
Label Text:Rauschenberg Label:
These works are from House with an Attic, part of a series of thirty lithographs based on Anton Chekhov’s short story, House with an Attic: An Artist’s Story, in which Chekhov meditates on love, family, social propriety, memory and history. Oleg Vassiliev’s first fifteen prints depict his imaginary entry into Chekhov’s story; print number sixteen offers images of Vassiliev’s own family history; and prints seventeen through thirty reflect upon the history of the Soviet Union. Vassiliev chose to number his prints rather than title them so that viewers could imagine their own narratives.

Image #21 introduces Pravda, whose title translates to “Truth,” the newspaper representing the official voice of the Communist Party and Soviet ideology. The black silhouette in the foreground, with the tiny white figure of Lenin for a head, suggests the lack of individual thought by members of the Soviet government. Nikita Khrushchev, the party leader who liberalized politics and culture in the late 1950s and early 1960s, appears on the right, while black figures wearing hats on the left represent holders of important Soviet administrative positions.

KS with Bettina Jungen
Object number: 1995.19.3