Idaho Arts Quarterly » Of Note

The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho

"The Face of Russia: Artists in the Struggle for Utopia"


Since opening in October of 2002, the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho has brought a myriad of exhibits to southeastern Idaho, including the current "Cycles of Sam" show that investigates the meaning of the bicycle as a work of art and a "vehicle of liberation."(Through October 31).

Later this fall, the museum will bring works from the permanent collection of the Springville Art Museum in Utah to their walls and display some of the finest examples of Russian Impressionist painting of the last century, featuring works by Karl Fridman (1926-2001).

Under the Soviet Regime, artists were obligated to produce works that fell under the banner of Socialist Realist and adhered to printsipialnost, which applied all things to the overriding principles of Marxist-Leninism. Within these constraints, imposed and upheld by the official Communist Central Committee, artists used their chosen medium to perfect their artistic techniques in the midst of the realm of propagandist art. The "Working-Class Impressionism" that resulted shows an allegiance to subject as artists depict the workers and peasants of communist society as participants in a utopian world. In a triumph of form over subject, the works do nothing if not impress.