Best Political Show - 2002
Revolutions: Generations of Russian Jewish Avant-Garde Artists
Simon Zalkind, director of the Singer Gallery of the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, has long been known for his high-quality exhibitions. The most recent case in point is Revolutions: Generations of Russian Jewish Avant-Garde Artists, which is still on display. It's a knockout that examines modern and contemporary art by Russian Jewish artists. To produce it, Zalkind teamed up with Mina Litinsky, director of the Sloane Gallery, a nationally known venue for contemporary Russian art and the oldest gallery in LoDo. Together they came up with a show rich in visuals and ideas that included a who's who of vanguard artists from the early Soviet era, plus a number of postmodern political artists from post-Soviet times. Some of the big names include El Lissitzky, Sonia Delaunay and Marc Chagall, as well as Komar and Melamid, who were given their own gallery at the Mizel, in which a rejected public-art commission for Denver's new Alfred A. Arraj Federal Courthouse is laid out. Politics and art don't always go together well, but in this pithy show, they made excellent bedfellows.