This exhibition of approximately 80 works is the is the first major solo exhibition in the United States devoted to the work of one of the most significant Soviet nonconformist artists, Leonid Sokov. His multi-layered visual and verbal puns provide the viewer with a deeper insight into contemporary culture, politics, and life in general.
Born in 1941 in the village of Mikjaliovo, Kalinin (now Tver) region, Leonid Sokov is one of the leading figures in Russian-American
contemporary art today. Sokov began his career in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s during the cold war era and early on chose sculpture as his primary medium. He was among the artists who dared to object to restrictions on creative freedom imposed by the communist regime. These underground artists—called nonconformists—renounced the government-prescribed, propagandistic style of Socialist Realism and pursued their individual styles of expression. Instead of producing flattering sculptures of communist leaders, Sokov captured everyday Soviet life and commented on it from the ironic point of view of ordinary people. He applied strategies developed in Sots Art to a broader cultural context, juxtaposing traditional images of Russian culture with popular cultural myths of both communist Russia and capitalist America.