Saturday, October 25, 2014 - Wednesday, November 19, 2014
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
With Russia again erupting onto the world stage via often-puzzling actions, a new art exhibit, Russia Through the Looking Glass, immerses us in a world whose logic at first appears to be the opposite of our own. Artist Anne Bobroff-Hajal’s whimsical, icon-like triptychs — some of them massive, up to 6 x 9 feet — include hundreds of tiny, colorful portraits of Russians from the time of Ivan the Terrible to the end of the 20th century, from the lowliest peasants through the vastly wealthy nobility to the Tsars and Stalin. And these portraits aren’t stiff or impassive. They portray each individual competing for power within a complex clan system, periodically terrorized back into line by the ultimate boss, whether Tsar or Stalin, protecting the populace against Mongols, slave-raiders, or Nazis.
Comical yet deadly serious, Bobroff-Hajal’s art helps us understand even the most horrifying historical events by making them fun yet accurate. Characters “sing” in rhyming lyrics composed by Bobroff-Hajal. Stalin appears as an infant in swaddling, his mustache already full-grown. Catherine the Great has magnificent wings of gold so heavy she must be hoisted aloft by a team of mightily-struggling serfs.
Bobroff-Hajal is a painter and mixed-media artist highly influenced by animation techniques. She also has a Ph.D. in Russian History, and lived in Russia for a year before the fall of Communism. Each of the panels in her triptychs take a year or more to research (both historically and visually), to plan and paint. Her work helps us understand the inner logic and continuity of Russia’s long, autocratic history
Following critical acclaim for Bobroff-Hajal’s 7-foot-wide triptych “Dress It Up In Resplendent Clothes,” the Board of the College of New Rochelle’s art galleries selected her from among all Westchester Biennial 2014 artists for this solo show. The exhibit is a rare opportunity to view all of the artist’s large Playground of the Autocrats triptychs together in one place here in Westchester. Russia Through the Looking Glass is designed to generate conversation and illuminate history in a provocative and enjoyable way. Bring your family and friends, as this exhibit will amaze, educate, and stir you and them to think — perhaps even to argue — about how history has shaped the events we are living today.
Russia Through the Looking Glass runs from October 25 to November 16. The opening reception will be October 26, from 4-6, and will feature delicious Russian snacks as well as a chance to speak with the artist. The Mooney Gallery is located on the ground floor of the Helen & Peter Mooney Art & Educational Technology Center on the college’s campus at 29 Castle Place, New Rochelle, NY 10805. The Gallery is open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, phone (914) 654-5423 or [email protected]
Event Location and Ticket Information
Mooney Center Gallery
29 Castle Place
New Rochelle, NY 10805
Handicap Accessible? Yes
Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014 - Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Times: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Presenter: Galleries at The College of New Rochelle
Presenter Phone: 914-654-5423
Presenter Website: castlegallery.cnr.edu/1396/russia-through-the-looking-glass/