Questionable History

Courtesy of the Wende Museum Alexei Pavlovich Solodovnikov's The Divorce (1955)


Past Event

Location Info:

The Wende Museum
5741 Buckingham , Ste. E.
Culver City, CA  90230
Alexei Pavlovich Solodovnikov’s 1955 painting The Divorce depicts a relatively well-dressed man sitting on a courtroom bench, staring ahead as his wife and child cry and huddle together in the background. Presumably, the man has just terminated his marriage. The painting currently hangs at the Wende Museum as part the show “Questionable History,” curated by Joes Segal. Two labels on the wall flank the painting, each offering a different interpretation. The painting confronts the man's “urban modernity” and suggests “progress comes with sacrifice,” explains one label. The other label declares that the painting “fundamentally criticizes the effects of so-called ‘progress’ and ‘modernization,’ ideological catch words in Soviet society.” Similar dueling wall labels “explain” every work in the show, all of which were created during the Cold War, an exercise that shows how slanted and loaded official interpretation can be.


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