"Crumbling Empire" shows Fairey's works with a group of Russian dissident paintings and posters from the 1980s and '90s. "Upside-Down Propaganda" offers U.S. museumgoers their first look at the vibrant, bold, surreal art of North Korean defector Sun Mu, who worked as a propaganda-poster artist for the Stalinist state he eventually fled. Opening reception Sun., Feb. 10, noon-5 p.m.
If there's one person who knows all about transforming the visual tropes of empire and authoritarian patriarchy into truly subversive, progressive messaging, it's Shepard Fairey. But as his centrality in a new Wende Museum exhibition demonstrates, artists from the U.S.S.R. to the DPRK have been doing their best to encode rebellion in the Stalinist brand for generations.