GRAD, Gallery for Russian Arts and Design presents Work and Play Behind the Iron Curtain, an exhibition examining the changing face of Soviet design from the 1917 Revolution to Perestroika.
Curated by GRAD’s Elena Sudakova and Alexandra Chiriac, the exhibition is produced in collaboration with the Moscow Design Museum and ZIL.
Work and Play Behind the Iron Curtain brings together over fifty key objects featuring the quirky, colourful and often charming design style that emerged from the 1950s in the Soviet Union. The preceding period, bound by more severe, functional principles, is examined through models and photographs from the famous ZIL factory, which produced both armoured trucks and domestic appliances.
For decades the ZIL factory (so named in 1956, but in existence since 1916) was one of the most prestigious industrial enterprises in the country.
GRAD’s exhibition examines daily life in the new builds through the resulting boom in Soviet design, which saw the development of many beloved staple items of the Eastern Bloc.
This exhibition, completed by performances, interactive events and digital media resources, provides a rare opportunity to examine every day life, work and play in the Soviet Union, through the prism of its quirky, yet iconic designs, be they quotidian items such as the avoska string shopping bag or models for high-security military vehicles.
Top row: ‘Star-54’ Radio, 1954. Courtesy GRAD and Moscow Design Museum; ‘Rigonda-102’ Gramophone Radio, 1971. Courtesy GRAD and Moscow Design Museum; Saturnas’ Vacuum Cleaner, produced from 1962. Courtesy GRAD and Moscow Design Museum.
Bottom row: Vertushka’ Dial-less Telephone. Courtesy GRAD and Moscow Design Museum; Coffee Maker, 1968. Courtesy GRAD and Moscow Design Museum; Toy Electronics Kit, 1970s. Courtesy GRAD and Moscow Design Museum.
Title exhibition: Work and Play Behind the Iron Curtain.
Where: Moscow Design Museum,
3-4a Little Portland Street London W1W 7JB
When: June 19th – August 24th