Exposition Art Blog: Leonid Sokov - Nonconformism

Leonid Sokov - Nonconformism

Leonid Sokov  (1941 – 2018 ) was a Russian nonconformist artist and sculptor. He primarily lived and worked in New York City.
Sokov was born in Mikhalevo in the Tver region, Russia in 1941 and graduated from the Stroganov Institute now called the Moscow School of Art and Industry, in 1969. He emigrated to the United States in 1980. "Leonid Sokov is seen as one of the most brilliant representatives of Sots Art. Sokov uses Soviet symbols in combination with the traditions of popular folklore, creating objects coarsely carved out of wood or wrought from metal, which look similar to wooden toys. The work is often cracked or chipped, the wooden pieces fit together poorly and are painted coarsely, giving it the rough image of a handmade item. The artist often uses combinations of popular myths and forms from the East and West, like portraits of Stalin with Marilyn Monroe, the image of the hammer and sickle turning into a dollar sign, or a “Marching” Giacometti across from a bronze Lenin, in his work. This ironic view allows Sokov not only to lower the levels of aggression in the usual collection of Soviet symbols, but also to try and find their similarities with their antitheses: the symbols of western pop-art."(saatchigallery.com)
In 2001 he represented Russia at the Venice Biennale. He participated in the 2004 Gwangju Biennale in Gwangju, South Korea.
In 2012, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art  honored the artist's 70th birthday with a major retrospective and publication on the artist's career and work

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