POLITICS OF HAPPINESS Dreams of the Future from the Collection of The Wende Museum

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(Culver City, CA, February 6, 2013) —The Wende Museum will showcase seventeen artworks in the exhibition Politics of Happiness: Dreams of the Future from the Collection of The Wende Museum, which will be on view at the Fine Arts Gallery on the California State University, Los Angeles campus from February 11 through March 2, 2013.

Viewers will see artworks from the 1960s and 1970s, when the nightmare of Stalinism had ebbed and artists were beginning to experiment with novel styles of representation, and with newfound confidence in the future of socialism and the Soviet Union. While Party leaders interfered continuously in creating ideological criteria for culture, generations of Soviet artists somehow managed to work within Party mandates to create arresting art works that by the postwar period had acquired a recognizable identity in various parts of the world.

Soviet artists, writers and ideologues successfully created a new grammar of universality, one that promised the world equitable modernization, rapid industrialization, economic equality, the creation of a welfare state, and liberation of women from the patriarchal family. A selection from the collection of The Wende Museum references how these revolutionary ideas became embedded in innovative art forms.

The Wende Museum was founded in 2002 with a mission to preserve the cultural artifacts and personal histories of Cold War-era Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The Wende Museum is located at 5741 Buckingham Parkway in Culver City, California. The collection is currently housed in three Southern California warehouses with public access limited to 1% of the more than 100,000 holdings of material and visual culture. The Museum is open to the public every Friday from 10am to 5pm or by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, call 310-216-1600 or go to www.wendemuseum.org.

This exhibition was curated by CSULA faculty members Choi Chatterjee and Scott Wells, with the assistance of Donna Stein and Cristina Cuevas-Wolf of The Wende Museum and Karin Lanzoni of the CSULA Fine Arts Gallery, as well as the students in the Winter 2013 CSULA Honors College course, “Global Citizenship: Voices and Contexts”. Financial support for the exhibition was provided by the CSULA College of Natural and Social Sciences, the CUSLA Honors College, the CSULA Department of History, and CSULA alumni Steve Reyes and Patrick Lynch. Special thanks also to Dean James P. Henderson, Dr. Michelle Hawley, and Dr. Cheryl Koos. The Wende Museum wishes to thank Dr. Barry Munitz for his encouragement and insight.

The Fine Arts Gallery is located in Building 9 on campus, 1st Floor, Fine Arts Building; Parking is available in structure C or Lot 5. For directions, go to www.calstatela.edu/uni/maps/index.php

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Media Contacts:
Justian Jampol, Executive Director/Founder, Wende Museum, (310-216-1600; jjampol@wendemuseum.org)
Donna Stein, Associate Director, Wende Museum (310-216-1600; dstein@wendemuseum.org)