I OFTEN FEEL THAT PEOPLE COME TO ME TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED AS THEY WOULD GO TO A DOCTOR OR A FORTUNE TELLER - TO FIND OUT HOW THEY ARE. RICHARD AVEDON
SOVIET DESIGN, 1950–1980

APRIL 19 – SEPTEMBER 17

On April 19, 2017, the Zarya Center for Contemporary Art will open “Soviet Design, 1950–1980.” Assembled by the Moscow Design Museum, this unparalleled project has already toured Moscow and Rotterdam, and will be on view in Vladivostok through September 17, 2017.

“Soviet Design, 1950–1980” is the result of four years spent by the colleagues of the Moscow Design Museum, parsing through the archives of Soviet designers to carefully select objects that most vividly and articulately represent the history and achievements of Russian design. Research into our material culture, the exhibition boasts more than 500 objects in total, ranging from furniture, textiles, household appliances, dishes, toys, posters, and unique archival materials.

The different sections of the exhibition each explore a specific aspect of the material culture of the Soviet citizen: the world of childhood and leisure, sports and public events, recreation and hobbies, domestic life, education, science and industrial production. The exhibition will include objects, examples of graphic and industrial design, original sketches and models from both the collection of the Moscow Design Museum and private collections, as well as unique prototypes presented by designers and their families.

Soviet designers attempted to produce objects that were timeless, long-lasting and of high-quality. The state’s assortment policy and the principles of modular design allowed them to create universal models, which could be adapted to different social and cultural conditions. This sensible, “ecological” approach became the calling card of the Soviet system of design.

As a special feature, the exhibition offers video-interviews with leading designers from the Soviet period, including Yuri Soloviev, Valeri Akopov, Vladimir Runge, Igor Zaitsev, Svetlana Mirzoyan, and Alexander Yermolayev. The show will also screen the fascinating documentary film, Design in the USSR, which was produced as a way to promote Soviet design outside the country.

In 2012, “Soviet Design, 1950–1980” first opened in Moscow’s Manege. In 2015, the exhibition traveled to Kunsthal Rotterdam, where it was met with tremendous success. After its tour in Vladivostok, the show will continue on the Art & Design Museum Atomium, in Brussels, Belgium, where it will open in 2018.

As part of the parallel program for the exhibitions “Soviet Design, 1950–1980” and “Materialization”, CCA Zarya and the Far Eastern Federal University will host an international research conference dedicated to contemporary product design and the development of the discipline in Russia. The conference will be held on the campus of the FEFU, from April 18-22, 2017.