Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Artist Talk. Mikhail Magaril on “The Untold Stories of Russian History”

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Join us for the closing event for our exhibit The Untold Stories of Russian History, featuring a dialogue between the artist Mikhail Magaril and his friend Michael Weintraub, a connoisseur of rare books and works on paper. The event will also feature a display of Magaril’s original artist’s books, including Doctors’ Plot, Lullaby, Alphabet and others.

The Untold Stories of Russian History consists of twenty-three original works, including painting, relief, sculpture, graphic works and collages that reflect the main theme of Mikhail Magaril’s work; namely, the traumatic experience of an atmosphere of fear in the Stalinist USSR as seen through the eyes of a child. For Magaril, the artistic process is a way to overcome fear and horror. The use of irony, laughter and mockery help to debunk the “greatness” and “holiness” of tyrants of the past and present. Magaril, who specializes in the artist’s handmade book, firmly believes that every person, especially an artist, is a living capsule of time, preserving unique experience and viewpoint, waiting to be discovered and passed on to the world.


Event Video