Created in response to and as illustrations for writer Vladimir Sorokin’s book Their Four Hearts—translated by Max Lawton (Ph.D. Candidate, Slavic)—Care and Maintenance of the Intermediate Block presents a suite of drawings in charcoal and pastel by artist Gregory Klassen. The body of work envisions a world in parallel to Sorokin’s words, which tell of four characters’ lives unfolding violently as the fallacies of the Soviet Union unravel around them.
Presenting dozens of drawings by Klassen—from single page portraits torn from a spiral sketchbook to large-scale scenes on multiple sheets of paper, and including both drawings from the three dozen published in the book alongside more from the nearly 200 in the series—the exhibition pans across a literary and historical timeline of civil and ethical decay. “His illustrations,” Lawton writes, “allow the reader to pretend they are entering into a story-book world instead of the aberrant flesh-libido of the Soviet system.”