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Jane Portal, Art under Control in North Korea (Reaktion Books)
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Book Report
by Walter Robinson

Ah, North Korea. How fascinating is the idea of art in the super-Stalinist Hermit Kingdom, which values its Socialist Realist propaganda paintings so highly, according to collector Uli Sigg, that it almost never agrees to their export? Some day, in the post-Kim era, we’ll be able to get a good look at it. In the meantime, we have Art under Control in North Korea (Reaktion Books, 2005, $35) by Jane Portal, a curator at the British Museum.