NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND
by Astrid Mania
Painted in 1988 by the 28-year-old Russian artist Andrei Roiter
, the large picture looks rather like an emblem for a Soviet art exhibition. A stylized artist’s palette with three brushes is set off by a sprig of laurel, a white image against a red background, simple and graphic like a propaganda poster. On the palette is written a quotation in Cyrillic letters: "They are opening our eyes," with the credit, Lord Gowrie (president of Sotheby's). As students of Soviet-era art well know, the phrase marks both the end of an era, and the beginning of one.