Sacred Inspiration Icons
by Alek Rapoport
On display from September 9 - October 31, 1997. All works displayed are copyrighted by the artist. The Marian Library Gallery is located on the seventh floor of the Roesch Library on the University of Dayton campus. Gallery hours are 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday. Tel.: 937-229-4214.
Having trained in Leningrad under the avant-garde Nicholas P. Akimov, Rapoport's style was rooted in the ideas of Russian esoteric Constructivism, itself descended from Byzantine-Russian icons. In his early work (1950s), he strove to break with the academicism of Soviet artists by turning to western European tradition; for this he was labeled "formalistic distorter." As a teacher in the 1960s, seeking to share the heritage of Russian Constructivism, the Bauhaus and Le Corbusier's Modulor with his students, he was accused of "ideological sabotage."
Then, in the 1970s, as he looked more and more to the Byzantine-Russian icon and the Old and New Testaments for his themes, he drew even stronger criticisms: "religious," "fascist," "Zionist." Although a leader of anti-institutional groups and well received in the underground art community, he could only exhibit clandestinely because of the opposition of Soviet authorities. Finally, in 1976, he was forced to leave behind his homeland and most of his life's work. He emigrated to the USA, where he continued his passionate personal quest, in a new and often differently unreceptive culture.
WORKS ON DISPLAY
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