Luz permanente (Ivan Shadr)

Luz permanente (Ivan Shadr) 2013 graphite on canvas, 6 x 12 feet. Pérez Art Museum Miami collection, museum purchase with funds provided by the Helena Rubenstein Philanthropic Fund at the Miami Foundation and PAMM s Acquisitions Funds









The viewpoint onto the ominous urban panorama depicted in this large drawing implicitly belongs to the entity that holds power over the city’s hidden masses. This omniscient, Big Brother-like presence is suspended high above a landscape of generic, pyramidal structures, which represent the uniformity that typifies autocratic societies. The line of buildings in the foreground suggests the megalomaniacal architectural tendencies of totalitarian regimes—an evocation reinforced by the abstracted Nazi swastika in the construction toward the left of the composition, as well as the statue of a flag-bearing youth perched atop a tower at its center. The figure references propagandistic memorials by artists such as Ivan Shadr (1887-1941), a Russian sculptor known for the dynamic monuments the he produced to commemorate the proletariat, as well as various heroes of the Soviet Revolution. The enormous structure that emerges from the skyline in the background toward the left suggests the remnants of an incomplete military project, reinforcing the work’s menacing undertones.