Art: Through the Ironic Curtain

In SoHo, two Soviet dissidents jape the awfulness of court artists

Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (1879-1953) lives again! Pink, incorruptible and smelling only a little of mold, the Maximum Leader and Supreme Baby Kisser of the Soviet Peoples has come back to greet us. Who would ever have supposed that the most immediately memorable show in New York City's SoHo, at the start of the 1982 art season, would be a gallery full of mock Stalinist socialist realism, done in the correct borsch-and-gravy colors of official Soviet art 30 years ago? But there is nothing...