NEW YORK, NY.- Following its well-received eight-month tour of Moscow, Brussels, London and Paris, Sketches of (in)justice: The Khodorkovsky Trial from Putin to Medvedev makes its US debut presenting more than forty works by twelve artists whose works reflect the Russian peoples mounting frustration with corruption and hope for a freer society governed by the rule of law. The exhibition, created through Drawing the Court, a contest organized in Moscow by Sergey Kuznetsov Content Group and the Andrei Sakharov Memorial Museum and Community Center for Peace, Progress and Human Rights, is on view from May 18 through May 22. The exhibition will then move to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
The Khodorkovsky trial and the imagery it has inspired now serves as a reference point, being one of the significant phenomena of the Russian contemporary history, and another step in the eternal interaction of man and law. In assembling the exhibition, the organizers reviewed more than 400 works submitted in the categories Painting, Courtroom Sketch, Illustration/Comic Strip, and Caricature. Approaching their imagery from different political, aesthetic and ethical vantage points, all of the artists imagery shines through the prism of this bellwether case.
The genre of courtroom sketches first emerged in France, in mid 19th century, and quickly spread to other countries, including Russia. The history of Russian law would not be complete without drawings by Pavel Pyasetsky and Vladimir Makovsky made at the March 1 Group trial, sketches from the Beilis Trial, and the Kukryniksy groups graphic series Accusation created after the Nuremberg Trials. There are moments when a single drawing made in a courtroom can tell us more about prosecutors, lawyers, judges and other parties of a process better than scores of photographs.
The trial of Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky has already become a factor of the Russian contemporary history and is attracting increased international attention. The trial has gone beyond a mere social phenomenon, and has become a fact of Russian contemporary culture, being covered not only by journalists, but also artists, poets, and novelists. Incarcerated Mr. Khodorkovsky himself still supports various cultural initiatives, and acts as a journalist.