Robin Schwalb comments: "This is the third in a series of quilts inspired by a 1996 trip to Russia. Much residue, both physical and figurative, remains after the fall of Communism. A quote from David K. Shipler's 1983 book Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams plays out across ripped wall posters on the crumbling façades, contrasting the party line of a Social Realist cityscape with the rich, interior lives of its inhabitants."
". . . you walk in from the titanic architecture of Moscow's Stalinesque sand-castle skyscrapers and its sweeping fourteen-lane boulevards and the thunderous steel and chrome statues of men with bulging biceps holding hammers and women with sickles, hair blown back in visionary poses of heroic optimism, through the cracked courtyards of apartment houses with their buckled pavements, into the narrow doorways and up the dingy stairways, until you get into the tiny apartments with their cheap, uncomfortable furniture and sit around the kitchen table, burning your tongue and fingers on glasses of steaming tea, krepky, strong, dark, sweetened with jam or sugar and plenty of talk. Talk. The best conversations in the world are around those Russian kitchen tables."
-David K. Shipler, Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams
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More quilts by Robin Schwalb
Photos by Karen Bell