Pyotr Belov. Queue for the truth

In April 1988, the posthumous exhibition of Pyotr Belov took place in the House of Actor of the Union of Theater Professionals. It showed the cycle of 21 paintings that deeply impressed the audience with its bravery and depth and was immediately called the ‘anti-Stalin cycle.’ For the first time, famous theater artist and scenographer Pyotr Belov was presented as a serious easel painter who dedicated the last years of his life to the memory of our country’s past.

The works of the successful painter who was untouched by repression expressed innermost grief and fear understood by many contemporaries. He managed to show the sharp dissonance relatable to the experiences of millions of fellow countrymen. The ‘anti-Stalin cycle’ found such a strong echo in the hearts of people that they stood in long lines to get to the exhibition.

From 1988 until 1991, this exhibition was shown in Russia and abroad around 40 times. The artist’s family kept the paintings for a long time. Being in the collection of the GULAG History Museum, the works by Pyotr Belov get the chance of a rebirth. Thus, 30 years later, their exhibition gives the modern audience a possibility to reinterpret them