In Western art history the grid has been positioned as an emblem of modernism. In Russia, however, early constructivist artists saw the grid as both a formal and ideological device. After a period dominated by socialist realism, the grid was re-adopted in the 1960s and 1970s by some dissident modernist and conceptualist artists. This essay argues that the grid can still be an effective device in radical art practices as long as it is not perceived as an escapist structure that does not address the topics of today.
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