Painted on the wooden surface of a Russian matryoshka doll is the image of a woman desperately in need of self-expression. The most recent exhibit of pieces from the Kolodzei Collection of contemporary art, “Women in Art,” on view to April 30 at the Friendship Gallery, presents three decades of art created by Eastern European women during the most oppressive years of Soviet rule, as well as the works of several contemporary American artists. Started over 30 years ago in Moscow when Tatiana Kolodzei received a painting for her 17th birthday, the Kolodzei Collection has since grown to encompass 7,000 works made outside the boundaries of socialist realism, the only artistic style officially allowed in the former Soviet Union. Kolodzei and her daughter, Natalia Kolodzei, will give a tour of the exhibit and present a history of nonconformist art from Russia and the former Soviet Union at noon at the Friendship Gallery, 4433 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase. Free. For reservations call (301) 656-2797. (Irina Slutsky)

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