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Over the past few years, D.C. has seen several formidable shows of late-, post-, and expat-Soviet art—notably the Hirshhorn’s Ilya Kabakov installation, the Smithsonian International Gallery’s display of proposals for the rehabilitation of Soviet monuments, and the Corcoran’s intercontinental 10+10—but the Corcoran can’t number the fruits of its latest U.S./Russian venture among them. Since its 1991 founding by Corcoran printmaking prof Dennis O’Neil and Moscow artist Boris Belsky, the Moscow Studio has offered “artists in Russia their first opportunities to work with quality non-toxic silkscreen printmaking materials.” Being an inveterate book-sniffer myself (Phaidon’s new comic-book history is scrumptious), I hesitate to forbid artists the basic sensory pleasures of their raw materials, but Duchamp’s censure of “olfactory art” rings in my ears whenever once-reasonable creators take a studio vacation to “experiment” with prints: The results are often visually lush but conceptually inert. With a few notable exceptions (Igor Makarevich’s Tarot, Alexandr Djikia’s Soldiers are always blending in with Nature, and, yes, the celestial collaborative wallpaper featuring figures from Sergei Shutov’s Robot-Rocket), the works in “The Moscow Studio: 1991-1996: A Five-Year Printmaking Retrospective” (installed in the Hemicycle Gallery to Dec. 30) are suitable objects of cranky Uncle Marcel’s scorn. Presumably the nine curators and dealers participating in this afternoon’s associated symposium, “New Directions in Russian Art,” will address something other than the stuff on hand, because even most of the better pieces, with their bluntly sardonic politicizing and grim humor, are redolent of the familiarly Russian. At 4 p.m. at the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Hammer Auditorium, 17th & New York Ave. NW. $20. For reservations call (202) 639-1753. (Glenn Dixon)