Artist probes Russia's toxic legacy through family history

In this handout photo taken in 2018, Pavel Otdelnov, a Russian artist poses for a photo in front of his work "Ruins. Building 538» in Moscow, Russia ....
In this handout photo taken on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, Pavel Otdelnov's work «Passage» is on display at an exhibition in Moscow, Russia . Pavel Otdelno...
In this handout photo taken on Thursday, March 10, 2016, Pavel Otdelnov's work «Ruins. Glory to Labor» is on display at an exhibition in Moscow, Russi...
In this handout photo taken on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, Pavel Otdelnov's work «Boom Barrier» is on display at an exhibition in Moscow, Russia. Pavel ...
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, visitors attend an exhibition by Russian artist Pavel Otdelnov in Moscow, Russia . Pavel Otdelnov, a Rus...
In this handout photo taken on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, Pavel Otdelnov's work «Ruins #6» is on display at an exhibition in Moscow, Russia . Pavel Otde...
In this photo taken in 2018 and provided by Pavel Otdelnov, A view of an abandoned industrial building of the factory "Zarya" in Dzerzhinsk, is on dis...
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, visitors attend an exhibition by Russian artist Pavel Otdelnov, in Moscow, Russia . Pavel Otdelnov, a Ru...
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, Pavel Otdelnov, a Russian artist poses for a photo in front of his work "Ruins #4" at his an exhibition ...
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, visitors attend an exhibition by Russian artist Pavel Otdelnov in Moscow, Russia . Pavel Otdelnov, a Rus...
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, visitors attend an exhibition by Russian artist Pavel Otdelnov in Moscow, Russia.  Pavel Otdelnov, a Rus...

In this handout photo taken in 2018, Pavel Otdelnov, a Russian artist poses for a photo in front of his work "Ruins. Building 538» in Moscow, Russia ....

In this handout photo taken on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, Pavel Otdelnov's work «Passage» is on display at an exhibition in Moscow, Russia . Pavel Otdelno...

In this handout photo taken on Thursday, March 10, 2016, Pavel Otdelnov's work «Ruins. Glory to Labor» is on display at an exhibition in Moscow, Russi...

In this handout photo taken on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, Pavel Otdelnov's work «Boom Barrier» is on display at an exhibition in Moscow, Russia. Pavel ...

In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, visitors attend an exhibition by Russian artist Pavel Otdelnov in Moscow, Russia . Pavel Otdelnov, a Rus...

In this handout photo taken on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, Pavel Otdelnov's work «Ruins #6» is on display at an exhibition in Moscow, Russia . Pavel Otde...

In this photo taken in 2018 and provided by Pavel Otdelnov, A view of an abandoned industrial building of the factory "Zarya" in Dzerzhinsk, is on dis...

In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, visitors attend an exhibition by Russian artist Pavel Otdelnov, in Moscow, Russia . Pavel Otdelnov, a Ru...

In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, Pavel Otdelnov, a Russian artist poses for a photo in front of his work "Ruins #4" at his an exhibition ...

In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, visitors attend an exhibition by Russian artist Pavel Otdelnov in Moscow, Russia . Pavel Otdelnov, a Rus...

In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, visitors attend an exhibition by Russian artist Pavel Otdelnov in Moscow, Russia. Pavel Otdelnov, a Rus...

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian artist has put a spotlight on what he calls "the ruins of a Soviet mythology" with a new exhibit that focuses on the chemical industry in his hometown.

The exhibit at Moscow's Museum of Modern Art features Pavel Otdelnov's architecturally precise paintings of decayed factories in the city of Dzerzhinsk interspersed with objects from factory workers' daily lives.

Otdelnov was born into a "labor dynasty" that gave the city, the center of Soviet chemical manufacturing, several generations of chemical workers. His mother boiled his parents' bedding daily because his father's skin absorbed chemicals and yellowed the sheets.

Many plants that were part of the military industrial complex didn't survive the collapse of the Soviet Union, but their toxic waste remains buried in underground dumps or seeping from landfills.