Wolfsonian Museum

Art in Revolution: From Avant-Garde to Socialist Realism From Feb 9th through May 4th, 2007Following the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917 and the dismemberment of Tsarist Russia’s cultural heritage, radical Russian artists experimented with all manner of avant-garde and Modernist principles. In 1920, artists, aspiring for a universal appeal, advocated for and created a new Constructivist art employing commonly recognized colors and abstract geometric shapes crossing cultural boundaries. Within two years, however, other Soviet artists were calling for a new art that would render “a true picture” of the “everyday life of the Red Army, of workers and peasants, of revolutionary figures and heroes of labor” rather than “abstract fabrications” that “discredit our revolution.” In the early 1930s, Joseph Stalin began to attack the experimentalists as enemies of artistic and social progress, and dictated that Socialist Realism become enshrined as the only appropriate art for the Soviet state. The exhibition was curated by Wolfsonian-FIU librarians Nicolae Harsanyi and Francis Luca and it explores the complex issues and evolution of Soviet art amidst a fascinating assemblage of graphic art and artifacts culled from The Wolfsonian’s world-class collection of Soviet art. Art in Revolution: From Avant-garde to goo in Stalin’s Russia, 1917-1945.

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