Apart from the obvious social repercussion, the 1917 October Revolution also deeply affected Russian Art. There have been lots of artists that wanted to participate in creating a new society with their pieces of art. The stimulating discussion about its meaning and the goal of art in a communist country ended in 1920 with the Stalinism. Indeed, the dictator established the “social realism”, this aesthetics doctrine that slowly narrowed down the freedom in creation. The capitalist countries were very interested to what was happening in the USSR; the capitalist artists and intellectuals were able to maintain a productive artistic exchange with the “socialist nation”. The ongoing exhibition “Rouge. Art et utopie au pays des Soviets” at the Grand Palais (National Galleries in Paris) ending July 1 focuses on this historical period, explaining the connection between the plastic innovation, the ideological constraints and the research in the possible art politicization. In the exhibition, we can find a series of famous artworks from the most important Russian museums and from the Centre Pompidou and is divided in two parts.
The first in which we find the artworks from great artists such as Gustav Klutsis, Vladimir Maïakovski, Lioubov Popova, Varvara Stepanova and Alexandre Rodtchenko: they are all concentrated on the debate that enlivened the Soviet creative reality (theatre, design, architecture, photomontage and cinema) after the revolution.
The second part instead focuses on how the Stalinism somehow prevented the art pluralism, making room for the figurative art (from artists such as Alexandre Deïneka, Youri Pimenov, Alexandre Samokhvalov e Alexeï Pakhomov), known as “the mostsuitable to reach the masses and present the models of the new social man”.
Above: Youri Pimenov, The New Moscow 1937, Moscow, Tretiakov National Gallery © Adagp, Paris, 2019 / photo Trétiakov National Gallery’s Collection, Moscow