May 2, 2021
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Socialist realism. Metamorphosis

The Central Exhibition Hall of the Union of Artists of Russia on Krymsky Val opened the exhibition “Socialist Realism. Metamorphoses of Soviet Art 1927 – 1987 ”. Photo report of IA REGNUM from the exhibition presented from the collection fund of the State Museum and Exhibition Center RUSIZO.

The exposition presents 220 paintings and sculptures mainly from the collection of the ROSIZO funds, the collection is supplemented by works from the Tretyakov Gallery, the Russian Museum, the Museum of Contemporary History of Russia and other collections. There are works pulled from the archives that did not participate in exhibitions. The works of thirty artists are exhibited, among them – Alexander Deineka, Boris Golopolosov, Alexander Labas, Vera Mukhina, Dmitry Nalbandyan and other authors.

The works are arranged in chronological order and divided into thematic sections “Leaders and Myths”, “Industry of Socialism”, “Soviet Woman”, “War and Memory”, “Union of Republics. New ethnography – new exoticism ”,“ City vs. Village “and others.

“Why metamorphosis? Soviet art, its appearance changed greatly, it cannot be said that it was one artistic channel, although the state aspired to this. There were very different artists and very different credos. Their work is not always the maintenance of government projects or their promotion. The exhibition wanted to expand the viewers’ understanding of what socialist realism and unofficial art are and to show it by choosing atypical and unusual works. But at the same time, not to draw out the line of masterpieces, but to show an objective picture, showing what a RUSIZO collection is, ”shared the exhibition curator Alexandra Kharitonova.

The exhibition also features works by contemporary Russian artists Pavel Otdelny, Yegor Koshelev, Maria Safronova and Vladimir Potapov, who explore the Soviet legacy. Having received a classical art education, they do not oppose themselves to the classical period, without being apologists for the past, and create modern works.

“And it seemed to me that it would be nice to end the exhibition with works of contemporary artists. I was born in the Soviet Union and already lived in modern Russia. And to highlight through the exhibited works this very generational and ideological gap. And all represented contemporary artists received a classical art education. And it was interesting for me to show those authors who understand all the pros and cons of the Soviet art system in which they studied. How do they use this heritage, among other things, to create a modern thing, which is considered in the context of Russian art and in the international context too, ”added the curator.

The organizers note that there is a point of view that the Soviet official art was only ideological. And due to the fact that the Soviet Union left, now nobody needs it. And since contemporary art appeals to the sixties and the seventies, this conceptualism immediately brings this line to contemporary artists, bypassing socialist realism. Thus, Socialist Realism remains in a vacuum.

The exhibition has already been postponed three times due to the pandemic, the main work was based on the state catalog. And this helped to find things that would not have been brought to the exhibition if it was organized in a shorter period. The exhibition is being held at the Central Exhibition Hall of the Union of Artists of Russia at 10 Krymsky Val until June 6, 2021.

More photos on the source site.

Natalia Streltsova

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