Socialist Realist Painting During the Stalinist Era (1934-1941): The High Art of Mass Art
This book argues that Socialist Realist paintings, typically seen by western art historians as examples of retrograde art and by scholars of Soviet history simply as propaganda, were a part of an extensive program of skillful artistic practice coupled with masterful propaganda. This book contains fourteen color photographs.
“If, in retrospect, much of Socialist Realism now seems facile and belabored, Rusnock argues that it was part of both a national and an international language. On the one hand, she takes, therefore, the “All-Union Agricultural Exhibition” of 1939 as a shining example of domestic propaganda at which art and politics interweaved, presenting a brilliant, but false, imagery of a countryside ruined in the wake of collectivization. On the other, Rusnock describes the promotion of Socialist Realist painting, sculpture, and the applied arts abroad at the 1937 and 1939 Paris and New York universal exhibitions, where the Soviet contribution was praised by ardent critics and awarded prestigious medals -- indicating that, for all its obvious political bias, the style appealed not only to the Soviet populace, but also to Western sensibility. That Socialist Realism had much in common with American Social Realism, Fascist Realism, and even the new Classicism in France and the valori plastici in Italy is one of those enigmas which intrigue historians and Rusnock presents us fairly and squarely with this apparent paradox.” – Prof. John E. Bowlt, University of Southern California
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
ISBN10: 0-7734-3692-8 ISBN13: 978-0-7734-3692-3 Pages: 268 Year: 2010