In the present collection of articles which we submit to the circle of readers of The Studio, representation will be found of a vast domain of the culture of the Soviet Union.
The life of the Soviet theatre and cinema, the branches of art in which Space is combined with Time are represented here along with the pictorial arts--painting, graphics, sculpture, posters, and art handicraft industries.
We believe that before the reader proceeds to peruse the articles and examine the illustrations, he will have taken due note of the fact that the art of the country that is building socialism is developing on special lines.
Our conception of art is based upon the principles of Marxist-Leninist philosophy. The Marx-Lenin-Stalin doctrine defines with adequate clearness the role of art in human society. Art, as one of the "ideological superstructures" towering above the foundations of a given system of social relationships, plays the role of a specific weapon for gaining knowledge of reality. Art is not an instrument of impassive contemplation or passive reflection. By the sheer logic of social evolution that is impelled by the struggle of classes, it either tends towards a revolutionary change of the existing social order, or serves the interests of its maintenance and consolidation. There is no "art for art's sake." Art, at all stages of human history, has performed social functions, and, consequently, cannot be considered as something aloof from politics, from the material interests and ideology of the social classes.
The process of development of Soviet art is the process of consolidation of all the creative forces of the country on the basis of socialist ideology.
Of course, the coming over of the basic mass of Soviet artists to the viewpoint of the proletariat was a complex and lengthy process which grew ever deeper with the successful development of our socialist construction. This became particularly evident during the latest period of Soviet history, when the socialist system had already clearly demonstrated its vitality, during the period of fulfilment of the great Five-Year Plans.
We can now speak of the organic union of the Soviet artist with the life of the country, with the interests and aspirations of the masses of the people, as of an indisputable fact.
Intimately bound up with the whole of Soviet reality, the art of the Soviet Union has gradually developed its own style, adequate to the epoch of socialist construction.
The numerous abstract formalistic currents (futurism, cubism . . .