Art under Stalin


"In 1932 Josef Stalin abolished all independent artistic organizations in the USSR. From then on the new guiding principle of partiinost, the requirement of absolute allegiance to the Party, gave rise to a unique period in the history of art. Matthew Cullerne Bown's fascinating and often provocative analysis focuses on the art of the Stalin era, from 1932 to 1953, and includes discussion of the pre- and post-Stalin years. The author illuminates the political and social framework of the time and provides a complete expose of Stalinist aesthetics, socialist realism in art and neo-classicism in architecture, the Cult of Personality, art-world debates, and isolationism. The violent imposition of Stalinist culture left Soviet society scarred, and subsequent progressive liberalization in the USSR is now reaching a critical stage. This book is a timely survey of a subject never before treated in depth, and it offers an invaluable background to understanding the art, culture, and society in the Soviet Union today. It also presents a fresh assessment, free from modernist and Cold War dogma, of the aesthetic value of the art of this period. Art under Stalin has a still wider relevance. It is a sympathetic and penetrating study of the predicament of the artist in a totalitarian system, and raises disturbing questions about how an artist can survive under oppressive restrictions and continue to believe in his or her art." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1991


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