2004
Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2588-8277
  • E-ISSN: 2667-162X

Abstract

ARTISTIC VERSUS POLITICAL AVANT-GARDISM: THE VISUAL ARTS IN AND AROUND THE MAGAZINE ‘NIEUW RUSLAND’/‘CULTUUR DER U.D.S.S.R.’ (NEW RUSSIA/CULTURE OF THE USSR), 1928-1934

This article concentrates on the position of the visual arts in Russia as presented in (New Russia), organ of the Netherlands – New Russia Society. This Society was initiated by VOKS, the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, established to coordinate international cultural contacts with artists and intellectuals in other countries in order to help lending the Soviet Union a positive and civilised image. The Netherlands – New Russia Society was suspected to be a communist umbrella organization, and indeed some of its members were moles. At the time, visual arts in Russia were in transition: the abstract avant-gardism of the first years after the Revolution was making way for moderately modern, figurative, and politically engaged painting. Easel painting in general had to yield to the graphic arts, photography and composite picture, especially as applied in posters, children’s books and magazines. Dutch editors of had to communicate and explain or soften the often staunch political art theories of their Russian authors. From around 1932, made a change of course from cultural information towards explicit political propaganda. In combination with a ban on membership of left-wing organizations for all public servants, this meant the end of the magazine.

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