CLIO mr brice - page 26

Following Stalin's death and Khruschev's
subsequent Secret Speech in 1956, an
era of "thawing" came to light and gave
way to a new age of art: Soviet Non-
Conformism. It gave artists freedom
of expression and the ability to create
works outside the scope of Socialist
Realism and also led to the removal
of many portraits of Stalin due to a
worsened view of his 'cult of personality'
– many artists previously associated
with the movement were forced out of
their official positions. Khrushchev at
this time was not aware of the new art
stylings, and upon visiting the Manege
Exhibition is quoted to have said "What
kind of faces are these? My grandson
paints better than this."
The two above paintings were published
side by side in Life magazine to
represent the art forms of the period,
contrasting the official art against the
newly forming underground art. Serov's
painting of Vladimir Lenin next to
Zverev's self-portrait was perceived to be
a representation of the eternal struggle
between Satan and Saviour, which many
people could associate with after an age
of terror. However when Khrushchev
became aware of the publication he was
outraged and targeted his anger towards
Zverev and forbade all contact with
Western Visitors.
Anatoly Zverev was a popular non-
conformist and is accredited for his
founding of Russian Expressionism in
the 1960's. He achieved international
recognition in his lifetime due to his
work being introduced to the famous
art collector, George Costakis who
remarked that he was "one of the most
talented artists in Soviet Russia". After
the Life magazine incident he had to live
the remainder of his life protected and
supported by a circle of his friends before
his death in 1986.
The painting, "V.I Lenin Proclaims
Soviet Power" was first produced by
Vladimir Serov in 1947, although
there were many revisions of the piece
throughout the 1950s and not all were
by Serov himself. Serov (1910-1968) was
a Russian artist who was best known for
his works in the "Socialist Realist" era
of Russian Art. This era was the official
style of Art for the Soviet Union from
1934, when Stalin began to turn away
from artistic experimentation, and lasted
until the late 1960s. In the
words of the
Statute of the Union of Soviet Writers,
Socialist Realism aimed for "the
truthful, historically concrete portrayal
of reality". However in practice it
became more of a propagandistic
method of representing the strength of
the Soviet Union through the idolising
of representatives of heroic workers
and
soldiers. The painting was considered
The Brush-ian
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