‘From the Southern Mountains to the Northern Seas’: Painting in the Republics in the Early Soviet Period

  • Musya Giants

Abstract

The 1920s and early 1930s are known as a brilliant, flourishing period in painting throughout the Soviet Union, both in the centre of the country and in remote provinces. An examination of provincial painting of this period provides a new perspective on the development of modern art in Russia. Such an examination reveals a multifaceted character arising from the creative interaction of several cultures: Western European, Russian, and the native cultures themselves. This investigation also reveals that the 1920s and early 1930s were a period of great contradiction because art in the Soviet state was increasingly compelled to support and express Party objectives and ideas. By looking at painting in the republics, we enrich our understanding of the development of Soviet modern painting generally and of the destructive essence and the bitter consequences of Socialist Realism. For the policy of Socialist Realism so stifled these promising developments that everything individual and distinctive was crushed ‘from the southern mountains to the northern seas’.1

Keywords

Europe Beach Melon Boris Avant 

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Notes

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© International Council for Soviet and East European Studies and John O. Norman 1994

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  • Musya Giants

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