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Socialist realism

Social realism as a way of perceiving reality and work in an embellished form appeared in the USSR in the 1930s and was intended to replace the “bourgeois” art, which then included everything that does not glorify the “man of action”. Being ridiculed by Mikhail Bulgakov in “the Master and Margarita”, this approach prescribed the artist to treat his art “on workdays”: how many benefits he received, so much text must pass. Just as in the Union of writers (fictional Bulgakov Massolit), “if a ticket for a week, then the writer must pass a story, for two weeks – a story, and only for three weeks in the “Swallow’s nest” in the Crimea – and the whole novel can be”.

In Alliance with the revolution?
social realism, Delecatable unions, punishing and checking the activities of people in the liberal professions was introduced in all areas. Thus, the people’s Commissar Lunacharsky in the early 1930s devoted a series of articles in the newspaper “Izvestia” to the new realism as a style in which writers and artists should strive to work. A new trend in the area of 1932 led to punitive actions of all kinds of Unions of artists, writers, art workers, etc.and became synonymous with such an organization of the literary process, which does not leave room for any “Amateur activity” outside the control of the inspecting Unions. Thus, the famous art workshops of VKHUTEMAS were generally disbanded and transferred to St. Petersburg in the form of Vkhutein. Despite this, Alexander Deineka, Yuri Pimenov, and other artists continued to work in a new style, pleasing to the authorities. The term ” socialist realism “was first proposed by the Chairman of the organizing Committee of the Union of writers of the USSR, Ivan Gronsky, in the Literary Gazette on may 23, 1932.

Happy work for the good of society
social realism, Deinekasotsrealism – these are happy geologists looking for oil in the taiga forests, these are cheerful workers of the timber industry, these are students-engineers at fountains designed by their teachers, these are even basketball players on the beach, who feel the happiness of work and well-deserved rest after it, which is still akin to work (for example, not playing cards, but high physical culture).

Deineka’s posters “Mechanizing Donbass” and” Fizkulturnitsa “lead to the same thing: the cult of physical labor and mechanization, as well as Vera Mukhina’s work “worker and collective farmer”. Soviet cinema supported these trends of painting: for example, Grigory Alexandrov’s 1934 musical film “Funny guys” or 1938’s “Volga-Volga” about workers who staged a competition to see who would quickly overtake the barge of socialist realism, Deineka, and Mechanize the Donbass forest. Both films are distinctly “socialist realist”, their characters stand up in full growth to fight for hard work. The “socialist realist” film called “shining path”, taken in 1940 indicate happy work in the USSR, where the girl from the nanny in the village, the path passes the working-of mnogoletniy, the role model for young colleagues, getting to the Exhibition of achievements of national economy in Moscow and receiving a medal almost from hands of the Leader of the people.

Without fantasy, closer to reality
In fact, the optimism of social realism is incredibly contagious and, despite the “workaholism”, as we would now call such a reverent attitude to work and its glorification in all its forms, social realism is very attractive. For comparison, see pictures of avant-garde art and an article about the path of its artists. Only work for the benefit of the family is ignored, the family in social realism, like everything personal, is sacrificed to work. However, was everything really sacrificed to the work of artists? It seems that there is not: after all, much in art was “cut off”, “forbidden” – for example, as the same novel “the Master and Margarita”, which did not fit into the framework of realism (unlike “Days of the Turbins”). What has the brotherhood of artists or writers become?

social realism, Pimenovvse the same MASSOLIT (a parody of the Union of writers in Bulgakov) found its embodiment in the restaurant “Griboyedov” Association of writers in the novel-a symbol of not writing, but chewing brothers, a symbol of turning literature into a source of satisfaction of immoderate appetites. In Massolit, they are concerned about getting permits, apartments, constant intrigues, malicious revelations, “perelygian” dachas, everything except art.

And how did the art of social realism make itself known? Yes, in literature it was done by Vladimir Mayakovsky and Konstantin Simonov, Arkady Gaidar with “Timur and his team”. But in fact, social realism was much more noticeable in painting and film than in literature, where the call for it originally came from. The appeal of the government, which already in 1934 at the 1st all-Union Congress of writers made it clear that social realism is not one of the possibilities, but the only way for the possible continued existence of artists, otherwise-repression.

Despite the fact that the art of social realism has become a “court”, it still reached the heights of perfection, which we admire now. Pimenov’s and Deineka’s paintings-unsurpassed masterpieces of this style-were written in the most terrible time of famine and repression. Similarly to the “Stalinist Empire in architecture”, social realism has taken its rightful place of honor in the visual arts.

Today
To date, social realism enjoys a well-deserved and enduring demand among collectors, is exhibited at numerous auctions and is widely represented in the collection of our online store “Artimex”, which we offer you to familiarize yourself with.

We can choose a painting of social realism for your collection or for an exclusive gift. We work with many leading galleries of contemporary art and art of the Soviet school. Call us at +7495-648-44-96 or send us a message using the form below. We will help you!

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