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The Soviet state and the avant-garde

Evening event


● Fully booked

Friday 7 April 2017
6.30 — 7.30pm

This event has now ended

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Part of our

Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Kazimir Malevich, Dynamic Suprematism Supremus, c. 1915.

Oil on canvas. 80.3 x 80 cm. Tate: Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1978 Photo © Tate, London 2016.

Professor Christina Lodder and writer Konstantin Akinsha explore the complex relationship between the Soviet leadership and the avant-garde art movement in Russia between 1917-32, in a discussion chaired by art historian Theodora Clarke.

Avant-garde artists were some of the first to embrace the Bolshevik cause, with a common interest in “a new art for a new society”. As Anatoly Lunacharsky, People’s Commissar of Enlightenment, declared in 1918 to composer Sergey Prokofiev, “You are revolutionary in music as we are revolutionary in life”.

Members of the avant-garde took key posts in the new regime and benefited from state resources. However within a few years, the state began to withdraw its support, feeling that abstract art could not advance the communist cause if the masses could not understand it. A more persuasive and recognisable art best suited the party’s requirements. By 1932, the politicised figurative art of Socialist Realism became the dominant style and independent artistic movements vanished.

Professor Christina Lodder (University of Kent and President of the Malevich Society) and curator and author Konstantin Akinsha examine the relationship between the state and the avant-garde in Russia after the revolution and how this is reflected in the art exhibited in Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, in this discussion chaired by writer and art historian Theodora Clarke.

All tickets include one complimentary drink.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Friday 7 April 2017

6.30 — 7.30pm

The Reynolds Room, Burlington House. Entrance via de Grey Court.

£16 including exhibition entry. £12 event only, £6 concessions. Free for carers.