Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932
11 February — 17 April 2017
"Vivid and varied – and often viscerally moving"
"a corrective to the more narrow focus we often have on avant-garde art in revolutionary Russia"
"...loans obtained from Russia that you will never have seen and many that you will not see again"
One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, this powerful exhibition explores one of the most momentous periods in modern world history through the lens of its groundbreaking art.
Please note: online tickets have now sold out. A limited number of tickets are available to buy in person at the box office. At busy times queuing may be necessary.
Renowned artists including Kandinsky, Malevich, Chagall and Rodchenko were among those to live through the fateful events of 1917, which ended centuries of Tsarist rule and shook Russian society to its foundations.
Amidst the tumult, the arts thrived as debates swirled over what form a new “people’s” art should take. But the optimism was not to last: by the end of 1932, Stalin’s brutal suppression had drawn the curtain down on creative freedom.
Taking inspiration from a remarkable exhibition shown in Russia just before Stalin’s clampdown, we will mark the historic centenary by focusing on the 15-year period between 1917 and 1932 when possibilities initially seemed limitless and Russian art flourished across every medium.
This far-ranging exhibition will – for the first time – survey the entire artistic landscape of post-Revolutionary Russia, encompassing Kandinsky’s boldly innovative compositions, the dynamic abstractions of Malevich and the Suprematists, and the emergence of Socialist Realism, which would come to define Communist art as the only style accepted by the regime.
We will also include photography, sculpture, filmmaking by pioneers such as Eisenstein, and evocative propaganda posters from what was a golden era for graphic design. The human experience will be brought to life with a full-scale recreation of an apartment designed for communal living, and with everyday objects ranging from ration coupons and textiles to brilliantly original Soviet porcelain.
Revolutionary in their own right, together these works capture both the idealistic aspirations and the harsh reality of the Revolution and its aftermath.
All ticket prices include £2.50 for a printed gallery guide.
11 February — 17 April 2017
Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
Main Galleries, Burlington House
£18 (without donation £16). Concessions available. Friends of the RA, and under 16s when with a fee-paying adult, go free.Book now
Late night openings
Open till 10pm every Friday, plus special late night weekend openings
From exhibition-inspired food and drink to free talks inside the shows, there are plenty of reasons to visit the RA after dark. Unwind after a busy week and visit late any Friday, or on:
Saturday 15 April 10am – 10pm
Sunday 16 April 10am – 8pm