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The programme examines the direction taken by art in the Soviet Union after the Revolution of 1917. Stephen Bayley traces its origins from the development of Realist painting by Gustave Courbet a...nd Jean-Francois Millet in nineteenth century France. Naum Cabo, the expatriate Russian constructivist explains how artists returned to Russia after the Revolution and describes events leading to the publication of the Realist Manifesto. At a time when many artists in the West were turning to Modernism, Soviet painters renounced individualism and produced paintings in a new Socialist Realist style. We look in detail at a number of these paintings, rarely seen in the West, tracing various influences from folk art to icon painting.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A351, Modern art from 1848 to the present: styles and social implications
Item code: A351; 07
First transmission date: 01-07-1976
Published: 1976
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:22
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Producer: Paul Kafno
Contributors: Stephen Bayley; Naum Gabo
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Soviet; Stalinism
Footage description: Introductory film of Gabo describing art in Russia immediately post revolution. Bayley outlines the course of the programme, showing some examples of socialist realist painting. The realist tradition of the nineteenth century in France is described, using Courbet and Millet as examples. Shots of Millet's paintings. Bayley states contemporary thinking on realism, including Zola on literature. The growth of realist painting in Russia in the nineteenth century is examined. Repin's work is looked at. Aspects of social and political messages in pre-Revolution art are mentioned. Gabo looks at the immediate post Revolution position and his realistic manifesto. Bayley describes the growth of Socialist Realism in art and what it should portray and its general intentions. Using examples, Bayley examines the kind of painting sanctioned under the Stalinist regime. Bayley sums up on what Socialist Realism stood for and contrasts this with Marx's own views. Developments since the Second World War are briefly touched on, and Bayley states why he feels Socialist Realism is all wrong.
Master spool number: 6HT/72134
Production number: 00525_3207
Videofinder number: 3335
Available to public: no