A new vision of art… This is what the Grand Palais offers from March 20 to July 1, 2019 through an exhibition about the art of socialism, Rouge, Art et Utopies au pays des Soviets [Red, Art and Utopias in the country of Soviets]. An exhibition inviting us to plunge back into the history of the Soviet Union and the art expression confronted with the ideological constraints after the October Revolution in 1917.
A revolution that caused a “disruption of the social order of which the consequences on the art creation were decisive”. And artists filled with enthusiasm by this new vision of politics to the point that they took part in it, thanks to their works, the building of this new society. The exhibition tells the quintessence: its history, its tensions, its momentums through a series of major works, lent on the occasion by the greatest museums in Russia and Centre Pompidou.
The exhibition evolves around two parts: the first highlights “the debates that vigorously animate the Soviet stage the day after the Revolution”. What should the art of this new socialist society look like? A question to which this retrospective tries to answer with the display of leading works such as Gustav Klutsis, Vladimir Maäkovski, Lioubov Popova, Varvara Stepanova and even Alexandre Rodtchenko. Theater, design, architecture, photomontage, movie… As many materials solicited by artists to express this new, avant-garde political art aiming at leaving behind all kings of “bourgeois” art for an “art of production”.
The second part loos at the end of pluralism in art, defended after the October Revolution, to the advent of communism and Stalin. A pluralism that comes down to one of the simplest art forms, figuration, considered as the art “the most fit for suffusing the crowds and introduce them to the models of a new social man”. And artists such as Alexandre Deïneka, Youri Pimenov, Alexandre Samokhvalov and even Alexeï Pakhomov to play a part in the “slow definition of pictorial principles of socialist realism” showing “blue-collar work”, the “body” and the “bright future”.
An exhibition all modern history lovers should discover.
From 20 March 2019 to 1 July 2019
3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower
75008 Paris 8
M° Champs-Elysées Clemenceau