Franklin

De-Stalinization and the remodernization of Soviet art: The search for a contemporary realism, 1953-1963 [electronic resource].

Author/Creator:
Reid, Susan Emily.
Format/Description:
Book
798 p.
Subjects:
Art -- History.
Europe -- History.
Slavic literature.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Summary:
During the Thaw, the period of destalinization under Nikita Khrushchev, reformist artists, critics and art historians within the official Soviet art establishment worked to rejuvenate and liberalize the practice and theory of socialist realism. By the early 1960s, some had so stretched the parameters of socialist realism as to have arguably abandoned it altogether. The dissertation examines the complex process of destalinization and remodernization in official painting, in the institutional structures that managed its production and consumption, and in the art critical discourse that mediated its reception in the period 1953 to 1963. It attempts to relate transformations in artistic practice and critical criteria to the political struggles of the Thaw and to the emergent ideology of khrushchevism. In the face of unabating conservative resistance, reformists sought a "contemporary style" of art. It was to be "contemporary" not only in its subject matter but in its means of representation, adequate to express the postwar experience of the Soviet Union as an advanced industrial nation, and capable of moving the hearts and minds of its increasingly sophisticated public. The search for a contemporary style was at once a delayed response to modernization, an attempt to restore specifically aesthetic criteria to the discourse of art, and to define a style for khrushchevism that clearly demarcated it from stalinism. Artistic progress was to be made on the basis of a recovery of aspects of the past suppressed under Stalin. It entailed rediscovering and revalidating early modernist Russian and West European art as models for contemporary practice and reinstating some central modernist devices and principles. Throughout the social and political institutions of the Soviet Union, including the art establishment, forces for reform struggled against the inertia of stalinist elites, and specialists campaigned to regain a degree of professional autonomy from bureaucratic control. For artists and critics this implied reasserting specifically aesthetic criteria alongside the still obligatory ideological correctness.
Notes:
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 57-04, Section: A, page: 1360.
Supervisor: Christine Poggi.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Pennsylvania, 1996.
Local notes:
School code: 0175.
Contributor:
University of Pennsylvania.
Contained In:
Dissertation Abstracts International 57-04A.
Access Restriction:
Restricted for use by site license.
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