Socialist Realism – the art that replaced

Socialist Realism – the art that
replaced constructivism
In the early years of the Soviet Union, Russian and
Soviet artists embraced a wide variety of art forms.
Revolutionary politics and radical non-traditional art
forms were seen as complementary. In art,
constructivism flourished. In poetry, the non-traditional
and the avant-garde were often praised.
This, however, aroused criticism from elements in the
Communist party, who rejected modern styles such as
impressionism and cubism, since these movements
existed before the revolution and hence were associated
with "decadent bourgeois art." Socialist realism was thus
to some extent a reaction against the adoption of these
"decadent" styles.
“Roses for Stalin”, Boris Vladimirski, 1949
Boris Shumyatsky
becomes head of
Shoyuzkino – answered
directly to Stalin.
No more formalist
‘Soviet Hollywood’
Tractor Drivers – Ivan Pyryev (1939)
"You're a free man," Stalin liked to
say to his film directors. "You don't
have to listen to me. This is just a
suggestion from an ordinary
viewer. Take it or leave it."
Of course, they always took it.
'Art workers must realise that those who continue
to take an irresponsible, lighthearted attitude to
their work, may well find themselves superfluous
and outside the ranks of progressive Soviet art, for
the cultural requirements and demands of the
Soviet theatregoer have developed and the Party
and Government will continue to cultivate among
the people good taste and encourage exacting
demands on works of art.'
J.V. Stalin
(Decisions of the Central Committee, C.P.S.U.(b)
On Literature and Art (]946-1948), Moscow, 1951,
pp. 26-28.)