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Intelligence Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932

Covering the years following the Russian Revolution, the Royal Academy’s blockbuster exhibition follows the harrowing path of modern Russian art as it morphed from a symbol of optimism and modernity into a brutal tool for propaganda under Lenin and Stalin. The wealth of paintings, textiles, posters, video and sculpture in the show express a terrifying trajectory: it is startling to see Malevich bend his imagination to the will of government-sanctioned figuration while others like Deynetka eagerly embraced an art form meant to brainwash the masses.

The exhibition is vital in the age of fake news and alternative facts, exploring the ways in which the persecution of modern and liberal ideals in favor of easily digested false narratives propigated and covered up a brutal totalitarian regime. While millions starved and suffered in Stalin’s gulags and Russia’s failing agricultural wastelands, the paintings, signs, videos, textiles and sculptures in this exhibition depict glorified communist values and a strong country propelled into an age of industrial abundance.

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Posted by
Kerry Lynch