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Art for the new society: Russian art in the service of the Revolution – talk by Dr Natalia Murray

Thursday 18 May, 2017, 19:00 - 20:30

| £3 – £5
Lyubov Popova, Spartial-force Construction 1921

Lyubov Popova, Spartial-force Construction 1921

Already in 1917 the leader of the new Bolshevik State, Vladimir Lenin, proclaimed that culture should support political needs, which effectively meant that all culture was now viewed as propaganda. Like Lenin, Trotsky believed that ‘the essence of the new culture will be not an aristocratic one for a privileged minority, but a mass culture, a universal and popular one.’ This lecture will examine the impact of the 1917 revolution on artists and the quest of the new government for a new form of proletarian art. How was this to be defined? How would it come about? Where did it go?  To answer these questions, we will look at the first expressions of so-called proletarian art after the revolution – especially Lenin’s Plan for Monumental Propaganda – a strategy that employed visual monumental art (revolutionary slogans and monumental sculpture) as an important means of propagating revolutionary and Communist ideas. In this lecture we will look at the new role of art and avant-garde artists after the 1917 October Revolution. Was art useful for the socialist revolution or was revolution useful for art?

Natalia Murray is curator of the Royal Academy of Arts’ recent landmark exhibition ‘Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932’, head of education at GRAD and associate lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

The talk will be in English.


Thursday 18 May, 2017
19:00 - 20:30
£3 – £5


Keynes Hall, King’s College
King's Parade
Cambridge, CB2 1ST United Kingdom
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