Victor Tupitsyn

  • “Art and Propaganda”

    To historicize and culturally process authoritarian thinking can be seen as a form of mimesis—a therapeutic enterprise that provides the means to transfigure pain into amusement through representation. But the remedy may also be the poison—an ambiguity captured in the Greek word pharmakon, and a notion that should be kept firmly in mind when considering the imagery exhibited in “Art and Propaganda: Clash of Nations 1930–1945,” which surveys the phenomenon as it was manifested in the United States, Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union. The exhibition was divided into four sections: the image of

  • Erik Bulatov, Caution, 1973, oil on canvas, 43 5/16 x 43 5/16".

    Erik Bulatov

    SOCIALIST REALISM, as enforced by the Soviet Union in 1934, was more than just an art movement or a shared sensibility. It was the representation of Soviet identity, and a representation addressing a national audience that was extremely receptive. In fact, the high level of reciprocation that existed between this imagery and its subjects—the tenants of communal apartments—suggests that socialist realism cannot be grasped apart from communal perception. The genre was an integral part of an immense system, something that today is impossible to fit into crates. Technically, socialist