TABLE OF CONTENTS

COLLECTIVE BODY: THE ART OF ALEKSANDR DEINEKA

Aleksandr Deineka, The Ball Game, 1932, oil on canvas, 49 x 49"

WHY DEINEKA NOW? At a time when contemporary art is revisiting all forms of figuration, realism, and neoclassicism, it should come as no surprise that the work of Russian artist Aleksandr Deineka (1899–1969) is garnering new audiences, with four major exhibitions on view in Europe within the past few years. There is more to the story, however, than the belated recognition of a talented figurative painter. Deineka conjured Soviet bodies—working, playing sports, flying, bathing, marching, meeting, and fighting from the Revolution through the early Brezhnev era—with a haptic intensity that belies our preconceptions about the massive cultural project of the period: socialist realism. Yet while his work was not fully representative of this system, he was a major player in its institutions and a staunch supporter of the program it represented. This position within and without

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the special holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price. You’ll receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2012 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.