Isaak Brodsky, V. I. Lenin and Manifestation, 1919, oil on canvas, 35 3/8 × 53 1/8". From “Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932.”


“Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932”

Royal Academy of Arts | Piccadilly
Burlington House, Piccadilly
February 11–April 17

Curated by Ann Dumas, John Milner, and Natalia Murray

The October Revolution of 1917 turns one hundred this year, which means we are in for a slew of exhibitions around the globe commemorating the birth of the world’s first workers’ state and its far-reaching impact on the arts. The Royal Academy presents a panoramic survey of early Soviet painting, sculpture, porcelain, photography, film, and print media, including perhaps most notably a reconstruction of Kazmir Malevich’s 1932 installation of his paintings and “architektons.” Inspired by recent art-historical scholarship and in line with art-market trends, the exhibition eschews the binary of avant-garde experiment and socialist-realist conformity in favor of a thematic presentation that addresses contentious issues such as the formation of proletarian subjectivity, the impact of crash industrialization and agricultural collectivization, and the persistence of nationalism notwithstanding the hope for world revolution. An accompanying catalogue includes contributions from Masha Chlenova and other leading scholars in the field.