Official exhibition catalogue of "Red. Art and utopia in the land of Soviets" at the Grand Palais from March 20th 2019 to July 1st 2019.
The October revolution of 1917 led to an upheaval in the social order, the repercussions of which proved decisive in terms of artistic creativity.
Many artists were committed to the communist cause and wanted to participate in the construction of the new society through their works.
Some with genuine convictions, as with Mayakovsky, others with a pragmatism that wavered between opportunism and resignation, these artists soon came to hold opposing ideas on what "true" socialist art should be.
But from the end of the 1920s, such debates were silenced by the Stalinist regime. This led to the gradual establishment of Socialist Realism, an aesthetic doctrine that came to govern all areas of creativity.
Such debates were followed closely in the countries of western Europe, and particularly in France, Germany and Italy: many artistic exchanges were established with the Soviet Union, which attracted artists and intellectuals
curious to discover the "fatherland of Socialism", while Soviet artists exhibited in Paris, Berlin and Venice...
The catalogue reveals this story, these tensions, the visual innovations and ideological constraints, the high points and reversals.
Major artworks from the great Russian museums and the Centre Pompidou, paintings, three dimensional arts, architecture, design, etc, offer a magnificent illustration of this exciting period in the history of art, on the politicisation of art and its place in society.
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