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Article

Sergey Kuznetsov

[Azgar, Zair Isaakovich]

(b Maǔǔany, Viciebsk [Vitebsk] region, Jan 15, 1908).

Belarusian sculptor . He studied in Belarus’ under Yury Pen and M. Kerzin during the early 1920s and then learnt from contemporaries such as Matvey Manizer as well as from the Hermitage collection in St Petersburg. In 1929, after visiting Ukraine and Georgia, he returned to Belarus’ and was commissioned to decorate the art museum, the opera house and the government building in Minsk. These Socialist Realist projects were made of non-durable plaster and have not survived. During World War II he sculpted a series of Neo-classical monuments to heroes of the war. In 1948–51 he created a series of sculptures of women collective farmworkers, for example Ye. P. Lesnichaya (bronze, 1949; Minsk, Belarus’ A. Mus.), that portray the idealized citizen of the USSR towering above her surroundings and reforming the world. Emulating Russian Neo-classical sculptors, he executed monuments to Pyotr Bagration and Mikhail Barclay de Tolly (bronze and granite, 1946–9...

Article

Ukrainian, 20th century, male.

Born 1888, in Kiev; died 1986 (or 1979).

Sculptor, print artist, illustrator.

Constructivism, Socialist Realism.

Iosif Chaikov studied in Paris, at the École des Arts Décoratifs, in 1912-1913 at the École des Beaux-Arts, and under the Russian sculptor Naum Aronson from ...

Article

Latvian, 20th century, female.

Born 1921, in Riga.

Sculptor.

Socialist Realism.

Lea Davidova-Medene was included in the offical Soviet selection for the Exposition Internationale de Sculpture du Musée Rodin, Paris (1966) where she showed a Portrait of a Soldier characteristic of the state-imposed aesthetic of Socialist Realism, which exalted the worker and glorified heroism....

Article

Albanian, 20th century, male.

Born 1936.

Sculptor.

Socialist Realism.

Mumtas Dhrami was a proponent of Socialist Realism.

Tirana (AG): Let's Carry the Revolutionary Spirit

Article

Andon Kuqali

(b Gjirokastër, Nov 10, 1936).

Albanian sculptor. He studied at the Jordan Misja Arts Lyceum in Tiranë (1952–6), the Academy of Arts, Leningrad (now St Petersburg; 1957–61) and the Higher Institute of Art in Tiranë (1962), where he later taught monumental sculpture. He became established as a Socialist Realist artist with his earliest works, for example Keep the Revolutionary Spirit Strong (bronze, 3.1 m, 1966; Tiranë). Attempting to create dynamic works, Dhrami introduced new means of plastic expression into Albanian sculpture, combining fractured surfaces with soft and gentle forms conveying a sense of optimism. His work became more lyrical, for example the bust of the popular hero Liri Gero (bronze, 1974; Tiranë, A.G.). He produced monumental sculptures for architectural contexts, for example the sculptural group Drashovicë 1920–1943 (bronze, 1980; Vlorë). Dhrami also wrote critical articles on art.

‘Jeta e zjarreve partizane’ [Life in partisan fires], Drita (2 Oct 1983), p. 5...

Article

Latvian, 20th century, female.

Born 1928, in Riga.

Sculptor.

Socialist Realism.

Gaida Grundberga's work was part of an official selection of Russian sculpture on exhibit at the Musée Rodin in Paris in 1966. Her sculptures demonstrate a realist style, to the glorification of heroes and social values....

Article

Sulejman Dashi

(b Palavli, Sarandë, March 28, 1930).

Albanian sculptor. He studied sculpture at the Jordan Misja Arts Lyceum in Tiranë (1946–50) and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Leningrad (now St Petersburg; 1953–8). He later taught monumental sculpture at the Higher Institute of Art in Tiranë. Hadëri quickly established himself as a Socialist Realist sculptor specializing in dramatic and narrative figure compositions, for example Friends (cement, 1958; Tiranë, A.G.). Inspired mainly by the events of World War II, he aimed at symbolic representations of the heroism of the partisans, as in the monument to the Heroes of Vig (bronze, 4.90 m, 1984; Shkodër). Characteristic of Hadëri’s figure sculpture is the emphasis on movement and gesture, and the deformation of detail in order to increase psychological tension. When treating individual historical figures, such as Isa Boletini (bronze, 4.8 m, 1986; Shkodër), Hadëri modelled the subject more naturalistically. He collaborated with Kristaq Rama and Muntaz Dhrami on numerous monumental sculptures erected in several cities in Albania....

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Timofeyevich)

(b Karakovichi, Smolensk province, June 28, 1874; d Moscow, Oct 9, 1971).

Russian sculptor. From 1892 to 1896 he attended the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he studied under Sergey Volnukhin (1859–1921), and from 1899 to 1902 he attended the St Petersburg Academy of Arts, studying under Vladimir Beklemishev (1861–1920). He moved quickly from the academic lessons of these teachers, reflected in such pieces as The Stone-breaker (bronze, 1898; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.), to a more lyrical concept in the early 1900s: travelling frequently in Western Europe, he studied the sculpture of Bourdelle, Rodin and Gauguin and produced a number of works that bear their influence such as Nike (marble, 1906) and Lada (marble, 1909) (both Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.). In the 1900s Konyonkov also became increasingly interested in Russian legend and mythology, producing interpretations of such folklore figures as the Bogatyr Kuz’ma Sirafontov (plaster, 1913; Serpukhov, A. Mus.). Because of its malleability and expressive potential, wood became his preferred medium....

Article

Christina Lodder

(b Moscow, 1932).

Russian printmaker and sculptor, active in England. He trained at the Moscow State Art Studios in 1942–7 and at the Moscow Art School (1950–51) in the atmosphere of Socialist Realism. After his national service (1953–6) he studied at the Moscow Animated Film Studios (1956–8). He subsequently joined the Moscow Union of Soviet Artists, exhibiting his work with this organization from 1958 to 1972. During the 1960s he created objects from paper and tin, using paint to enhance the expressive qualities of the forms produced. From 1967 he specialized in drypoint, producing images based on the topography and everyday life of Moscow. In 1974 Kudryashov emigrated from the Soviet Union and settled in London. His work, always inspired by the urban environment, now reflected the buildings, bridges and the demolition he observed around him. The abstract language of bold rectangles and circles, energetically inscribed directly on to the zinc plate, characteristic of later prints such as ...

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Ignat’yevna)

(b Riga, June 19, 1889; d Moscow, Oct 6, 1953).

Russian sculptor and decorative artist of Latvian birth. From the mid-1900s until 1912 she attended various private art schools in Moscow, including that of Il’ya Mashkov, but her real training as a sculptor began in 1912, when she travelled to Paris. Until 1914 she took an active part in the artistic life of Paris, attending the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, taking lessons from Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, and making many acquaintances, among them Ossip Zadkine, Jacques Lipchitz, and also Lyubov’ Popova, with whom she travelled to Italy in 1914. After returning to Moscow following the outbreak of World War I, Mukhina worked for a time as scenographic assistant to Alexandra Exter in the Kamerny Theatre of Aleksandr Tairov (1885–1950) and also designed costumes independently for a number of plays, none of which was produced. Mukhina again joined forces with Exter in 1923, when both women worked on fabric and dress designs for the newly opened Atel’ye Mody (Atelier of Fashion) in Moscow; she also helped Exter with the costumes for the film ...

Article

Latvian, 20th century, female.

Born 19 June 1889, in Riga; died 1953, in Moscow.

Sculptor. Figures, portraits.

Socialist Realism.

Obshchestvo Khudoznikov 4 Iskusstva (Four Arts Society of Artists).

Vera Ignatievna Mukhina studied in the workshops of K. Yuon and Ilya Mashkov from 1909 to 1911...

Article

Sergey Kuznetsov

(b Kutaisi, May 29, 1876; d Tbilisi, March 10, 1951).

Georgian sculptor. He was born into a family of artists: his father was a wood-carver, his brother Vasily a painter. From 1895 he studied at the Odessa school of drawing and first tried his hand at sculpture in 1896. The sculptor Georgy Gabashvili gave him encouragement, and shortly afterwards Nikoladze went to Paris, where he studied under Antonin Mercié, among others. In 1904 he was again in Paris where he switched from working in plaster to sculpting in stone and marble under the guidance of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and Charles Despiau. The bronze Unemployed (1906; Sydney, priv. col.) was influenced by Rodin’s Burghers of Calais (1895; Calais, outside Hôtel de Ville). Nikoladze returned to Tbilisi a staunch supporter of Neo-classicism. Widespread recognition came as a result of his bronze monument to the poet I. Chavchavadze, Grieving Motherland (1910–12; Tbilisi, Mtatsminda Hill, pantheon of Georgian public figures), which portrays the figure of a woman under an ancient portal. The work is impressionistically vibrant yet precise and solid. Following this success, he was commissioned to represent numerous Georgian personages, past and present, including ...

Article

Albanian, 20th century, male.

Active during the second half of the 20th century.

Sculptor.

Socialist Realism.

Llazar Nikolla's sculptures were faithful to the principles of Socialist Realism.

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1937.

Sculptor, painter.

Op Art, Kinetic Art, Cyber Art.

Dvizhenie Group.

Lev Nusberg is an exception to the rule at many levels in the former Soviet Union: in the era of Socialist Realism, he was able to practise a form of avant-garde art and, whilst not formally recognised by the extremely realist Society of Artists, he was allowed to show his works in their exhibition and was awarded many official commissions. In ...

Article

Hungarian, 20th century, male.

Born 1895.

Sculptor. Monuments, medals, marionettes.

Socialist Realism.

Zoltan Olcsai Kiss studied at the school of fine arts in Budapest. He left for Vienna in 1921 then went to Paris in 1923 before returning to Hungary. In 1950-1951 he taught at his old school. On his return to Hungary, in addition to creating realist sculptures he also made films starring puppets. He was awarded the Kossuth Prize....

Article

Albanian, 20th century, male.

Born 1914, in Albania.

Sculptor.

Socialist Realism.

Tirana (AG): Head of a Young Girl

Article

Albanian, 20th century, male.

Born 1903.

Sculptor. Statues, busts, low reliefs, monuments.

Socialist Realism.

Odhise Paskali began working in 1920. His output revolves around images of man the fighter and conqueror, and in 1932, he produced Monument to the Albanian Fighter in Korçë He also produced ...

Article

Hungarian, 20th century, male.

Born 17 September 1896, in Kapuvár.

Sculptor. Figures, nudes.

Socialist Realism.

Pal Patzay studied in Budapest and won the Prix de Rome. He worked in a number of official capacities throughout his working life. Patzay was a figurative artist in traditional vein, and in the post-war years adhered strictly to the tenets of Socialist Realism. His work fell into several categories. There are intimist works such as ...

Article

Andon Kuqali

(b Durrës, July 31, 1932).

Albanian sculptor. He studied at the Jordan Misja Arts Lyceum in Tiranë (1947–51) and the Academy of Arts, Leningrad (now St Petersburg; 1954–60); he later taught at the Higher Institute of Art in Tiranë. Rama’s work is representative of contemporary Socialist Realist sculpture in Albania. He made his debut with some portrait sculptures of historical figures, for example Highlander (wood, 1957; Tiranë, A.G.) and Shote Galica (bronze, 1968; Kukës). He later developed towards monumental works such as Mother Albania (concrete, 1971; Tiranë, Martyrs’ Cemetery), on which he collaborated with Muntaz Dhrami and Shaban Hadëri. Rama was skilled at harmonizing the large scale of his sculptures with their many details and at creating a realist and expressive plasticity.

Përmendore të Heroizmit Shqiptar [Monuments of Albanian heroism; the catalogue of Albanian sculpture] (Tiranë, 1973), pls 24, 27, 30, 46, 59, 62, 119,120, 133 L. Blido: ‘Në përmasa njerëzore’ [In human dimensions], ...

Article

David Elliott and Piotr Juszkiewicz

[Rus. Sotsialisticheskiy Realizm]

Term used to describe the idealization of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the arts, apparently first used in the Soviet journal Literaturnaya Gazeta on 25 May 1932. After the cultural pluralism of the 1920s in the Soviet Union, and in line with the objectives of the Five-year plans, art was subordinated to the needs and dictates of the Communist Party. In 1932, following four years of ideological struggle and polemic among different artistic groups, the Central Committee of the party disbanded all existing artistic organizations and set up in their place party-led unions for individual art forms. In the summer of 1934, at the First All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers, Socialist Realism was proclaimed the approved method for Soviet artists in all media. Andrey Zhdanov, who gave the keynote address at the Congress, was Stalin’s mouthpiece on cultural policy until his death in 1948. In the words of his leader, the artist was to be ‘an engineer of the human soul’. The aim of the new creative method was ‘to depict reality in its revolutionary development’; no further guidelines concerning style or subject-matter were laid down. Accordingly, the idea of what constituted Socialist Realism evolved negatively out of a series of cultural purges orchestrated by Zhdanov in the pages of ...