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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

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

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

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

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 ...

Article

Stephan von Wiese

(b Mecklenburg, March 13, 1930).

German sculptor and stage designer. He studied painting at the Kunstakademie in Berlin-Weissensse (1949–53), working first in the style of Socialist Realism. During his period at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf he undertook self-imposed repetitive exercises such as archery, and he modelled his first relief-form paintings by hand. In 1957 he made his first relief structures with nails leading to works such as White Picture (nails on canvas on wood, 1959; Krefeld, Kaiser-Wilhelm Mus.). He also incorporated corks (e.g. Cork Picture Light Medium, 1960; Düsseldorf, Kstmus.) and cardboard tubes set into the surface of the painting. The nailed picture became the antithesis of the painted picture; it allowed Uecker to explore the articulation of light through the shadows created by the nails, the unchanging ritual of hammering and the violation of taboo surfaces. In 1958 he began to work on circular nail formations, leading in 1961 to his rotating nailed illuminated discs....

Article

A. V. Paramonov

( Viktorovich )

(b Yekaterinoslav [now Dnepropetrovsk], Dec 28, 1908; d Moscow, April 12, 1974).

Russian sculptor. He studied at art school in Rostov-on-Don (1921–30) and at the Academy of Arts in Leningrad (now St Petersburg; 1931–3). From 1939 to 1941 he was artistic manager of the experimental construction workshops of the Palace of Soviets in Moscow. He was on active service in World War II, and in 1943 he joined the M. B. Grekov Studio of Military Artists in Moscow.

Vuchetich’s works are distinguished by their academic romanticism, lofty pathos and dramatic grandeur. The monument to Soviet soldiers who fell in the battles against Fascism (bronze and granite, 1946–9; Berlin, Treptower Park; architect Yakov Belopol’sky (1916–91)) covers an area over 120 sq. m, and the entrance to the area is formed by two semicircular piazzas with monumental single arches. Placed centrally to the avenue is the sculpture The Motherland, which depicts symbolically a mother bearing both the loss of her children and the burdens of war. The main entrance is formed by two enormous lowered banners of red granite, next to which are two bronze genuflecting soldiers holding machine-guns. From the main entrance a panorama opens up off the cemetery, and along the central axis of the parterre in the direction of the main monument are five communal graves. Along both sides of these are eight light-grey stone sarcophagi, with carved bas-reliefs. The centre of the memorial is marked by a 13 m high bronze figure of a soldier, on a high artificial mound, with his left arm around a small girl and his right hand holding a lowered sword, having cut through a Fascist swastika. Inside the base is a memorial room, with a wall mosaic depicting the peoples of Europe laying wreaths on the graves of soldiers....

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Katovice, Silesia, July 23, 1924).

Polish sculptor . She studied at the Higher School of Plastic Arts, Sopot (1946–9), and at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw (1949–51). She made her début in the early 1950s with several award-winning monumental Socialist Realist sculptures, such as Miners (versions of 1952 and 1954) and Friendship (1952; Warsaw, Pal. Cult. & Sci.). She contributed two works, Mother and Protest, to the famous exhibition of 1955 at the Arsenal Gallery in Warsaw that marked the end of Socialist Realism in the visual arts. These compositions, along with Time of the Atom and Two from the second half of the 1950s, are mutilated, expressive forms, representing distant reminders of once-living human bodies that have undergone a catastrophe and wasted away. She progressed in the 1960s to abstract sculptures (e.g. Flame, 1966), forms composed from plaster of Paris or concrete on a metal skeleton. After the mid-1960s her works were based on the principle of dualism and dialogue, which extended to both forms and materials (the plasticity of metal juxtaposed to the rigidity of stone). During the late 1960s and 1970s the cycles ...