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eng Automatic Translation

Social realism

The dominant artistic direction of literature and art in the USSR and other socialist countries, which is an aesthetic expression of the socialist conscious concept of the world and man, due to the era of the struggle for the establishment and creation of a socialist society. The demonstration of the universal positive and the education of working people in the spirit of socialism lies in the creative method of socialist realism.

Socialist realism developed under the influence of absolute control by the authorities, who regarded art as propaganda, the possibility of agitation and auxiliary levers of ideological influence on the people. Artists were required to conform to the ideological themes and techniques of the Communist Party. Because of this, socialist realism was called "Stalin's style." Also, the development of socialist realism was influenced by isolation from world art, the struggle against any manifestations of “Westernism” and “formalism”. All this led to the development of a special form of totalitarian art, which sought to suppress the currents of avant-garde. As an official term, this concept was adopted in 1934, after Gorky's speech at the First Congress of Soviet Writers.

On January 1, 1919, the BSSR was proclaimed, which influenced the development of a new stage in the development of culture and art. It was a controversial period. The main disputes were between supporters of socialist art and the avant-garde, preference was given to agitational forms of art.

Art education in Belarus began to take shape in the twenties, with the opening of an art school in Vitebsk (January 28, 1919). Vitebsk became the center of Belarusian art at this time. Yuri Peng, Marc Chagall, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky worked here. One of the largest associations “Affirmatives of the New Art” (UNOVIS, 1919-1920) was created, headed by Kazimir Malevich. All this influenced the difference in the development and formation of the art of Belarus (BSSR) and the art of the USSR.

In 1927, the first organization of Belarusian artists was created - the All-Belarusian Association of Artists (VOH) and its branches in Moscow, Leningrad, Gomel, Vitebsk, Mogilev. But already in 1928 VOH was reorganized and a second association was created - the Revolutionary Association of Artists of Belarus (RAHB). It included the sculptors Brazer and Grube, the young artist Akhremchik, who studied in Moscow. The Belarusian art school faced the problem of the “collective method” of education adopted at that time, it was difficult for the artists to show a new attitude to work, general enthusiasm and solidarity of people.

After the conflict for the "purity of proletarian art" in 1932, a resolution was adopted to unite all artistic groups and create a single organization - the Union of Artists of the USSR. As a result, the artists finally abandoned avant-garde and modernist art. They paid much attention to the historical genre, the themes of the civil war. Belarusian art manifested itself in the portrait genre, showing the work of people conquering or transforming nature.

Political pressure on art led to the fact that in almost every city there were monuments to Marx and Lenin. The sculptors created images of Soviet leaders and builders of a socialist society. Illustrative examples of such works: Orlov “I.V. Stalin and G.K. Ordzhonikidze on the Western Front” and “Border Guard and Collective Farm Girl”, Azgur “Sculpture by I.V. Stalin”, Grube “V.I. Lenin on the podium”, “Tractor driver”. However, there are also sculptural works that remain relevant to this day. These were expressive sculptural portraits of figures of Belarusian culture: Kerzin “Portrait of the People's Artist of the BSSR G. Grigonis”, Azgur “Portrait of the writer Zmitrok Beduli”.

During the Patriotic War, artists were driven by a patriotic upsurge, the desire to contribute to the liberation of the motherland. The cult of Stalin's personality was preserved, but the ideological pressure and pathos were no longer felt in Belarusian art, as it was before. In the following decades, the theme of war became one of the leading ones in the work of Belarusian artists.

The decline in the influence of socialist realist methods began to be traced after the death of Stalin. Young cultural figures often returned to previously banned national themes. During the Khrushchev "thaw" in the sixties, there were serious changes in the development of culture and art. Cultural figures began to return to their homeland en masse.

In the seventies, Sots Art came as a nostalgia and reflection on social realism and its synthesis with mass culture.