Before the Bolsheviks brought down the Tsarist regime in 1917, Russian artists staged a daring revolution of their own.
This lecture series will show how they became leaders of the European avant-garde for the first time, and changed the language of art. Some, like Stravinsky, Goncharova and Roerich, chose to remain in emigration, in the hope of one day returning to Russia, while others, like Kandinsky, Chagall and Malevich, went on to play a leading role in early Soviet culture, amidst utopian hopes for a bright future. All their dreams, however, were to be tragically extinguished under the harsh conditions of the Stalinist regime.
Image: Aleksandr Rodchenko Composition 1918 (detail). Art Gallery of New South Wales © Alexander Rodchenko/RAO. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
A revolution in art on the eve of 1917
The knave of diamonds, the donkey’s tail, and a slap in the face of public taste
Art in revolution under the Bolsheviks
Constructivism, agitprop and the symphony of sirens
Towards the cultural revolution
Shock workers, bedbugs and art for the masses
How Chekhov took on Tolstoy
The bright future
Art and terror in Stalinist Russia