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Art & Revolution Art and revolution: The life and death of the Russian avant-garde

Art & Revolution Art and revolution: The life and death of the Russian avant-garde with Rosamund Bartlett

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

5 Tracks
01 Rosamund Bartlett: 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

02 Rosamund Bartlett: Art in revolution under the Bolsheviks

Constructivism, agitprop and the symphony of sirens

03 Rosamund Bartlett: Towards the cultural revolution

Shock workers, bedbugs and art for the masses

04 Rosamund Bartlett: How Chekhov took on Tolstoy
05 Rosamund Bartlett: The bright future

Art and terror in Stalinist Russia