Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet Lithuanian sculptor Yuozas Mikenas 1901-1964

Peace. Gypsum. 1960. Moscow, pavilion of the Lithuanian SSR at VDNKh. Soviet Lithuanian sculptor Yuozas Mikenas 1901-1964

Peace. Gypsum. 1960. Moscow, pavilion of the Lithuanian SSR at VDNKh. Soviet Lithuanian sculptor Yuozas Mikenas (1901-1964)

Soviet Lithuanian sculptor Yuozas Mikenas
A beautiful young woman with a smooth, broad gesture holds out the dove of peace to people. Beautifully, severely and gently is her face, the simple open face of a Lithuanian peasant woman, with a proud profile and severely curved eyebrows. The wind throws a thick wave of hair. A light dress encircles a strong body. She holds the child with a gentle movement of the hand. This sculpture has different names – “Peace”, “Mother”, and “Lithuania”. Its author is Yuozas Mikenas.
The path of Juozas Mikenas to art was difficult and complex, the same difficult and complex as the whole life of the artist in bourgeois Lithuania was.
Born February 12, 1901, he grew up in that stern, miserly and beautiful land, on the very border with Latvia, in the peasant family. Childhood remained in his memory with the few clear pictures that made up the world of a peasant boy. It was work in the field, the simple duties of a small shepherd, rural evenings with their clear silence, warm earth under bare feet and the most fascinating fishing in the world. The only city he knew was Aknist: about three hundred residents, two or three shops, a pharmacy, and a church. There he and his brother went to school every day – six kilometers on foot.
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XXII Summer Olympic Games in the Soviet Union

Closing ceremony. XXII Summer Olympic Games in the Soviet Union. 1980, Moscow

The mascot bear Mishka. Closing ceremony. XXII Summer Olympic Games in the Soviet Union. 1980, Moscow

XXII Summer Olympic Games in the Soviet Union
37 years ago, on July 19, 1980, the XXII Summer Olympic Games opened in Moscow. For the first time, The Olympics took place in a socialist country. According to the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Moscow became an Olympic city. The emblem of the Olympiad became a stylized image of the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin with a star in the form of upward-directed lines denoting athletic tracks. At the base of the tower there were five intertwined Olympic rings.
And the mascot of the Moscow Olympic Games became Bear Misha, created by the Soviet artist Viktor Chizhikov. Initially, due to the lack of Internet in those years, citizens discussed the applicants in the TV program “In the world of animals.” According to the results of the survey, Misha was ahead of all. Among the offers were the moose and squirrel, swan and sable, cock and bison, and at the same time folkloric characters – Petrushka, Matryoshka and Hunchback-Humpback. Noteworthy, Misha became the first mascot in the history of the Games that visited space – on June 15, 1978. It flew aboard the Soyuz-29 spacecraft along with Vladimir Kovalenko and Alexander Ivanchenkov.
However, at the Moscow Olympics there was also another mascot. Thus, the symbol of competition of yachtsmen in Tallinn became puppy named Vigri.
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In 2017 – Unique Soviet futuristic filmstrip made in 1960

In 2017 - Unique Soviet futuristic filmstrip made in 1960

In 2017 – Unique Soviet futuristic filmstrip made in 1960

In 2017 – Unique Soviet futuristic filmstrip made in 1960
First of all, it is really interesting what future people dreamed 57 years ago, and in particular, how they saw us in 2017. People dreamed. And thanks to the artist L. Smekhov, authors of the film V. Strukov and V. Shevchenko the studio “Filmstrip” in 1960 released the fantastic slideshow with subtitles “In 2017”. So, we can now check how true were people’s dreams. Its authors tried to explain to Soviet children in an understandable manner what the world will be like in 57 years. Besides, the year of 2017 is not by accident, it is a Centenary of the Great October Revolution which took place in 1917.
According to the fantasy of the creators of the filmstrip, in 2017, robots, video communication, atomic trains and space travel are in full use. The story tells of one of the days of a Soviet schoolchild who goes to an underground city in Antarctica – Uglegrad. Under a thick layer of ice, life is “boiling”, and Soviet workers extract fuel under the rays of the quartz sun.
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Soviet artist Noe Nestorovich Gedenidze 1914-2002

Soviet artist Noe Nestorovich Gedenidze 1914-2002

Iconic Portrait of Vladimir Lenin. Work by Soviet artist Noe Nestorovich Gedenidze (1914-2002)

Soviet artist Noe Nestorovich Gedenidze
The famous portrait of V.I. Lenin, printed in millions of copies, hung in every office of each party worker. However, very few people knew at that time that this well-known image belongs to the artist Noah Gedenidze.
Born July 14, 1914 in Matkhodzi village of Georgia, the future Member of the USSR Union of Artists Noe Gedenidze was one of the most original artists of the Soviet epoque. Before the WWII he studied at the Tbilisi Academy of Arts. Then 2 years fought on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War. Seriously wounded he was in a hospital in Moscow. In his mature years, in 1962 he graduated from Surikov Moscow State Art Institute.

Along with A. Laktionov, he painted portraits of party and government leaders. Meanwhile, his real art life passed in a two-story studio in a silent Olkhovsky Lane, where he painted for his own pleasure, his own way, not even expecting to participate in any exhibitions. At that time he created colorful symphonies full of complex symbolism and individual mythology. Indeed, during Gedenidze’s lifetime the only small exhibition of his works took place in 1987 in Khimki, a Moscow suburb. We are just starting to discover this artist now.
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Soviet artist Vasily Andreevich Neyasov 1926-1984

Soviet artist Vasily Andreevich Neyasov (July 14, 1926 - October 7, 1984)

The last payment. 1960s. Soviet artist Vasily Andreevich Neyasov (July 14, 1926 – October 7, 1984)

Soviet artist Vasily Andreevich Neyasov (July 14, 1926 – October 7, 1984) – Member of the USSR Union of Artists (1948).
Born July 14, 1926 in Makarovka village of Penza province, Vasily Andreevich Neyasov grew up in a peasant Mordvinian family. From the age of 12 he began regular art classes – in the studio of Mordovian artists (1938-1940), at the children’s art school in Saransk. His teachers were MV Levitina, Boris Yermilov, MA Zernina, and MA Faichin (1940-1943). During the war years (1941-1943) he worked as an artist-designer of the Mordovian Music and Drama Theater under the leadership of MA Zernin and B.I. Roslenko-Ridzenko. Also, during hard years of WWII he managed to work as an assistant to the machinist of Ruzaevka railway station.
After the war ended, he decided to continue his art education and entered the Moscow Art College in memory of 1905, workshops of V.N. Baksheev, N.N. Nikonov, and N.S.Kozochkin (1945-1947). However, due to definite circumstances, he was not able to finish it, and returned to Saransk, and later moved to Chelyabinsk (1951).
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Soviet artist Yuri Mikhailovich Neprintsev 1909-1996

Soviet artist Yuri Mikhailovich Neprintsev 1909-1996

Rest after the battle. (Vasiliy Tyorkin), 1951. Fragment. Soviet artist Yuri Mikhailovich Neprintsev (1909-1996)

Soviet artist Yuri Mikhailovich Neprintsev
His most famous work is the painting “Rest after the battle,” for which he was awarded the Stalin Prize of the first degree in 1952. After the war began, the artist volunteered for the front, served in the fighter battalion and active units of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet, and participated in the defense of Leningrad. Therefore, the picture reflects his personal observations and experiences. In addition, the famous poem by A. Tvardovsky “Vasily Turkin” influenced Neprintsev. Meanwhile, Soviet authorities presented the original of the painting “Rest after the battle” to the head of the People’s Republic of China Mao Zedong. And one of the versions, also created by Neprintsev, is in the Tretyakov Gallery.
Soviet painter, graphic artist, teacher, professor, Academician of the Academy of Arts of the USSR, People’s Artist of the USSR, Yuri Mikhailovich Neprintsev was a laureate of the Stalin Prize of the first degree.
In the post-war years, Yuri Neprintsev created a series of paintings dedicated to the heroic struggle of the Soviet people against fascist Germany: The Last Grenade (1948), Liza Chaikina (1949), Rest after the Battle (1951), and The Story of the Father (1955).
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Soviet artist Leonid Andreyevich Fokin 1930-1985

Soviet artist Leonid Andreyevich Fokin (July 9, 1930 - 1985)

Before the thunderstorm. 1960. Fragment. Soviet artist Leonid Andreyevich Fokin (July 9, 1930 – 1985)

Soviet artist Leonid Andreyevich Fokin

Born July 9, 1930 in Pavlograd, Dnepropetrovsk region, Ukrainian SSR, Leonid Andreevich Fokin studied at the Kishinev Art College. And then followed six years of studying at the Faculty of Painting of the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of Ilya Repin of Academy of Art of the USSR (1950-56). His teachers were prominent Soviet artists A. Debler, E. Tabakova, A. Mylnikov, and V. Anisovich. He graduated from the workshop of Professor V.M. Oreshnikov, the diploma painting – “In the Evening”.
The professionalism that he acquired, having passed all the stages of the Repin school, organically combined with his natural talent. A virtuosic draftsman and sensitive colorist, Leonid Fokin managed to create energetically powerful and simultaneously lyrically filled works, which, in addition to undoubted artistic and visual merits, distinguish a sense of the accuracy of the nature of time and place.
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