Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet Russian artist Vyacheslav Tokarev 1917-2001

Painting by Soviet Russian artist Vyacheslav Tokarev (July 26, 1917 - April 22, 2001)

Winter landscape behind the window. Painting by Soviet Russian artist Vyacheslav Tokarev (July 26, 1917 – April 22, 2001)

Soviet Russian artist Vyacheslav Tokarev
Born July 26, 1917 in Bogoroditsk of Tula province, Vyacheslav Tokarev was the same age as the Great October socialist revolution. The boy grew up in Moscow, as his family moved there soon after his birth. Aged 17, he entered the Ryazan Art College, where he studied in the workshop of Y.Ya.Kalinichenko (1934-1938). And the next year he entered the painting faculty of the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of the All-Russian Academy of Arts (workshop of Professor A.A. Osmyorkin). However, forced to interrupt studying because of the Great Patriotic War, in 1941 he became a rifleman of the 576 rifle division of the Leningrad Front. Demobilized in connection with the wound, in 1943 he returned to study at the institute, where he studied in the workshop of Professor Avilov. Tokarev graduated from the institute in 1948 with the diploma painting “Kovpak”, and the same year he became a member of the Leningrad Union of Soviet Artists (1948).
Read more »

Soviet artist Gennady Ivanovich Prokopinsky 1921-1979

Soldiers. 1976. Painting by Soviet artist Gennady Ivanovich Prokopinsky (1921-1979)

Soldiers. 1976. Painting by Soviet artist Gennady Ivanovich Prokopinsky (1921-1979)

Soviet artist Gennady Ivanovich Prokopinsky
Born July 26, 1921 in the village of Staronizhesteblyevskaya (Krasnodar Territory), Gennady Prokopinsky lived and worked in Moscow. His first art education began in 1939-1940 at the Moscow Regional Art College in memory of 1905. Since 1940 he worked in the Studio of Military Artists of Mitrofan Grekov. Studio of military artists named after M.B. Grekov, created in 1934, was a unique creative team of military artists. The first generation of Greeks became not only singers of the military past, but also chroniclers of brutal military trials of the Great Patriotic War. Among these military artists was Gennady Prokopinsky, who was on various fronts and finished the war in Berlin. The author of works of monumental art and a series of easel paintings on a military-patriotic theme, he began to take part in art exhibitions of Soviet art since 1942. Veteran of World War II, awarded with medals “For Military Merit” and “For Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.”
Read more »

Soviet artist Andrei Ivanovich Plotnov 1916-1997

Painting by Soviet artist Andrei Ivanovich Plotnov (July 21, 1916 - May 13, 1997)

Good-bye, earthlings. 1979 (triptych Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin). Painting by Soviet artist Andrei Ivanovich Plotnov (July 21, 1916 – May 13, 1997)

Soviet artist Andrei Ivanovich Plotnov
Born July 21, 1916 in the village of Verkhne-Pavlovka of Lipetsk region, Andrei Ivanovich Plotnov grew up in a peasant family. He studied at the Moscow Art College (1933-1936). In 1936, on the recommendation of the famous Soviet artist Igor Grabar, he entered the painting faculty of the Moscow Institute of Fine Arts. Plotnov – participant of art exhibitions since 1939.
Since the first days of the Great Patriotic War, he left the institute’s 5th year for the national militia. Evacuated to Samarkand in 1942, the same year he graduated from the institute, the workshop of Professor G.M. Shegal. His thesis work was “MV Frunze and Vasily Ivanovich Chapaev under Ufa”.
Member of the Moscow organization of the USSR Union of Artists from 1943, the same year he went to the front and entered the art studio of the NKVD of the USSR, under the leadership of P.P. Sokolov-Skalya. During the period of 1943-1944 he often goes to the front lines, draws portraits of soldiers and officers who have distinguished themselves in battles, as well as individual events of combat life. During the war, the artist created more than 20 political posters, demobilized from the army in 1947.
Read more »

Soviet Ukrainian painter Elena Yakovenko 1914-1999

Painting by Soviet Ukrainian painter Elena Yakovenko (1914-1999)

Heroes of Socialist Labor. 1950. Painting by Soviet Ukrainian painter Elena Yakovenko (1914-1999)

Soviet Ukrainian painter Elena Yakovenko 1914-1999
Born July 25, 1914 in the city of Merefa, Kharkov region, Ukrainian painter Elena Nikolaevna Yakovenko studied at the Kharkov State Art Institute. From 1938 to 1946 she studied at the workshops of Soviet artists A.Kokel and S.Prokhorov. Yakovenko – a member of the Union of Artists of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist republic since 1946. The author of genre paintings, landscapes, still lifes, she was a participant of regional, republican, international and foreign exhibitions of Soviet art since 1945. Her solo exhibitions took place in her native Kharkov (1950, 1982, 1993), in Sumy (1962) and Kiev (1969, 1984). In addition, E. N. Yakovenko taught at the Kharkov Art College.
Social realism painter and graphic artist E. N. Yakovenko died in 1999 in her native Kharkov.
Read more »

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.
Read more »

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.
Read more »

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.
Read more »