Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet photographer Alexander Rodchenko

Soviet photographer Alexander Rodchenko

Iconic photo of Lilya Brik. 1925. Soviet photographer Alexander Rodchenko

Most photos his photos Soviet photographer Alexander Rodchenko created in the late 20’s – 30’s of the last century. At that time he was mainly worked in magazine photo. Together with Varvara Stepanova, he creates one of the first thematic photo albums on the history of the USSR. In particular, the Red Army, and the socioeconomic development of the Central Asian republics of the USSR. At the same time, the Soviet photographic art reached its peak. And it was no accident. Photographers were able to depict the unprecedented in its scale industrialization processes to depict a grand process of the socialist transformation of the country and society. In the editorial column of the first famous magazine “USSR in Construction”, with which Rodchenko constantly collaborated as a photographer and designer, photograph was proclaimed one of the main types of Soviet art, displaying socialist construction in the dynamics.
Read more »

USSR gypsies by Soviet photographer Ljalja Kuznetsova

USSR gypsies by Soviet photographer Ljalja Kuznetsova

“Road”. USSR gypsies by Soviet photographer Ljalja Kuznetsova

At the end of the 1970s Soviet photographer Ljalja Kuznetsova shot one of the gypsy camps in the USSR (in Turkmenistan), and later her gypsy series continued in Odessa steppes. “When they say that I worship free life of gypsies or something like that, I think, a photograph is kind of self-portrait of the photographer. When I mastered the camera, learned how to develop film, how it is printed, I began to search frames, conformable to my heart. Of course, for any of the rights of Roma, I did not fight, I just realized that in our society, they are deprived of many rights. Most of them are people who go to the horizon and the horizon moves away from them”.
Read more »

Soviet photographer Yuri Abramochkin

George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev. 1990s. Soviet photographer Yuri Abramochkin

George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev. 1990s. Soviet photographer Yuri Abramochkin

Soviet photographer Yuri Abramochkin was born in 1936 in Moscow. Yuri Abramochkin entered the inner circle of reporters, allowed to shoot the first persons of the state, and his work – interesting evidence so different in content periods of the country’s life. The heroes of his works – the political leaders of our time from the second half of the 20th century to the present day: general secretaries Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, President Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, the leaders of other countries – Fidel Castro, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II, Yasser Arafat, Yuri Luzhkov, five American presidents from Richard Nixon to George Bush Sr., famous figures of science and art. A talented artist, he is equally fine in photographing landscapes and ordinary people, moments of their life in a kaleidoscope of ever-changing events of the epoch.
Read more »

Soviet ballerina Ekaterina Maximova

Soviet ballerina Ekaterina Maximova

Soviet ballerina Ekaterina Maximova

Outstanding Soviet ballerina Ekaterina Maximova was born on February 1, 1939 in Moscow. Her father, Sergei Maksimov was an engineer and her mother Tatyana Maximova – journalist and editor of the publishing house. Grandpa of Ekaterina Maximova – Gustav Shpet was a Russian philosopher, psychologist, art theorist, translator of philosophical and artistic literature. Moreover, among Maksimovs’ relatives were composer Rachmaninoff and pre-revolutionary Minister Guchkov. Later, Ekaterina Maximova told: “Nevertheless, I grew up an ordinary girl. Like everyone in the USSR, I was Little Octobrist, Pioneer, Komsomol member. We did not emigrate to the West, like some of our friends. I could not break away from Russia, mother, friends. I could not imagine life without my native Moscow, Kostroma village Ryzhevka where Volodya and I bought a house.”
Read more »

Outstanding Soviet ballerina Olga Lepeshinskaya

Don Quixote, 1940. Soviet ballerina Olga Lepeshinskaya

Don Quixote, 1940. As Kitri – Soviet ballerina Olga Lepeshinskaya (28 September 1916 – December 20, 2008)

Soviet ballerina Olga Lepeshinskaya
Born into a noble Russian family, Lepeshinskaya performed in private concerts at the Moscow Kremlin from the age of 17.
As a child, Olga could move every second – to any music, and even without it. Her parents joked, that she had learned to dance before she could walk. But nobody took her aspirations seriously. Especially her father, an engineer of bridge constructing, who had worked in the transportation department of the State Planning Commission since its foundation.
For many decades, the Lepeshinsky family were engineers, scientists, professional revolutionaries, and statesmen. However, they never had the career of a ballerina in their plans. But then the family friend – a theater artist and former dancer persuaded Olga’s mother Maria to show their daughter to the knowledgeable teachers. And Maria secretly from her husband took her daughter to the ballet school.
According to Olga Lepeshinskaya, she knew that was a favorite ballerina of Stalin. Nevertheless, she was surprised to see her name among the first laureates of the Stalin Prize, next to the brilliant Ulanova and conductor Faier. Olga explained: “Stalin regarded me as a product of the Soviet era. First, in his view, true Soviet ballerina. I’m always actively engaged in social activities, was within the team – even elected a deputy … Always trying to make amends for my aristocratic origin.”
Read more »

Soviet photographer Max Alpert

Famous photo of WWII by Soviet photographer Max Alpert 'Combat', July 1942

Famous photo of WWII by Soviet photographer Max Alpert ‘Combat’, July 1942

Max Vladimirovich Alpert (18 March 1899 Simferopol, Russian Empire – November 30, 1980, Moscow) – Soviet photographer and photo reporter. One of the founders of the Soviet serial photography. Honored Worker of Culture of the RSFSR (1966). Together with his brother, Mikhail Alperin, he studied photography in Odessa (1914). After the Civil War, he worked as a photojournalist in the “Workers Newspaper” in Moscow. In 1920s he became a member of the association of photo reporters at the Moscow printing house. In the 1930s, he worked in the illustrated magazine “USSR in Construction”, prepared about 50 photo-essays. The most important works of this period are made on the construction of the plant in Magnitogorsk (MMK), the Turksib, the Great Fergana Canal. He captured the fascinating history page of human labor, developed a monumental image of our era.
Read more »

Soviet actress Tatiana Okunevskaya

Soviet actress Tatiana Okunevskaya (March 3, 1914 – May 15, 2002)

Soviet actress Tatiana Okunevskaya (March 3, 1914 – May 15, 2002)

“I grew up, and realized – there is nothing uglier than revolution, when the people themselves, with their own hands, crumble and destroy all the best that has been created, and then they can not create anything”. Tatiana Okunevskaya. Soviet actress Tatiana Okunevskaya was born March 3, 1914 in Moscow. Her father was tsarists officer Kirill Petrovich Okunevsky. Mother Evgeniya Okunevskaya – excellent housewife, very good at knitting, playing the piano, guitar, embroidery, singing old songs. In her childhood, Tatiana studied at the school that was in front of the Theatre named after Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. After high school, Tatiana tried to enter the Institute of Architecture, but failed. The same year, to 17-year-old Tatiana came up a young man who introduced himself as an assistant director. Dazzled by her beauty, he stated that she was exactly the type they needed for the role. From that very day her film career has began.
Read more »