‘Soviet Sport’ reexamines Socialist Realism

Though painted in the 1930s – the triumphant dawn of Stalinism – Olga Vaulina’s “In a Sports Hall” is less than triumphant. The female athlete seated in the foreground slouches; rather than grinning, she stares pensively off to the side.

“In a Sports Hall” is one of several dozen artworks featured in “Soviet Sport,” a surprising new exhibition at the Institute of Russian Realist Art. The show reveals the diverse ways in which Soviet artists portrayed one of the state’s favorite subjects: the athlete. With works by acclaimed figures including Alexander Deineka and Viktor Popkov, the exhibition undermines the stereotype that Socialist Realism was nothing more than kitsch.

“People come with certain preconceptions,” curator Nadezhda Stepanova said. “But they gradually realize how diverse [this art] is, how full of drama and soul.”

“Soviet Sport” debuted last month in London, where it earned

Article source: http://themoscownews.com/arts/20140210/192217185/Soviet-Sport-reexamines-Socialist-Realism.html

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