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A historical perspective
Yan Geng

Realism, socialist realism and China’s avant-garde: a historical perspective Yan Geng In January 1993 a large exhibition entitled ‘China’s New Art, Post-1989’, consisting of 150 works from some of the most important contemporary artists in mainland China, opened as the showcase of the Hong Kong Arts Festival. One of the chief curators of the exhibition, Chang Tsong-zung (Johnson Chang), was based in Hong Kong and played a key role in establishing the international image of contemporary Chinese art.1 Chang created the exhibition with the aim of elucidating the

in Art, Global Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Colin Trodd

extremely unreliable survey of realism, one which makes no effort to discover anything about the material reality of Brown’s artistic interests, intentions and motivations: ‘As a mural in … Manchester City Hall [ sic ] … the municipal building of the chief site of the Industrial Revolution in England, [ Work ] is not surprisingly an allegory. Even so, its view of work may be excessively Ruskinian … rather than an attempt to come to terms with the reality of work in Manchester.’ See P. Brooks, Realist Vision (New

in Ford Madox Brown

The creation of Soviet culture in the 1920s and the 1930s was the most radical of modernist projects, both in aesthetic and in political terms. This book explores the architecture of this period as the nexus between aesthetics and politics. The invention of communist culture in the aftermath of the October Revolution was perhaps the most radical of modernist projects. The book demonstrates that the relationships between utopia and reality, idealism and pragmatism, between the will for progress and the will for tyranny, are complex and that they do not always play out in the same way. Case studies presented demonstrate the notion that Soviet architecture of the 1920s defined the New Man as primarily a worker. In contrast, during the 1930s the New Man was supposed to be an admirer of socialism in aesthetic terms, the total work of art created by the Communist Party. After an overview of the evolution of Soviet subjectivity, the book discusses transition from the productivist ethos to the representational ethos, which is epitomized in the public baths constructed around 1930 in Leningrad and Moscow. These structures were envisioned as both efficient machines for the production of cleanliness and microcosmic representations of the Soviet society. The book also presents a particular genre of socialist realism, the environmental expertise of obshchestvennitsy, or socially minded women. Finally, it explores the history of this immense structure, clad in expensive marble and illuminated by electrical lighting, altogether the embodiment of socialist modernity.

Yulia Karpova

in the official art journal Iskusstvo in November 1952, included very few images – only figurative painting and heroic sculptures. This was accompanied by a long narrative glorifying the triumph of socialist realism with an abundance of references to the great works of Lenin and Stalin. The images were only illustrations for the text. By contrast, in the October 1967 issue of Dekorativnoe Iskusstvo SSSR the text was reduced only to captions, making the images the primary carriers of the ideals of the Revolution. In other words, the images themselves represented the

in Comradely objects
Vasilii Vereshchagin’s Blowing from Guns in British India
John Webley

slanderous indictment of British colonial rule and lambasted the artist for both his excess and lack of “realism.” This chapter investigates how the painting’s frank realism “estranged” Britain’s perception of India and challenged British claims to be India’s just rulers. It also frames the reception of Blowing from Guns within the context of the Great Game, Russia and Britain’s competition for control and influence in Asia. This chapter argues that by the late nineteenth century, the British public had developed

in Russian Orientalism in a global context
Abstract only
Tijana Vujošević

constructed around 1930 in Leningrad and Moscow, discussed in the Chapter 4, “The world in the bathhouse, the bathhouse in the world.” These structures were envisioned as both efficient machines for the production of cleanliness and microcosmic representations of the Soviet society. Chapter 5, “Stalin and the housewife,” presents a particular genre of socialist realism – the environmental expertise of obshchestvennitsy, or socially minded women. These were housewives from provincial industrial towns who translated the aesthetic of socialist realist painting and official

in Modernism and the making of the Soviet New Man
The New Playwrights Theatre and American radical Constructivism
Barnaby Haran

, were ‘within the realm of Realism’, as Brenda Murphy puts it, and sought to convey ‘a believable illusion that what is taking place on the stage is an objective representation of the audience’s shared reality’.13 Unlike the fervent Realism of radical playwrights such as Edward Sheldon, whose 1909 play The Nigger was concerned with racial issues and 1911 work The Boss covered political and emotional strife during a strike, the polemical thrust of the Provincetown Players was couched in subtle writing and the aesthetically ambitious dramaturgy of the ‘New Stagecraft

in Watching the red dawn
Abstract only
Political art in circulation
Mechtild Widrich

In Chapter 5 I showed that procedures of focus, clarification, and seeing through for which the metaphor of transparency seemed apt can do new critical work. The connection of transparency—and the historically deeper and even more contentious aesthetics of realism—with site specificity and materialization, though, comes with challenges of its own, not least the reasonable worry that, like other high modernist aesthetic strategies, it enables anonymity and deterritorialization more than a fine

in Monumental cares
John Mundy
Glyn White

2003). In this chapter we examine some examples including comedy westerns, the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby Road series, and the more recent tendency, both in film and on television, to engage with genres associated with ‘realism’ such as news, current affairs and documentary in order to produce comedy. In these examples it becomes clear that comedy not only playfully spoofs conventions but also calls

in Laughing matters