All posts tagged art

Four short links (and more): the art of protest

I don’t do politics on this blog, but political art is allowed, and there have been some particularly good examples of creative protest and subversive art in Russia recently. So, while I’m stuck at home with pneumonia, a little round-up to pass the time, because I haven’t got the energy to do anything more taxing. […]

The Crystal Palace fire

Seventy-five years ago, on 30th November 1936, the Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire. Contemporary newsreels give a good impression of the events of that evening: You can also see the Pathe newsreels here, and parts of the Crystal Palace is on Fire video made by the Crystal Palace Foundation. What really struck me as […]

Four short links: Soviet posters

Soviet poster art was truly remarkable, and some amazing examples are available on the internet. My favourite sites are: 1) Plakaty.ru. A huge gallery with a wide range of subjects, from military to entertainment and advertising, including this one from the propaganda section, which reads: ‘Stalin’s mood makes our army and country strong and solid!’ […]

Four short links: Russian icons

Continuing the theme of traditional Russian culture, icons, even though they are part of other cultures too,¬†are among the most recognizably Russian art works (although they’re not works of art at all…). They’re also possibly the most mysterious. For me the mystery lies in the idea that they access the spiritual world whilst being entirely […]

Dostoevsky: not so grim?

The recent stories about the murals at the new Dostoevsky metro station in Moscow, which have led to concerns that it could become a favourite spot for suicides, have made me think about why Dostoevsky is considered such a depressing writer. Is it because he depicts so much poverty and misery? I doubt it, because […]

Four short links: resources on pre-revolutionary Russia

1. Russian Visual Arts: Art Criticism in Context, 1814-1909. Nice research archive of images and texts from the period, with lots of search options. Good for finding interesting and unexpected things, though occasionally difficult to find the images you’re actually looking for. A lot of the images are in black and white, which seems odd […]

Gulag art

While I am usually pleased by events which raise the public profile of the Gulag, I am distinctly less comfortable with its use for anti-Russian/anti-Soviet propaganda by neoconservative American think-tanks who have failed to notice that the Cold War ended twenty years ago, as in the case of the ¬†Heritage Foundation’s current exhibition of Nikolai […]