Axel Springer Lecture
The Last Projects of the Soviet Avant-garde, 1928-1937
In this talk, Aglaya Glebova examines five iconic yet little studied projects realized by Soviet avant-garde artists in the decade following Stalin’s rise to power. Ranging from experimental studio exercises to photomontage, installation, sculpture, architecture, painting, and design, they represent complex and stunningly diverse attempts to think visually and materially through the ideology of early Stalinism. In endeavoring to make sense of the new political realities, these artists created objects that challenge received views of this decade as one of “totalitarian art.” But far from the sudden foreclosing usually associated with the end of Soviet modernism, this period witnessed a radical, albeit short-lived, expansion of artistic output inspired by and manifesting the ideals of movement and mobility—including across national borders.