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Title: Aleksandr Laktionov : a Soviet artist
Author: Johnson, Oliver
ISNI:       0000 0001 3591 3131
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2008
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What did it mean to be a successful Soviet artist? Was Socialist Realism, the official art of the Soviet Union, simply the dictated ideological product of a totalitarian cultural policy, or were its producers progressive artists, harnessed to a great national tradition and liberated from the constraints of a market-driven art establishment? These are the two Cold War poles of contention that simplify the reality of a diverse and complex art establishment. Through an analysis of Aleksandr Laktionov, a popular and contentious Soviet artist who rose to prominence in the late 1940s, it is possible to trace the main arguments and controversies that helped to shape the Soviet art world in the post-war years. This project employs archival material such as visitors' books from major exhibitions, stenographic reports of meetings, documents pertaining to the organisation of exhibitions and letters and personal documents in order to reconstruct and examine significant moments in the career of a major Soviet artist, including detailed analyses of several individual works of art. This unique case study of Laktionov's work and its popular and critical reception reveals an art establishment that was structured in the late 1940s according to privileged lines of patronage and association, and in the 1950s became the battleground of a struggle for taste. The Soviet public defied attempts to mould and direct their tastes by responding to works of art as diverse and impassioned consumers, and the Soviet artist played an active role in contributing to an evolving definition of Socialist Realism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available