Dictatorship - oppression - persecution - tyranny - injustice - inhumanity: All these cruelties were present within the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. Artists, who worked under these circumstances were forced to adapt to the state's ideology. Their pictures can provide useful information for anyone, who is willing to learn from the past and wants to open up his mind for the dangers of dictatorship. Destroying or suppressing totalitarian art therefore would destroy and suppress free discussion.
Karp Trokhimenko: "Stalin as an Organizer of the October Revolution", oil on canvas, 85 x 117 cm.
"Lenin had wanted the arts to reach the masses, and set up Narkompros (the People's Commissariat for Enlightenment) to build galleries and museums. Later, Stalin directed art towards serving the interests of the Communist Party - a doctrine known as Socialist Realism - and in particular himself. He used art to rewrite history and build up a 'cult of personality' - a virtual hero-worshippimg, of himself." (George Bowen).
Art style of the so called "Third Reich". Note: It is not the intention of the museum to glorify the Nationalsocialist regime ! On the contrary, artworks of the Nationalsocialist era are presented to initiate a broad discussion about the relationship between dictatorship and art of this time and to provide historical information on-line.
Art of the Austrian "Ständestaat"
The Austrian "Ständestaat" under Dollfuß was also a kind of dictatorship. The art of this time therefore also was influenced by political events. Some examples are shown.
Dictators never die out. And their portraits are similiar all over the world. Below you can see some examples:
"Saddam Hussein gathering flowers". Oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm,
unknown artist, second half of the 20th century.
This painting is also published in "The Imaginary Reader" by Marie Nerland (editor) in an article by Avery F. Gordon entitled "Flowers for Natascha". ISBN 978-82-303-28149, Volt 2016, Bergen (Norway), p.64.
"Saddam Hussein". Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm, unknown artist, second half of the 20th century.
Oil on canvas, 90 x 60 cm, unknown artist, second
half of the 20th century.