What is Socialist Realism ?

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Boris Eremeevich Vladimirski: "Roses for Stalin". Oil on canvas, 100.5 x 141 cm.

The term, Socialist Realism, probably first occured in print in an article in the Literary Gazette in May 1932. It stated: "The masses demand of an artist honesty, truthfulness, and a revolutionary, socialist realism in the representation of the proletarian revolution." In 1933, Maksim Gorki published an important article, "On Socialist Realsim", talking of  "a new direction essential to us - socialist realism, which can be created only from the data of socialist experience."

Matthew Cullerne Bown: Art under Stalin. Holmes and Meier Publishers, New York, 1991.

The Socialist Realism, an ideology enforced by the Soviet state as the official standard for art, literature etc., was defined in 1934 at the First All-Union Congress of Soviet writers. It was based on the principle that the arts should glorify political and social ideals of communism. Every artist had to join the "Union of Soviet Artists", which was controlled by the state. The paintings had to be idealisations of political leaders and communist ideas.

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Another question: What is New Constructivism ?

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