Revolution: Russian Art 1917 – 1932, Royal Academy of Arts

March 24, 2017

The Russian Revolution which led to the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922 began one hundred years ago.  The effects of the revolution reverberated around the world and still have a significant influence on global politics today.  This momentous period in modern history also began a period of ground breaking art and it is this which is explored in this thoughtfully compiled exhibition.

It focuses on the 15-year period between 1917 and 1932 when Russian art flourished across every medium and includes many forms of painting, photography, sculpture, filmmaking by pioneers such as Eisenstein, and evocative propaganda posters from what was a golden era for graphic design.  There is a full-scale recreation of an apartment designed for communal living, and with everyday objects ranging from ration coupons and textiles to Soviet porcelain.

The exhibition shows how the revolution stimulated the imagination of artists of the time but also shows the harsh realities of its aftermath.  The exhibits are both beautiful and stark and are well worth viewing as an example of how the influence of sudden change can stimulate the imagination and also lead to disillusionment.  It continues at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London until 17 April.

Keith Jahans


Fantasy (1925) by Kuzuma Petrov-Vodkin
Just one of the amazing images on exhibit