Exploring the legacy of WWII in Russian art

London — Marking the 70th anniversary of the Victory in Europe, Art Russe will host the first UK exhibition dedicated to providing an insight into the portrayal of World War II and its legacy in Russian Art with works encompassing a variety of artistic styles and interpretations. The exhibition The Legacy of WWII in Russian Art this spring will showcase paintings and sculptures from Russia, juxtaposing them with graphic works created by Britain’s Ministry of Information during the Second World War. The aim is to stimulate a dialogue about the similarities between Russian and British experiences of World War II and examine the legacy war leaves for artists of all nationalities.

The exhibition will feature paintings and sculptures, most of which have never before been on public display in the UK, including Laktionov’s Letter from the Front; Vera Mukhina’s sculpture Worker and Kolkhoz Woman, the Tkachev brothers’ By the Well; and Mai Danzig’s monumental canvas And the World Remembers the Saviours. The artworks fall into five groupings, revealing common themes for Russian artists of different generations.

The Legacy of WWII in Russian Art is Art Russe’s second exhibition project in London.  Last year, Art Russe initiated and supported the first UK retrospective of one of the main artists of the Severe Style, Viktor Popkov, at Somerset House.

With this new exhibition, Art Russe aims to take the viewer on a journey that challenges the simplistic perception of Soviet Art as `propaganda art’. The easily readable, pictorial narratives of Socialist Realism were followed by works that demonstrate a great degree of self-knowledge, humanity and awareness. The exhibition will illustrate this evolution.

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