Author: Josh Wilson

What Moscow Could Have Been… The Palace of the Soviets

In 1931, the Communists began drawing up plans to tear down Christ the Savior Cathedral and, in its place, build the Palace of the Soviets. It would have been the world’s tallest structure (and would still be #9 today). It would have been topped with 6000 ton statue of Lenin and included, among other things, […]

5 Minutes in Russia

This footage was captured by SRAS Assistant Director Josh Wilson: “This was city day in Moscow, but the amount of foot traffic on the new pedestrian streets in the city center – and the amount of open art displayed – are actually fairly typical for a weekend evening in Russia’s capital these days. Note that […]

Post Soviet Theatre

How did the economic and political disarray that beset Russia in the days and years following Glasnost affect Russian cultural institutions? In Russia, theatre practitioners have long enjoyed a social position comparable to Hollywood actors or professional sports stars in America. By the mid-nineteenth century, amateur, provincial, and serf theaters had sprung up in even […]

Recommended Theater Performances in Moscow

Russia is known for its theater and ballet. Take advantage and see all that you can while here. You can buy tickets at the theater or concert hall itself or from a reseller such as Kontramarka, Parter, or Ponominalu, which allow you to reserve tickets pick them up at location near you or even have […]

The Tragic and Triumphant History of the Girl with an Oar

The Girl with an Oar sculpture was re-introduced to Gorky Park in 2011. Originally installed in 1935, it was then a controversial piece of art, and endured criticism, a likely theft or vandalism, revision, and then destruction by Nazi bombs. Everyone associated with the statue died the year the statue was destroyed: 1941. The statue […]

4 Painters Enchanted by Winter

Winter is the most fairytale-like time of year. Everything around is covered with a sparkling white quilt; only purity and mystery remain. It is impossible not to fall in love with winter. AdMe.ru, a Russian site, has put together a list of four artists in Russia who capture the beauty of the season. This translation […]

Great Lost Soviet Art

One of the great lost artists of the Soviet Union features in a solo exhibition at Sotheby’s, London, this week. Javad MirJavadov’s colorful individuality made him an unwelcome guest among the grey, realist ranks of state-approved art while his passionate connection to the roots of his native Azerbaijan kept him in isolation from the non-conformist […]

Russian Painters For Dummies

In response to a wider trend of “Art History for Dummies” that has recently gone viral, the staff at AdMe.ru, a Russian website, recently created a short guide that will help you to distinguish Brullov from Surikov and Kandinsky from Malevich. Please note: this is not an art appreciation course but a simplified guide created […]

Get Real: Why Socialist Realist Painting Deserves Another Look

But this moment lasted almost as long as the Soviet Union and for anybody who wants to explore this system it has to be carefully studied. Socialist realism was a traditionalist, representational from of art, famously “national in form, socialist in content” and concerned primarily with literature and only later with painting, sculpture and architecture. Although it […]

New Movie About Chagal and Malevich

Legendary director and screenwriter Alexander Mitta is back after a 10-year break from his craft. He has recently released a film about the at-times violent conflicts between the great Russian artists Marc Chagall and Kazimir Malevich in the early years of Soviet rule. A trailer is below with English subtitles (with brief nudity).  

Student Blog on Socialist Realist Art

Allie Bull studied Russian language and art over the summer of 2013 on a customized program with SRAS. As part of her studies, Allie has begun a blog “exploring what Socialist Realism is, how it emerged, major themes, and this art today.” She also discusses, in part, her studies abroad. See more about Allie’s work […]

New Online Collection of Natalia Gontcharova Paintings

A Stone Thrown is a small, privately held collection of assorted works by Russian artist Natalia Gontcharova (1881-1962) featuring unpublished paintings as well as artist’s preparatory and studio paintings. The goals of this website are to present the work in an open and unpretentious way, to encourage further debate and to contribute to continuing research into […]

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