What Was Constructivism? Building the Future through Art

Constructivism was equally an artistic movement and a social movement. Beginning in Russia in 1915 and ending in the late-1930s, Constructivism stepped away from normal artistic conventions and focused instead on the construction of art with raw industrial materials. Inspired by the Cubist and Russian Futurist movements, it also served as a platform to express […]

Seven Critically Acclaimed Modern Russian Artists

The following are six modern Russian artists who have left their mark on not only modern Russian art, but who are also known beyond Russia’s borders as well. Each has gathered critical acclaim and, as is always the case in the art world, at least some critical derision. Not all are ethnic Russians – but […]

The Moscow Metro: From Public Transport to Social Icon

Even if you’ve seen pictures, you’re not prepared for the Moscow Metro System. For visitors, one of the great surprises of this historical city is discovering the beauty and cleanliness of its underground palaces. It’s worth a few hours in the afternoon or late evening (avoid rush hour 4-7) to ride around and see the […]

What was Russian Futurism? Seeking Societal Rebirth

Futurism, an artistic movement started in Italy, quickly found fertile ground in Russia starting in 1909. Futurism thus emerged in Russia in the period between the 1905 and 1917 revolutions when artistic, social, and political thought were in foment. Russia’s unique brand of Futurism helped form the basis of the Russian avant-garde, conveying its social […]

Dziga Vertov: The Revolutionary Eye of the Camera

Like many other great Soviet filmmakers of the Russian avant-garde, David Abelevich Kaufman – better known by his revolutionary pseudonym Dziga Vertov – came from a largely scientific background, having likely been first introduced to film as a tool in one of his science classes at university. Given this fact, it is perhaps understandable that […]

What was Suprematism? Seeking Transcendent Simplicity

Suprematism was an artistic and philosophical movement that drew inspiration from the philosophically non-objective, geometric, and technology-focused Futurism as well as the geometric, depth-focused Cubism. Most strikingly Suprematism opposed art for political or religious utility, and even art as a depiction of the objective world. For the Suprematists, art was produced for its own sake […]

Alisa Ganieva: Giving Dagestan a Voice through Modern Literature

“He regards himself as a Dagestani, but he doesn’t know what that means. This is a problem of many people in Russia, but especially in the Caucasus after seventy years of Soviet erosion of historical memory.” This is how Alisa Ganieva describes a character from her first full-length novel, The Mountain and the Wall. The […]

Tarkovsky: Films of Eternal Complexity

Russian film critic Maya Turovskaya writes in Tarkovsky: Cinema as Poetry that when she attended a special screening of Andrey Tarkovsky’s first film, Ivan’s Childhood, at a meeting of the Union of Cinematographers of the USSR, the prevailing opinion amongst the audience was that of awe mixed with confusion. This feeling of mystification, of seeing […]

Lubyanka: Inside the Story of Moscow’s Infamous Building and District

There is always history surrounding us. In a city like Moscow, this can seem overwhelmingly apparent. Moscow has many imposing buildings from many eras – some are immediately recognizable and others only invite wonder as to what stories lay behind their beauty or grime. Lubyanka is the name commonly used to refer to the building […]

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