Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 16 items for :

  • Art, Architecture and Visual Culture x
Clear All
Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

Open Access (free)
Tania Anne Woloshyn

compositional placement, the white blocks materialise something that, by its very nature, is invisible and immaterial. 32 As Shelford Bidwell pointed out to his audience during his popular lectures on light and colour, ‘Radiation’ … – meaning ether wave-energy – includes what is often improperly called light. Light, people say, takes about eight minutes in

in Soaking up the rays
Yulia Karpova

’shchik, a khudozhnik), he also was continuously fascinated by folk, amateur and ‘primitive’ art, as is apparent in his 1970 book Artist on the Nature of Things.45 In her article celebrating Smirnov’s 70th birthday, Pavlinskaia regarded this alleged contradiction as a sign of his professional strength: ‘The simplicity and naivety of folk art looks surprising in the works of such an intellectual artist. But this fascination is not accidental, and it is devoid of artificiality and stylisation, which are so frequently found in today’s art.’46 The embrace of folk simplicity

in Comradely objects
Yulia Karpova

. While he disagreed with Saltykov on certain points, Kagan also contended that applied art is not illusory by nature and does not represent anything, but rather fulfils concrete practical needs. In this respect, it is akin to architecture. Of the two aspects of architecture and applied art – practical and what Kagan calls ‘ideological-aesthetic’ – the former is more important. Artistic content and aesthetic form – the elements fulfilling ideological function – should be subordinated and applied to the practical function, Kagan argued. Thus, he concluded, architecture

in Comradely objects
Open Access (free)
Tania Anne Woloshyn

included an image of champion boxer Jack Petersen receiving a vitalising exposure, his skin tinted a saturated orange like the other models’ and his contours crisply outlined from heavy retouching. A ‘hardy’ tan, as Carter explained, made for a virile man, representing ‘a visible link between the body, ideals of nature and masculinity’. 150 Part of this process involved ‘training’ the skin to ultraviolet radiation and all manner of

in Soaking up the rays
Open Access (free)
Tania Anne Woloshyn

authorships and subjects: it a photograph of Finsen, by Finsen, but also of, and by, actinic light. The notion of the sun as the photograph’s rightful author is historically traceable back to the very inception of photography. Corey Keller explained: The metaphor most widely used to characterize the photographic process was that of nature ‘drawing her own picture

in Soaking up the rays
Open Access (free)
Soviet things that talk
Yulia Karpova

in particular can benefit from new KARPOVA 9781526139870 PRINT.indd 2 16/09/2020 09:16 Introduction 3 materialist optics in reconsidering the history of interrelations between humans, objects and nature.12 This decentralisation of ‘heroic’ designers and increased attention to materiality provides broad opportunities for examining design under state socialism. While collectivist institutional culture and planned economies precluded designers from obtaining full-fledged individual recognition, let alone stardom, material culture and consumption continuously

in Comradely objects
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

with the colour model) the image, confronting us in grey and perhaps also blurred, makes us think differently about its moral and political content, as well as its nature as painting and representation – a familiar avant-garde strategy. When I think about it, too, my academic life over more than thirty-five years was always somewhere between disciplines – sociology, cultural studies, art history, aesthetics – and institutionally nearly always in an interdisciplinary unit or project. A scholarly dilettantism (shared with many colleagues and friends over the years

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

Eastman’s protégé, Vladimir Rosing, a Russian tenor brought to Rochester as director of the school’s opera department; and with Rouben Mamoulian, hired in turn by Rosing to teach dramatic action. Horgan’s account of his own role, written in 1988 in an appreciation of Mamoulian, gives an idea of the excitement, and also of the rather chaotic nature, of the early years of the ‘Rochester Renaissance’ – a renaissance almost entirely due to the wealth and cultural enterprise of the city’s major figure, George Eastman. The exciting days of the convening of the company were

in Austerity baby
Yulia Karpova

4 From objects to design programmes Just as neodecorativism was generating the idea of a spiritually useful object, its leading proponent, Boris Smirnov, published his succinct Artist on the Nature of Things.1 Its title alludes to the first-century BCE poem De rerum natura by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius. In the book Smirnov discussed the traditions, techniques and symbolic meanings of the design of consumer objects. In essence, it was a work of professional self-reflection. Smirnov paid special attention to the emergence of a new object, which he

in Comradely objects