Rise and fall of the Soviet pantheon
Wrigley, Richard and Craske, Matthew (eds.)
Pantheons: transformations of a monumental idea.
(Subject/Object : New Studies in Sculpture).
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The chapter presents for the first time in English some major qualities of later Soviet sculpture, particularly the work of Alexandr Andreev, Sergei Merkurov, Dmitri Kibalnikov, and others, about whom little is known in the West. These monumental sculptures were embedded in systems of aesthetic judgement and commission known as Socialist Realism, but contained qualities of inventiveness and technical mastery too seldom valued today. Though they commemorated State leaders such as Lenin, Bukharin, and Krushchev, they also featured artistic figures such as Mayakovsky, and generalised iconic types such as factory workers, agricultural operatives and military personnel, in several cases impressively - before the progressive decay and downfall of the Soviet system from the 1970s through to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
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