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London to See WWII through Eyes of Russian Artists

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London to See WWII through Eyes of Russian Artists


12.03.2015

Letter from the Front, Alexander Laktionov
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.
 
“For the people of Britain and Russia, the years of World War II were a period of great ordeal. The war affected everyone – those who were on the front lines and those who stayed at home. It was a period of suffering, self-sacrifice, and great acts of bravery of our nations,” says Andrey Filatov, founder of Art Russe. “Over 26 million lives is the cost that the Soviet Union paid for the Great Victory. Almost every family in Russia has photographs of grandfathers and great grandfathers who did not come back from the battlefields, who gave their lives in the struggle to free Europe. The events of those years had a tremendous influence on art, and the theme of war was reflected in the works of several generations of Soviet artists. For Art Russe, it is a great honour to introduce an international audience to works depicting this tragic and heroic part of world history; works created by artists that are widely admired in Russia but mostly unknown in the West.'”
 
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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