Cancellation of perception: Problems of interpretation and evaluation of the art of the Soviet period of the 1920s–1950s

Plastova, Tatiana Yuryevna
PhD in Philology, Assistant Professor, Head of Department of Humanities, Moscow State Academic Art Institute named after V.I. Surikov, Moscow, Russia


The issue of art perception is one of the most important for the modern theory and history of art in the broadest sense of the word – from literature and drama to plastic arts.
The Russian fine art of the 1920s-1950s (which existed for a long time as a kind of mainstream) in recent decades (and often today) has been perceived and studied exclusively as part of an ideological system, propaganda and studied mainly as a socio-cultural phenomenon, not art. At the same time, perception stereotypes (for example, focusing exclusively on the narrative of the plot, neglecting the specifics of pictorial art, its formal side) led to the fact that many prominent names - V. Perelman, P. Shukhmin, S. Adlivankin et al. – they were almost forgotten, and the general picture of the history of art is distorted.
Thus, the art of this period fell out not only from the pan-European and global history of art, but also from the history of Russian art, and exhibition projects aimed at forming a one-sided perception led to the cancellation of recognition of the true value of specific components of art (composition, color, drawing, tone solutions, surface structure) in the public consciousness.
In part, this was due to ignoring or underestimating the methodological foundations, the theory of perception and "visual thinking" (the works of R. Arnheim, E. Gombrich), the theory of style and the methodology of analysis by G. Welflin.

Keywords: art of the Soviet period, ideology, narrative narrative, history of Russian art, ideology, R. Arnheim, E. Gombrich, G. Welflin