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  • ICAA Record ID
    786545
    TITLE
    The position of the artist in Russia today / By DIEGO RIVERA
    IN
    Arts Weekly (New York, United States). -- Vol. 1, no. 1 (March., 1932)
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 6-7
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Journal article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Rivera, Diego. "The position of the artist in Russia today." Arts Weekly 1, no.1 (March 1932): 6-7.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
Editorial Categories [?]
Synopsis

This article by Diego Rivera discusses the position of the artist in the Soviet Union. For Rivera, the most salient aspect of Soviet artistic production was the theater, which works for the masses and, in turn, the masses consume it. Western or bourgeois-style decorative painting and sculpture, on the other hand, had no place there, given that the workers could not purchase them; artists, as such, must change the framework in which they operated. Architecture, in Rivera’s view, was evolving slowly and might serve as a backdrop for the integration of mural painting, which could be enjoyed by all. Nevertheless, Rivera had already begun to accuse Stalin of considering “healthy” Western intellectuals to be renegades, traitors, and socio-fascists.

Annotations

Upon returning from his trip to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Diego Rivera (1886–1957) seems to have been disappointed to find that his position was somewhere between the stance established by the Communist Party Central Committee during the Stalin years (1934–53), which saw Socialist painting solely as propaganda, and the position held by the Berlin-Paris axis. Rivera believed that revolutionary painting ought to be made accessible to the masses through themes they might be able to grasp, just like the painting that had evolved from the Russian traditions. In the article, the seeds of his theory of “visual integration” between architecture and painting can be seen. The anger he felt for [Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili] Stalin began to simmer during this period, making it possible, as such, to understand how and why he would later welcome [Lev Davidovich Bronshtein] Trotsky (1879–1940) to Mexico City.  

Researcher
Esther Acevedo : Dirección de Estudios Históricos, INAH / CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Credit
D.R. © 2011 Banco de México, “Fiduciario” en el Fideicomiso relativo a los Museos Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo. Av. Cinco de Mayo No. 2, Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtémoc 06059, México, D.F.
Location
Indiana University