site.btaExhibition Focuses on Labour as Central Theme of Socialist Realism

Exhibition Focuses on Labour as Central Theme of Socialist Realism
Exhibition Focuses on Labour as Central Theme of Socialist Realism
The poster of the exhibition

An exhibition entitled "Labour: When the Foundations Were Laid" is opening at the Museum of the Art from the Socialist Period, a branch of the National Art Gallery, on June 20. Labour, one of the central themes in the art of socialism, features in the exhibition's paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works by Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, the National Gallery said.

Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them are authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria's political history. Some cases in point are Nikola Tanev's graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan railway and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the construction of communist leader Georgi Dimitrov's mausoleum in Sofia.

After World War II, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within just a few years, control was imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life. Art and culture started to perform propaganda functions. The new 'proletarian' or 'party' art created its mythologems; along with the "leader" and the "hero", the image of the worker was assigned a central place, the National Gallery said.

According to the socialist world view, labour was the instrument, the means of transforming society and of molding the new man. The pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations of the theme would change, other motifs and novel imagery were to come, the National Gallery said.

The exhibition is on until November 24. Its title references a poem ("When the Foundations Were Laid") by Penyo Penev (1930-1959), who devoted his works to socialist-era construction.

BTA is a media partner of the exhibition.

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By 07:32 on 22.07.2024 Today`s news

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