Socialist Realism

Joseph Stalin Speaking November 7 1941

Aleksandr Laktionov painted a standard Socialist Realist subject: a heroic leader at a heroic moment. Completed during WWII, this portrait of Joseph Stalin was a visualization of the determination of the Red Army.

This selection of Socialist Realist paintings is intended to offer a glimpse of the artwork that American modern art proponents would have seen as their opposite. It is not a “best of” collection but rather seeks to show the array of subjects and themes championed in the Soviet Union. Socialist Realism is more a method of creation than a style; it is a conglomeration of accepted techniques and subjects aimed at visualizing the greatness of Communism and the Soviet Union.

Following a period of pluralism in the Soviet Union, Socialist Realism was declared the official style for all media in 1934. There were several threads of ideology which dictated Socialist Realism but generally such artwork championed the Communist party and sought to demonstrate the benefits it exuded on daily life in the Soviet Union.

Art of Communism
Socialist Realism