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Sots Art in Russian Painting
October 23, 2013 21:36

Sots Art as one of the movements of post-modernist art was developed in the USSR in the 1970s in the framework of the so-called alternative culture standing up to the state ideology of that period.

Sots Art appeared as a parody to the official Soviet art and images of modern mass culture in general. This aspect was reflected in its ironic name, which brought together concepts of socialist realism and pop-art. Pop-art was a reflection on commodity overproduction and material glut of the Western world, whereas Sots Art focused on the overproduction of ideology in the USSR. Sots Art was also taking shape under certain influence of Conceptualism.
By using and processing odious cliches, symbols and images of the Soviet art and trite motives of the Soviet political propaganda, Sots Art in a playful and quite provoking manner uncovered their true sense, thus trying to liberate the viewer from ideological stereotypes. Irony, grotesque, free quoting, use of various techniques (from painting to spatial compositions) laid the foundation of the vivid eclectic art language of this movement.

The Moscow artists Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid are considered to be the inventors of Sots Art. A circle of artists sharing their views and beliefs was formed around them in the second half of the 1970s. In different years Alexander Kosolapov, Leonid Sokov, Dmitry Prigov, Boris Orlov, as well as the Gnezdo and Mukhomory art groups joined the association. Sots Art united authors different in the artistic manner. By the end of the 1990s there was an opinion that Sots Art sputtered out, since with the change of the political situation the substantial basis of this art became irrelevant. Such a conclusion was apparent from the viewpoint of adherents of the collapse of the socialist system. However, the social component of this artistic movement proved to be topical in any political and economic system of the society. Sots Art remains to be an integral part of Postmodernism, which is the main style in contemporary art.


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Sots Art     

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