The exhibition at Kunstmuseum Bern retraces Socialist Realism in contemporary art and its many shifts and changes since the Russian Revolution. In 1915 Malevich′s first Black Square painting reached the “zero point of painting”. Only two years later, Russia actually underwent a political and social revolution. In its representations of socialist themes, Propaganda Art not only embraced a realistic style, it also programmatically expressed a societal concept by promoting a society that did not exist then and never will. As the former Soviet Union reached crisis point and began to disintegrate, visual idioms were transformed. Timid criticism eventually turned into pastiche and, in the postmodern period, into subversive set pieces now devoid of ideological messages. Having gradually loosened the stays of socialist rhetoric, artists began to use the now meaningless visual ciphers in works that express their scathing criticism of a disillusioned and cynical late-capitalist society.
A cooperation between Kunstmuseum Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee.