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­Banned in the USSR: Avant-garde art back on show after 50 years (VIDEO)

Published time: December 07, 2012 10:36
Edited time: December 07, 2012 15:24

Vera Preobrazhenskaya's Vasilsursk. The city of apples, 1962 (image from www.mmoma.ru)

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The provoked a major scandal 50 years ago and put an end to Khrushchev’s “thaw”. Now the art which was banned because it did not conform to the Soviet ideology is back on show in Moscow.

In 1962 "The New Reality" exhibition opened in Moscow’s Manezh. Then Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev visited the exhibition but wasn’t taken with it. The man who led the USSR was so frustrated with what he saw he promised to deport the artists from the Soviet Union.

"As I am talking to you, your (foreign) passports are being issued, in 24 hours you will be stripped of your (Soviet) citizenship and exiled," artist Leonid Rabichev recalls Khruschev as telling the artists, AP reports.

The display was shut down on Khrushchev’s order, putting an end to Khruschev's "thaw" — the era of relative liberalisation of political and cultural life compared to the time of Stalin. Many non-conformist artists were forced to move underground, among them jazz and rock bands, composers, filmmakers and artists.

Fifty years later 13 of the banned artworks have been brought back to the very same venue – Moscow’s Manezh, just steps away from the Kremlin.

Among the artists on display is Leonid Mechnikov on whose painting Khrushchev once spit; work by Leonid Rabichev, who later entered textbooks as one of the iconic Soviet-era advertising designers; Inna Shmelyova, Vera Preobrazhenskaya, Maya Filippova and others

Viktor Mironov′s Nude, 1962 (image from www.mmoma.ru)
Viktor Mironov's Nude, 1962 (image from www.mmoma.ru)
Leonid Rabichev′s Childhood, 1962 (image from www.mmoma.ru)
Leonid Rabichev's Childhood, 1962 (image from www.mmoma.ru)

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