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Drastically-changed contemporary Russian realism paintings
If we look back at the stream of any style of paintings historically, we understand that it distinctly reflected the historical phase of that time which this style of paintings was closely connected with. It comes from the fact that paintings are the art created by mankind. That’s why, if we grasp painting art consciously from this viewpoint, then we will see that there is no such specific painting art other than style of realism which, despite of an extraordinary destiny it encountered or, to be more exact, on the contrary because of this, has attained an extremely high artistic level.
As far as contemporary Russian realism paintings are concerned, this wording reminds many people of ideological paintings and it is quite natural because Soviet government in the 30s after the October Revolution from the purpose of maintaining own regime politically and artificially revived the realism style which had been dying down in the 1890s. This style of paintings is called “socialist realism”, because it depicted realistic landscape on the subject of construction of socialism, reflecting the demand of that time.
However, this style of paintings, which had made an unusual development under the protection by government for the period as long as a half century, sensitively anticipated a mood of the time at the beginning of the 80s before the start of perestroika and accomplished a drastic change, namely, the very objective of portrayal became an ordinary landscape and still life acceptable for everyone, in which ideological coloring could not be felt at all. When I was stationed first in Moscow, which coincided with the turbulent era in history, involving the collapse of the USSR, only such sort of paintings of pure art was produced and so I was strongly attracted by the charm of such highly-artistic and matured paintings, or, to be more exact, unexpectedly I was fully absorbed in them. Such sort of paintings is regarded, so to speak, as some arrival point of achievement that the style of realism paintings finally reached as a result of the long-term activities under the specific conditions of Russia, which, however, is almost unknown yet to many people in the world.
In this book is listed up such kind of works altogether 39 pieces not only to introduce these paintings, but also to grasp through these examples the characteristic of this realism art to disclose its essential nature.