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7 December 2013

The Institute of Russian Realist Art, Sotheby’s and Promsvyazbank Present the exhibition "Soviet Art. Soviet Sport"

  The Institute of Russian Realist Art, Sotheby’s and Promsvyazbank present the exhibition "Soviet Art. Soviet Sport” featuring over 60 works from the collection of the Institute of Russian Realist Art, the ROSIZO state museum and exhibition center, the Russian Museum, regional state museums and private collections in Russia. The artists whose works will be exhibited include masters such as Alexander Deyneka, Alexander Samokhvalov, Yury Pimenov, Georgy Nissky, Sergey Luchishkin, Nikolay Zagrekov, Samuil Adlivankin, Kirill Kustodiyev and Leonid Soyfertis. The exhibition will be formally unveiled on December 18 in the halls of Sotheby’s auction house in London, and will be on show to the general public from December 19, 2013 till January 14, 2014 (free admission). About 40 Soviet paintings, drawings and sculptures will be exhibited in the UK. The London opening of "Soviet Art. Soviet Sport” exhibition marks the first international exhibition by the Institute of Russian Realist Art, and will launch the Year of Russian Culture in Great Britain.

  In Moscow the full exhibition will be presented at the Institute of Russian Realist Art on February 5 and will remain open to the public until May 2014. The works on display at this exhibition of the Institute of Russian Realist Art are characteristic examples of the diverse artistic heritage of the USSR. The exhibition and catalogue demonstrate, with real-world examples, the development of one of the key themes of socialist realist art. Sport was among the most important brands of the Soviet era. Along with other symbols such as industrialization, space and ballet it was often heavily influenced by Soviet ideology.

  That ideological pressure found its expression in the evolution of an incredibly strong aesthetic canon. Soviet sport in art is an example of an almost violent juxtaposition of form and concept. However, sporting themes enable artists to explore a wide range of means of self-expression, ranging from heartfelt applications of the “only true” art to attempts to oppose the "grand style”. Alexander Deyneka, one of the leading artists of the era, offered the clearest explanation of sport’s allure for artists: "Sport has one wonderful feature: it can safely fit into a very wide variety of artistic frameworks. This subject is inexhaustible because it is democratic and popular. Sport accommodates within itself shades of feeling - it is lyrical, it is positive and full of optimism. It draws on heroic origins.”

  OJSC Promsvyazbank and the Institute of Russian Realist Art have a long history of partnership, and the "Soviet Art. Soviet Sport” exhibition continues the bank’s intention to contribute to the development of Russian artistic, cultural, and sport life. Support for Russian realist art influencing social life in Russia is an important part of the image of PSB, a bank with long history and outstanding reputation. Through its engagement in art projects, PSB contributes to the overall cultural development of society in Russia and abroad.