Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Foreign Affairs: What Is Totalitarian Art? Cultural Kitsch From Stalin to Saddam

Igor Golomstoc's TOTALITARIAN ART: In the Soviet Union, the Third Reich, Fascist Italy and The People's Republic of China was recently the subject of a detailed review essay by Kanan Makiya in Foreign Affairs.

"What exactly makes something totalitarian art?" asks Makiya. "In his important and encyclopedic tome on the art produced under the twentieth century's four most brutal political systems -- the Soviet Union, the Third Reich, Fascist Italy, and the People's Republic of China -- Igor Golomstock makes it clear that he is writing not about "art under totalitarian regimes" but rather about "totalitarian art," a particular cultural phenomenon with its own ideology, aesthetics, and style. This type of art did not arise because of common threads running through Soviet, German, Italian, and Chinese culture; the cultural traditions of the countries, Golomstock holds, are "simply too diverse" to explain the stylistic and thematic similarities among totalitarian works."

Go here to read the full article.

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