2017 marks the centenary of the October Revolution, which heralded a new wave of art and design concepts in Russia. In the years that followed the fateful events of 1917, as Russia became the Soviet Union, a new ‘people’s’ art began to emerge as optimistic young artists such as Kandinsky, Malevich, Chagall and Rodchenko experimented with innovative techniques to create a totally new visual culture. But their optimism was not to last: by the end of 1932, Stalin’s brutal suppression pulled the curtain down on creative freedom.
Featuring contributions from contemporary artists, curators and the descendants of those involved, Revolution: New Art for a New World tells the stories of the pioneers of the Russian avant-garde, whose own personal testimony is recreated through narration from the likes of Tom Hollander (Kazimir Malevich), James Fleet (Wassily Kandinsky), Eleanor Tomlinson (Lyubov Popova) and Daisy Bevan (Varvara Stepanova).
With major exhibitions being staged in the London (including Tate Modern’s Red Stars Over Russia in November and the British Library’s just opened Hope, Tragedy, Myths) celebrating the artistic landscape of post-Revolutionary Russia, this documentary is a great primer on the artistic movements that emerged – from Constructivism and Suprematism through to the emergence of Socialist Realism. It also gives viewers a deeply personal insight into the artists who gave birth to them…
Out on DVD in the UK from Foxtrot Films