Art: Bad Breath

Moscow's Pravda had hounded Soviet writers, painters, composers and architects in turn. Last week the paper got around to art critics. The critics, Pravda barked, had "nothing in their souls but bad breath and inflated conceit ... it is imperative to put an end, once and for all, to liberal toleration of all these esthetic cosmopolitans who lack a healthy love of country."

The way to do it, Pravda grunted, digging deep into the Stalinist lexicon of euphemism, was by—ah, yes!—"ideological demotion."

As a start, Pravda named nine critics who had made the mistake of criticizing the kind of calendar-art—heavily realistic pictures of...

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