SOVIET UNION: Art v. Politics

Soviet artists have long chafed under ideological commands that they stick to the rigid canons of socialist realism, and have flirted with such decadent Western forms as abstract expressionism and even pop art. Works in these styles obviously cannot be sold openly in Russia, but there is a well-established private market for them among discreet collectors, including many senior officials in the Foreign Ministry, scientific institutes and universities. Many of the painters would like to make that market public. Last week 20 Moscow artists tried to bring abstract art out of...

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