Art and Revolution: Ernst Neizvestny, Endurance, and the Role of the Artist
In this prescient and beautifully written book, John Berger examines the life and work of Ernst Neizvestny, a Russian sculptor whose exclusion from the ranks of officially approved Soviet artists left him laboring in enforced obscurity to realize his monumental and very public vision of art. But Berger's impassioned account goes well beyond the specific dilemma of the pre-glasnot Russian artist to illuminate the very meaning of revolutionary art. In his struggle against official orthodoxy--which involved a face-to-face confrontation with Khruschev himself--Neizvestny was fighting not for a merely personal or aesthetic vision, but for a recognition of the true social role of art. His sculptures earn a place in the world by reflecting the courage of a whole people, by commemorating, in an age of mass suffering, the resistance and endurance of millions.
"Berger is probably our most perceptive commentator on art...A civilized and stimulating companion no matter what subject happens to cross his mind."--Philadelphia Inquirer
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Art and revolution: Ernst Neizvestny and the role of the artist in the USSRUser Review - Book Verdict
This 1969 volume profiles Soviet sculptor Ernst Neizvestny, who, not being one of that government's officially endorsed artists, struggled in relative obscurity. Berger's analysis also chronicles how physical, emotional, and spiritual hardship can be transformed and expressed in art. The text is buttressed with numerous drawings and photos of Neizvestny's works.
Review: Art and Revolution: Ernst Neizvestny, Endurance, and the Role of the ArtistUser Review - Tina Siegel - Goodreads
I love the idea that art can be a transgressive ACTION, not just a tool or a communication. Berger does a terrific job of exploring that. Read full review