Soviet Nonconformism

(movement, 1956-1986)

Soviet dissident art from the historical Cold War period (1956-1986)—from Khruschev’s cultural "thaw" to Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika. Soviet artists working in opposition to the government-prescribed style of Social Realism risked personal safety, imprisonment, and exile in their quest for individual expression.  Other terms used to refer to this phenomenon are "unofficial art" or "underground art."

Artists Soviet Nonconformism:
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The term “non-conformism” generally embraces virtually all the art in the former Soviet Union which did not conform to the state dogma of Socialist Realism decreed by Stalin and ruthlessly enforced by the authorities. Although Stalin died in 1953, even after that time artists were still supposed to adhere to its portrayal of the Soviet Union as a socialist paradise and reject any other styles, particularly from the West…