This book tells one of the most fascinating stories about Russian avant-garde art, from its emergence in the final years of Imperial Russia, through the Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent period of fervent experimentation, to its demise under Stalin. A revolution in art! The Russian avant-garde – most famously, Kazimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky – made their names by their radical artistic innovations and gained worldwide recognition as pioneers in the field. Strangely enough, however, they also threw themselves into the design of porcelain: a material previously heavily favoured by the tsars.
It is via this porcelain that we trace the rise and fall of the Russian avant-garde. The former Imperial Porcelain Factory in St Petersburg became a rallying point for avantgarde artists. They designed new shapes for porcelain and painted existing stocks of blanks with designs in a revolutionary new visual idiom. But their radical art encountered increasing opposition. Abstraction and experimentation gave way to Socialist Realism, dominated by propaganda for the Communist utopia.