Socialist realism – soc-realism – was a monopolistic phenomenon in the official Polish art in 1949-1955. Its time lines were determined by the legitimising council in Nieborowo in February 1949, and the Exhibition of Young Art Against War, Against Fascism, opened in July 1955 in the Arsenal of Warsaw as an event accompanying the International Festival of the Youth and Students […].
The year 1949 marked the beginning of intensified, aggressive ideological offensive, a pressure of socialist realism exerted on all the creative circles: writers, theatrical creators, painters, sculptors, graphic artists, photographers, movie makers, musicians and architects, as well as on universities. All the fields of culture had been monopolised by the ideologists of socialist realism, as a result of various forms of activity of the Party […]. All the soc-realistic works of art had suggestive titles, were the proof that the art was engaged in building of the new socialist order. In most cases they were monumental. They were characterised by subdued editing of idealised realism. The means of artistic expression did not draw attention of the spectato, neither by the originality of depiction, nor the expression, nor the naturalistic expressiveness. The criterion of artistic value, contrary to what the authorities said, was insignificant or, at best, secondary. The form was to become the transparent medium of the socialist, i.e. political content. […]. The only exception was the graphic art, mainly the propaganda poster, and also anti-capitalist political satire, where the artist was allowed to go away from a strictly determined scheme. The monopolistic position of soc-realism in Poland lasted for less than six years. It was the six years of intensive political indoctrination, full control of the creative circles and artistic output. Soc-realism cannot therefore be perceived only as a few years enforced convention in the Polish culture of the Stalinist era, the results of which are presented by this exhibition […]. Iwona Luba (fragments of the introduction to the catalogue of the Soc-realism exhibition in the BWA Gallery of Bydgoszcz) The Soc-realism exhibition at the BWA Gallery of Bydgoszcz contains works of painting, sculpture, poster, graphic art and drawing, borrowed from the museum collections in Poland (the Zamoyscy Museum in Kozłówka, the National Museum of Warsaw, the Independence Museum of Warsaw, the Poster Museum of Wilanów, the Art Museum of Łódź, the Regional Museum of Bydgoszcz, the Regional Museum of Toruń). The presentation of the plastic art will be accompanied by the show of archival movie and audio materials: feature movies, archival movies, movie chronicles, music of the era and presentation of movie stills. On November 8th and 9th 2005 the BWA Gallery of Bydgoszcz will host the scientific conference Art as ideology. Ideology as art. On December 7th and 8th the cinema at the Youth Palace will hold a presentation of four feature movies from the times of soc-realism (Pierwszy start, by Leonard Buczkowski; Celuloza by Jerzy Kawalerowicz; Przygoda na Mariensztacie by Leonard Buczkowski; Niedaleko Warszawy by Maria Kaniewska-Forbert). the curators: Wacław Kuczma and Danuta Pałys

Exhibition: 2005.10.19 – 2005.12.29

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