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SOCIALIST SURREALISM. Nonconformist Art from Andrei Plesanau’s Collection

The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus hosts the Socialist Surrealism exhibition from May 21, 2016 to May 30, 2016, dedicated to the Museum Night 2016. Today Soviet nonconformist art is scantily known art movement in the art of the XX c. It existed parallel to socialist realism, being its underground antipode regarding both idea content and the means of expression.  Nonconformist art either doesn’t use Soviet socialist symbols  (red colour, sickle and hammer, ponderous calls to overfulfil five-year plans in pursuit of communism, etc.) or uses them ironically, rejecting all the principles of socialist realism. Soviet ideologists stigmatized this kind of art as anti-Sovietic because of its ‘badass’, anxious nature and the attempts to start a dialogue with the First Wave avant-garde artists and West European ‘-isms’. Nonconformist art lives in a constant chase of an answer to never-ending question: what does it really mean, to have a mind of homo sovieticus? Meanwhile, this particular question gives a name to the exhibition which is sooner a joke than an attempt to invent a new term.

Today the most representative collection of Belarusian nonconformist art is the private collection of Andrei Plesanau, a part of which is going to appear in the space of the National Art Museum with a story about alternative Soviet painting. The exhibition features the works of A. Zhdanau, L. Rusava, A. Hlobus, U. Akulau, A. Malisheuski, V. Sauchenka, V. Charnabrysau, A. Rzhavutski, L. Karotkaya, A. Klinau, G. Skripnichenka, A. Malchanau, A. Bialou, V. Piatrou, A. Plesanau, U. Tsesler, S. Rymasheuski, S. Malisheuski, N. Dundzin, G. Tsikhanovich, E. Buel, S. Voichenka, I. Tsishin, A. Zabauchik, D. Surinovich, V. Stepanenka, V. Martynchyk, R. May, A. Veraschahin, A. Kuzhiatsou, I. Kashkurevich, D. Ermilau, A. Vialikzhanin, I. Savitski, K. Garetski, S. Lapsha, G. Hatskevich, A. Matsievich, V. Babrou, V. Zakharinski, U. Kachan, A. Smaliak.

The curator of the exhibition: Alina Strelkovskaia, the research officer of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.