The Easel

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, Royal Academy

“Most depressing exhibition ever” is not a promising start to a review. Russian art in the 1920’s was enthusiastic about the revolution until a 1932 edict closed down all art except socialist realism. Can the early art be separated from its politics? For some yes, but not for this writer “The role of tendentious images like these was to divert people’s attention from dismal reality … propaganda at its most leaden”.