The State of Art in Eastern Europe before and afterthe Collapse of the Soviet Union
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It is still the conventional view that Socialist Realism dominated Soviet art and culture right up to the beginnings of perestroika and that the art produced under Communism was stylistically monotonous and aesthetically inferior. A flowering of the arts, therefore, was expected from all the former Soviet Republics after the elimination of the censoring regime and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Performing a case study on Armenia (a former Soviet Republic) and tracing its artistic developments through the different stages of Communism, I explore the state of art today in order to formulate a better understanding of the way art reflects dominant culture, and show that Soviet artistic culture, even being under the totalitarian pressure, was less monolithic, more heterogeneous and, quite simply more interesting and important than this simple stereotype suggests.