Russia has a long history of creating and using art for social progress. My personal favorite are the Peredvizhniki (the wanderers) who broke away from the restrictive and formal artistic framework of the late 1800’s to portray a more humanistic, realistic and natural expression of life.
But with regards to Design, no artistic movement has had more influence than Russian constructivism, both functionally and aesthetically; from Bauhaus to De Stijl.
Functionally because art became considered a practice for social purposes, that art should attribute a social and moral responsibility and the belief that artists could be an agents for change by creating socially engaging works.
Aesthetically because Constructivism art was intentionally visually striking to captivate attention.
The same philosophy which would later also be applied to all Russian Design, from Architecture to Fashion and is still relevant today.
Admittedly Constructivism art was sometimes nothing more than propaganda rhetoric, however the Russian government soon this stopped this emancipating and ambitious abstract art movement, stating that it was not representational enough.
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