Gurianova, Nina. The aesthetics of anarchy: art and ideology in the early Russian avant-garde

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Author: D.B. Johnson
Date: Sept. 2012
Publisher: American Library Association CHOICE
Document Type: Book review; Brief article
Length: 188 words

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2011-35057 CIP

Gurianova, Nina. The aesthetics of anarchy: art and ideology in the early Russian avant-garde. California, 2012. 345p index afp ISBN 9780520268760, $49.95

Gurianova's impressive volume on the Russian avant-garde art scene focuses on the period from 1910 to 1918, with secondary attention to its complex fate in the early years of the revolution. Author of many publications in both Russian and English, Gurianova (Slavic languages and literatures, Northwestern Univ.) offers a masterly survey of the turbulent evolution of the period's art-theory wars. Unlike most of her scholarly colleagues, she stresses the early movement's anti-canonicity (i.e., principled anarchy), as distinguished from the multitude of later (prescriptive) movements and theories that fractionalized and warred with each other until the Bolsheviks suborned art to their political program. Although the volume is generously supplied with 68 illustrations (alas, in black and white), prime focus is on theory and art history rather than individual artists and their work. Gurianova's complex work is well organized and required reading for specialists in the field. Summing Up: Highly recommended. *** Graduate students, researchers, faculty.--D. B. Johnson, emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A305083271