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Alexei Malik Old Timers, 1996 oil on canvas 64cm x 65cm Alexei Malik is a Ukranian nonconformists artist. Many nonconformists pieces show use the concept of “escape” to reflect life under the USSR.

The Fall of the USSR==

Art Overview

The Dissolution of the Soviet Union is mostly remembered for the political changes that took place during the 1990’s near Russia and its newly independent countries. However, the social impact of the fall of communism and various revolutions can be seen in all aspects of life, especially art. The nonconformist movement of the decade led the way forthe launch of the Internet and art of the mid-1990s that reflected both the newly global situation, and the real and the virtual aspects of art.

Nonconformists Movement

In 1932 Stalin’s government created a decree called the publication of "On the Reconstruction of Literary-Artistic Organizations.” This declared that the Communist Party now had control of artists' unions. Stalin also instituted a policy that supported Socialist Realism, stating that art was only acceptable in its most real form. From this, four categories of art: political art, religious art, erotic art, and formalistic art, were now censored by the government and unacceptable to be created in society. These restrictions on artist brought upon the Nonconformists movement, a shift towards unconviental art to purposely revolt against the government and these policies. This underground movement remained strong through World War II and The Cold War until the fall of the Soviet Union to the point where those who did not abide were sent to prisons, or even killed. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the nonconformist movement died off due to the end of restrictions from the government, artist now had the power to create whatever they pleased, and with the launch of the Internet art changed into being digitally mass produced.

Global Significance

The nonconformist art movement is globally significant because it reflects the emotions of the people during the reign and fall of the USSR. Art had such great influence over the people and certain events that the government was forced to begin censorship. The economic depression in the USSR and the unhappiness of its citizens after its collapse is shown in this use of abstract art, and the eventual decline of this movement after the fall of the government shows how closely government and social trends are related. The power of art that was so threatening during this period is a timeless concept, as today countries like China and Cuba also censor forms of art like the Internet, art, and newspapers. It is important to look at the significant art had in this time period of bringing together people in an organized manner of revolution.


Lotz, Corinna, Russia’s non-conformists find a new target,

Bennett, Isabella, Media Censorship in China,