Robert Falk

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Date: 18865-1958

Region: Europe

Subject: Political/Social/Economic Opinion

Medium: Painting


Self Portrait in Yellow (1924)

Artist: Robert Falk

Confronting Bodies: Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and Academy of Arts administrators

Dates of Action: 1909, 1945

Location: Moscow, Russia

Description of Artwork: Falk was one of Russia's most salient avant-garde painters. He painted sombre landscapes and "cubofuturist" portraits. His use of grey tones in rural landscapes defied the image that the Communist Party wanted to associate with Russian rural life.

The Incident: In 1909 Falk was expelled from the Moscow School of Painting for associating with "leftist" artists like Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec and Matisse.

After World War II the president of the Academy of Arts criticized his work and encouraged museums not to exhibit his paintings. Only one of the ten paintings he submitted to the All-Union Art Exhibition in 1947 was accepted.

Results of Incident: Khrushchev allowed Falk's work to be exhibited in 1962 for the 30 Years of Moscow Art exhibition. His work appeared more often during Gorbachev's era. Falk is now a celebrated Russian artist.

Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones