The Soviet Century
Russian Photography in the Archivo Lafuente, 1917–1972
Published by La Fábrica.
Text by Alberto Ruiz de Samaniego, Jesús González Requena, Irina Chmyreva.
The Soviet Century is a major and comprehensive new assessment of Soviet photography from the years 1917 to 1972. Over 500 photographs from the collection of Spain’s Archivo Lafuente present a deep survey of Soviet life through depictions of political meetings, factories, demonstrations and farms, as well as portraits of political leaders, artists, peasants and workers. Photographs by both well-known and little-known artists including Max Alpert, Mikhail Grachev, Yakov Khalip, Fedor Kislov, Ivan Kobozev, El Lissitzky, Gyorgy Petrusov, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Ivan Shagin, Aleksander Ustinov and Giorgi Zelma are grouped into thematic sections surveying the 1917 Revolution, the artistic avant-garde, peasant life, World War II and more. This 600-page volume includes three historical essays that examine the complex artistic and ideological status of photography throughout the period, caught between state-led imperatives to achieve political ends and formal, artistic experimentation, especially with the 1920s avant-garde.