О. Bon Bernard Kratko and Zhosefina Dindo Artists between the Soviet Totalitarianism Millstones

DOI: 10.20535/2307-5244.50.2020.210128

Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University

The artists and their freedom of creativity are the subjects of interest for historians, particularly in the framework of the research on totalitarianism in XX cent. Multiple political, economic, ideological changes influenced the art, its topics, and artists’ destinies. Particularly intellectuals and artists were the ideological opponents to political and social unification of the Soviet regime. Immediately, when Soviets rulers came to power, the fight with intellectuals and the freedom of art started was considered to be one of the major threats for the regime. The lifepath and the cultural heritage of Warsaw-born sculptors of Bernard Kratko and Zhosefina Dindo allow exploring the above-mentioned processes.

The purpose of this research is to show the socio-cultural transformations within the artists’ environment in the Soviet Ukraine of 1920–1930ʼs. The primary sources were the materials from a personal archive of the artists in the Central State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art and from the two volumes of the investigation cases against Zhosefina Dindo from the Central State Archive of the Non-governmental associations of Ukraine.

The author employed two methodological approaches: prosopography and the bibliographical method. These methods allow identifying the place and role of a person in a historical process and the influence of historical events on the person’s activities. Additionally, the chronological and microhistorical methods were applied.

On an example of repressed artists Bernard Kratko and Zhosefina Dindo the author shows how the topics brought up by artists in Soviet Ukraine transformed depending on the changes in the state ideology.

They changed their style from modern European art to constructivism and impressionism in sculpture of the 1920th, being Boychuk’s followers. Because of censorship and persecution, they were forced to change the style and topics of their art, which implied the changes in their views. To survive they needed to express their loyalty to the regime. Both artists were rehabilitated.

Keywords: B. Kratko, Zh. Dindo, sculptors, archived investigation case; excesses, rehabilitation.


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