From Fascism to Communism: The Art of Domination

July 06, 2016

Curated by Bruce Cole

All within the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.

It is important to see the ideas, the ideals, expressed in visual images of totalitarian regimes.

“Long Live Germany”

Comparisons can be drawn between fascist art and the art of communist regimes.

A place for town events, draped in fascist and Nazi banners, with room for Mussolini’s smiling face

Stalin: Helmsman of the State

The study of art shows you graphically what the aims and philosophy of these regimes were.

“Stalin was with us earlier, now he will be with us evermore. He will watch over our work, and his smile will show us the way”…Communist paternalism writ large.

These statues, potent symbols of communist domination, had become hated by those who were repressed by the regimes.

The Cultural Revolution was responsible for the untold destruction of the cultural heritage of China.

The revolution was one of the great acts of barbarism in the whole history of art.

Fidel entering Havana

Another strong man with faceless followers

So much of this art is banal, which is why art historians don’t study it. But it’s important to see how their ideas, their ideals, are expressed in visual images.

The most famous symbol of the Cuban Revolution: Che.
Worn by wealthy college students and anarchists worldwide

Che’s face can be very adroitly manipulated for political purposes. It still packs a powerful propaganda punch.

Continued political manipulation as Mao watches from the background