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Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine [ARMU; Ukrain. Asotsiiatsiya Revolyutsiynoho Mystetstva Ukraïny].

Ukrainian group of artists active from 1925 to 1930. The association was founded by statute on 25 August 1925 in Kiev, with branches formed subsequently in other Ukrainian cities such as Kharokov (Kharkiv), Odessa, Dnepropetrovs’k (Dnipropetrivs’k) and Uman’. Members also lived in Moscow, Leningrad (now St Petersburg) and Paris. Artists of various artistic backgrounds and different training belonged to the association, but it was best represented by the avant-garde artists OLEKSANDR BOHOMAZOV, Nina Genke-Meller (1893–1954), Vasyl’ Yermilov (1894–1967), Oleksandr Khvostov (1895–1968), Vadym Meller (1884–1962), Viktor Pal’mov (1888–1929) and Tatlin Vladimir. Its theoretical platform, formulated by Ivan Vrona (1887–1970), rector of the progressive Kiev State Art Institute, was based on Marxist principles, recognizing the era as a transitional stage towards a more cohesive national proletarian reality. The association’s objective was to develop the strengths of Ukrainian artists and to be flexible enough to be able to consolidate a variety of formalist leanings without sacrificing high technical quality. Together with the Association of Artists of Red Ukraine (AKhChU: Asotsiiatsiya Khudozhnykiv Chervonoï Ukraïny), it succeeded in organizing one of the first exhibitions devoted to Ukrainian art of the 1920s. By 1927 ARMU was the single most influential body of artists in the country. It came to be dominated by painters who were attracted to the monumental art of MYKHAYLO BOYCHUK, which was inspired by the Byzantine period. Among those who followed Boychuk’s style were Sofiya A. Nalepins’ka-Boychuk (1884–1939), Ivan I. Padalka (1897–1938), Oksana Pavlenko (1895–1991), Mykola Rokyts’ky (1901–44), and Vasyl’ F. Sedlyar (1889–1937). In debating the means whereby ARMU’s aim to revitalize the artistic culture of Ukraine could be realized, Sedlyar (1926) laid equal emphasis on the importance of concepts such as artistic industry and material culture, as well as on the visual arts. He defended the association against its rival, the ASSOCIATION OF ARTISTS OF REVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA (AKhRR), a group that turned to 19th-century Realism and by doing so stood in opposition to the left wing and to Productivist art as a whole. By June 1930, internal differences with ARMU had caused its leaders to dissolve it and to organize the group October (Ukrain. Zhovten’) in its place.

 


Tatlin Vladimir
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