Toward a New Art History of the Soviet Period

"The Situation is Hopeful: Another Step Towards a New History of Art of the Soviet Period,” review of Recuperating the Invisible Past, compiled and edited by Ieva Astahovska (Riga: Center for Contemporary Art, 2012; 284 pages, 110 ill.), Studija 88 (2013): 70-75.


The effort that the Center for Contemporary Art has invested in making this almost comprehensive survey and evaluation of our cultural legacy from the Soviet period is priceless. This collection of articles marks a major step forward on the way toward systematic and conclusive research of a highly problematic historical period.

At the same time the book sharply highlights the problems which are yet to be resolved, among them those of terminology and methodology. These unresolved issues provide grounds for a positive and hopeful mood: there is still plenty to do for the researchers working in the field, and we can anticipate new discoveries, perhaps even new theories of art history.