Moving the Masses: Painting and Communication from Budapest to Bishkek, 1918-1941


Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art


History and Art History


“Moving the Masses” constitutes the first book-length study of the influence of modern painting on the evolution of early twentieth-century visual culture and mass media communication in general. From their inception, the leftist modernisms that moved across East Central Europe and the Soviet Union in the wake of the October Revolution emphasized that the future of politically radical, collectivist movements depend on the ability of art, and specifically figurative realist painting, to infiltrate the technical means of mass media production. By focusing on the history of these movements, “Moving the Masses” shows that the unique material and affective properties of painting played as critical a role in the evolution of modern visual culture as photography and film. In so doing, the project offers new perspectives on both politically engaged modern art and the broader history of the painterly medium within twentieth- and twenty-first-century communication culture.