Had it not been for the cataclysmic First World War, Vladimir Illich Ulyanov, a.k.a. Lenin, would have remained as he should have remained: an obscure, exiled scribbler of dull, intolerant, and hate-filled political pamphlets, with no chance to put his fathomless misanthropy into practice (no man was ever more a stranger to pity). The world would have escaped a lot of trouble. But history is what it is, not what it ought to have been, and Lenin was indisputably one of the twentieth century’s most important men. Iconographically, he remains one of the most instantly recognizable of figures, along with Marilyn Monroe and Che Guevara.
To mark the centenary of Lenin’s revolution, the Royal Academy in London mounted an exhibition, Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932—probably the largest of its kind ever mounted in a foreign country. It overlapped for a time with another exhibition in the same institution that, in a way, took up the baton: America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s. Whether intended or not, the juxtaposition was instructive, for it allowed a comparison of the artistic production of two fateful nations during some of their most turbulent years
Source: for MORE