Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine

Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine (Асоціація революційного мистецтва України or АРМУ; Asotsiiatsiia revoliutsiinoho mystetstva Ukrainy or ARMU). One of the largest artistic associations in the Ukrainian SSR, established in Kyiv in 1925 and dissolved by the Soviet authorities in 1932. There were branches of the association in Kharkiv, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, the Donbas, and elsewhere. Its members included artists of various tendencies, but the nucleus of the association was the group of boichukisty (see Mykhailo Boichuk), which cultivated monumentalist art in the national tradition and fostered modernist experimentation. The theorists of the association were Vasyl Sedliar and Ivan Vrona; its members included Oleksander Bohomazov, Mykhailo Boichuk, Mykola Burachek, Mykola Hlushchenko, Kostiantyn Yeleva, Vasyl Yermilov, Vasyl Kasiian, Bernard Kratko, Vadym Meller, Ivan Padalka, Viktor Palmov, Yevhen Sahaidachny, Anatolii Taran, Vladimir Tatlin, and, later, Kyrylo Hvozdyk, Oksana Pavlenko, and Mykola Rokytsky. The association held several exhibitions, including the Republican Exhibition in Kharkiv in 1927 and the Exhibition of Engravings and Drawings in Kyiv in 1928. It resisted official pressure from Moscow, opposed the line taken by the Association of Artists of Red Ukraine, and consistently endured harsh criticism of its alleged ‘nationalist tendencies and formalism.’ In 1927 those artists who oriented themselves towards modern Western trends—suprematism and expressionism—left the association and established the Union of Contemporary Artists of Ukraine. Another group of artists, which hoped to replace representational art with industrial production, established the association Zhovten in 1930. Some members of ARMU and Zhovten established the All-Ukrainian Association of Proletarian Artists in 1931.

Sviatoslav Hordynsky, Volodymyr Sichynsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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