Christina Kiaer, Collective Body: Aleksandr Deineka at the Limit of Socialist Realism

Christina Kiaer, Collective Body: Aleksandr Deineka at the Limit of Socialist Realism

Aleksandr Deineka, At the Women’s Meeting, 1937 (detail). Oil on canvas, 170 x 253 cm. Chelyabinsk State Museum of Fine Arts.

Christina Kiaer, Collective Body: Aleksandr Deineka at the Limit of Socialist Realism
Book launch and conversation with Christina Kiaer, Juliet Koss, and Devin Fore

Free admission

May 21, 2024, 7pm
172 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

For the US launch of Christina Kiaer’s Collective Body: Aleksandr Deineka at the Limit of Socialist Realism (Chicago, 2024), join us at e-flux on Tuesday, May 21 at 7pm for a conversation between Kiaer, Juliet Koss, and Devin Fore

A new account of Socialist Realism not as a totalitarian style but as a fiercely collective art system 

Dislodging the avant-garde from its central position in the narrative of Soviet art, Collective Body presents painter Aleksandr Deineka’s corporeal version of Socialist Realism as an alternate experimental aesthetic that activates affective forces for collective ends. 

Christina Kiaer traces Deineka’s path from his avant-garde origins as the inventor of the proletarian body in illustrations for mass magazines after the revolution through his success as a state-sponsored painter of monumental, lyrical canvases during the Terror and beyond. Deineka figures in this study not as a singular master, in the spirit of a traditional monograph, but as a limit case of the system he inhabited and helped to create.

Collective Body shows how the art of the October Revolution continues to capture viewers’ imaginations by evoking the elation of collectivity, retaining the potential to inform the art-into-life experiments of contemporary art.

For more information, please contact

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.    
–For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.             
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the event space and this bathroom.

Avant-Garde, Contemporary Art, Marxism, Aesthetics
Publications, Soviet Union, Art History, October Revolution

Christina Kiaer is the Frances Hooper Professor in the Arts and Humanities and Chair of the Department of Art History at Northwestern University. She is the author of Imagine No Possessions: The Socialist Objects of Russian Constructivism (MIT, 2005), coauthor with Robert Bird and Zachary Cahill of Revolution Every Day: A Calendar (Mousse, 2017), and coeditor with Eric Naiman of Everyday Life in Early Soviet Russia: Taking the Revolution Inside (Indiana, 2005). She was co-curator, with Robert Bird and Zachary Cahill, of the exhibition Revolution Every Day at the Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, in 2017, and is currently curating the exhibition Collective Threads: Anna Andreeva at the Red Rose Silk Factory, opening at the Museum of Modern Art-Costakis Collection in Thessaloniki in December 2024.

Juliet Koss is the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Professor of the History of Architecture & Art and Chair of the Department of Art History at Scripps College in Claremont, California. She has published widely on modern art, architecture, and design in the United States and Europe, with a particular emphasis on Germany and the Soviet Union. She is the author of Modernism after Wagner (Minnesota, 2010), and she is currently completing Model Soviets, a book on the role of models, scale, and temporality in 1920s and 1930s Moscow for MIT Press.

Devin Fore is Professor of German and Chair of the German Department at Princeton University. He is the author of Realism after Modernism: The Rehumanization of Art and Literature (October Books, 2015) and Soviet Factography: Reality without Realism (Chicago, forthcoming fall 2024). With Matthew Witkovsky, he co-curated and co-edited the catalogue for the exhibition Revoliutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017. He curated a 28-session film series on Dziga Vertov at the Reina Sofia/Filmoteca Española in Madrid the same year. Fore is an editor of the journals October and New German Critique.

RSVP for Christina Kiaer, Collective Body: Aleksandr Deineka at the…

Thank you for your RSVP.

will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.