In his 1925 review of Revolution, Everyday Life, and Labor, the seventh exhibition of the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (AKhRR), Anatolii Lunacharskii wrote a sharp critique of the photographic medium. Photography, he argued, in its pervasiveness was beginning to ruin painting, a medium, which he contended was vital to the development of socialism.
The general impression, I repeat, is such that we often get instead of a painting a good photograph colored in a more or less satisfactory manner.
It is imperative that the artist create his own picture, so that it would appear to have been conceived in his blood and nerves, so that it would be his poem, and not a reflection, like a photographic shot [emphasis in the original].
Most of AKhRR’s figurative realist paintings disappointed Lunacharskii. He notes, however, that among the group members there is one painter, whose work does not mimic photography. Lunacharskii describes Fëdor Bogorodskii, who exhibited paintings fro...