Socialist Realism and Its Nuances in Greece after World War II: Influences, Conflicts, and Contradictions. The Role of Abstraction

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Papanikolaou Panagiota

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Published: 20 April 2020 | Article Type :


Greece was liberated from German occupation in October 1944. Immediately afterwards, there followed the national division between pro-Western and pro-Soviet organisations. This division had already existed during the Greek resistance, but it was reinforced in 1946, upon the start of the Civil War that lasted until 1949. The Greek Civil War was the result and the dramatic culmination of the Cold War. Following the victory of the national forces on the communist guerrilla groups, Greece remained under the umbrella of the West, as represented at that time by the United States, which had succeeded the British influence. The Truman Doctrine was implemented immediately afterwards and, through the Marshall Plan, Greece secured significant financial aid which contributed to restoring its economy that had been severely hit in the 1940s. Nonetheless, the communist ideology was strong in Greece, exerting its influence not only on politics but also on culture. Culture also suffered the consequences of national division. Socialist realism, as an artistic and ideological movement, made a comeback on the Greek artistic scene and exerted significant influence on Greek artists. Conflicts occurred on a daily basis. Abstraction, adopted by many new artists, served as a means to counterbalance socialist realism. This is the general picture of Greek art in the 1950s, the period covered in the paper.

Keywords: Socialist realism, Abstraction, Cold War, Marshall Plan, Civil War, National Division, Greek post-war art.

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Papanikolaou Panagiota. (2020-04-20). "Socialist Realism and Its Nuances in Greece after World War II: Influences, Conflicts, and Contradictions. The Role of Abstraction." *Volume 3*, 2, 12-16