A New Pitch: Art, Sport and the Impact of the Avant-Garde in the Soviet Union in the 1920s

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


This chapter considers the important relationship between art and sport in Russia during the first decade and a half after the 1917 Revolution. It asks both how and why the sporting theme was widely embraced by artists throughout this key transitional period while also seeking to contextualize the early Soviet avant-garde within contemporary debates relating to both art and sporting practices as they emerged in the mid-1920s. To facilitate a sharper focus it addresses two specific works, both entitled Footballers, produced by the painters Aleksandr Deineka and Yurii Pimenov. Both were recently on display in London at the Royal Academy exhibition, Revolution: Russian Art 1917–32, though neither has previously received extensive analysis. In particular, it asks how these works negotiated the complex terrain between two disparate forms of cultural expression, art and sport, while addressing the very notion of avant-gardism within the Revolution itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSport and the European Avant-Garde 1900-1945
EditorsPrzemyslaw Strozek, Andreas Kramer
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-45003-5
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-44985-5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameAvant-Garde Critical Studies
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
ISSN (Print)1387-3008
ISSN (Electronic)1879-6419


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