Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

S.A.M. #9: The Sky of Alexander Deineka

This mosaic, so full of joy and the "future-we-were-promised" spirit was created in 1942 for one of the Moscow subway stations.

Skies underground. This paradox can inspire a lot of philosophical ramblings, but philosophy is definitely not the point here. Today, the Saturday Air Mail is happy to present the aviation art of Alexander Deineka (1899 - 1969), an artist in love with aviation.

Being one of the most important Soviet artists who brilliantly captured the bright, Ottensian side of the Diesel Era, Deineka certainly deserves a personal entry, and it will follow in a couple of months. Let's concentrate on the "aerial" aspect of his art, very different from Italian aeropittura.

Aircraft, pilots and parachutes first appeared in Deineka's drawings and paintings in late 1920s. By mid-1930s they all but eclipsed his early themes (mining and railroads). Here's a magazine cover design, featuring both "earthly" and "celestial" subjects:

Next came a number of iconic paintings, each one a ready-made symbol of the Golden Age of Aviation:

Civil Aviation, 1932

Airborne, 1932

Bomber, 1932

Red-Winged Giant, 1937

Gliders in the Sky, another mosaic, for the Mayakovskaya subway station (1938)

Aircraft were an integral part of his wartime art - from 1941 Moscow:

to Berlin on the day of Germany's surrender:

In 1942, he created one of his most famous and impressive paintings, A Knocked-Down Ace:

Deineka's art is often compared to the the works of Tullio Crali, the last of the Futurists. The comparisons are for the sake of difference: Crali the Futurist envisioned the conquest of space in 1920s; Deineka the Romantic Realist followed the pace of time to paint his "Conquereors of Space" in 1961, the year of the first manned space flight:

Special thanks to liim.ru and deineka.ru.

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