Limits to the autonomy of art in socialist and capitalist societies
This article presents recent works on art and on the artists in socialist countries, in an attempt on the one hand, to put forward the essential characteristics of the relation between the artistic activity and the political regime, and on the second hand, to make apparent, by means of comparisons, the variations within this phenomenon. The socialist state is in charge of artistic activity not only through terror but also economically, due to its being the sole client. In contrast, this remark makes it easier to understand the importance of the role played by the art dealers and by the competition existing in capitalist, industrial societies. The comparison between the two systems helps identify the restraint placed on artistic activity in these societies and to know the consequences this has on an artist’s career.