THE YEARS KNOWN AS THE KHRUSHCHEV THAW. STALIN'S CULT OF PERSONALITY was PUBLICLY DENOUNCED AT THE 20th CONGRESS OF THE Communist Party of the Soviet Union HERALDING AN ERA OF EUPHORIA AND THE ILLUSION OF CREATIVE FREEDOM. SOVIET ARTISTS FOR THE FIRST TIME HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH CURRENT WESTERN ART (PICASSO AND OTHERS). FEWER RESTRICTIONS ON LOOKING BACK AT THE ARTISTIC LEGACY INCLUDING THE EXPLORATION INTO MODERNISM IN THE FIRST DECADES OF THE CENTURY. NEVERTHELESS REPRESENTATIVE FIGURALISM PRESERVES ITS LEADING PLACE ON THE OFFICIALLY APPROVED SCALE OF VALUES. FORMALLY VARIED IT BECOMES KNOWN AS THE "HARSH STYLE".
 
THE HARSH STYLE AS A VARIETY OF SOCIALIST REALISM
EXPLORATIONS IN FORM BY YOUNG ARTISTS
Boriss Bērziņš. Anniversary. Salacgrīva fishermen. 1961. Oil on cardboard. 102x81
Henrijs Klēbahs. The Old wall. 1961. Oil on canvas. 84x63