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The fervent nature of Guttusos politics is captured in The Discussion. The work mixes the reportage style of Socialist Realism with the modernist device of collage, and shows a scene of heated debate. Partial headlines are legible, such as 'Proletariat' and 'Today in Moscow'. It coincided with Guttuso's increasing need to defend art that was committed to realism at a time when many in the Western European Communist parties were questioning its value following the death of Stalin and the disintegration of Stalinism.

August 2004