Completed by the artist in 1922, this memoirbecame available in Englishin 1965 whenPeter Owen published this translation, and it has remained in print ever since. Lyrical and evocative, it is a key work in Chagall studies for the light it sheds on the shaping of the artist s creative genius. His deep roots in Jewish traditionreligious and secularare reflected in these recollections of his poverty-stricken youth from Witebsk, White Russia, to the Parisian art world. Together, his words and pictures paint an incomparable portrait of one of the greatest artists of this century, and of the now vanished milieu that inspired him."
Born in 1962 in Moscow, where she still lives, Olga Chernysheva is one of the most perceptive and sensitive observers of her native country's cultural and geographic landscape. Eschewing simplistic rendering of the post-Soviet political and social atmosphere, Chernysheva instead depicts a side of Russia that is rarely seen. Drawing is integral to this drive in Chernysheva's work: her charcoal renderings, with their blurred edges and delicate textures, provide the viewer with an arrestingly intimate view of her anonymous subjects as they linger, doze, and aimlessly wander. This volume documents the series of works that The Drawing Center commissioned Chernysheva to produce over the course of a month in New York City in 2015. Though she has been depicting the urban landscape for decades, she has rarely strayed from portraits of her home country.
This is a biography in English of an extraordinary polymath whose genius was stifled and finally extinguished by the Soviet Union. Today Pavel Florensky is often referred to as the Russian da Vinci.
In the 1960s and 1970s, an American professor of Soviet economics forayed on his own in the Soviet Union, bought the work of underground "unofficial" artists, and brought it out himself or arranged to have it illegally shipped to the United States. Norton Dodge visited the apartments of unofficial artists in at least a dozen geographically scattered cities. By 1977, he had a thousand works of art. His ultimate window of interest involved the years from 1956 to 1986, and through his established contacts he eventually acquired another eight thousand works--by far the largest collection of its kind.
John McPhee investigates Dodge's clandestine activities in the service of dissident Soviet art, his motives for his work, and the fates of several of the artists whose lives he touched. The Ransom of Russian Art is a suspenseful, chilling, and fascinating report on a covert operation like no other. It offers unprecedented insight into Soviet culture at the brink of the Union's collapse.
Red Cavalry analyzes the connection between aesthetic inquiry and political commitment in Soviet Russia in the 1920s and 30s and explains some of the key moments in this relationship. Through a remarkable collection of texts by specialists like Evgeny Dovrenko, Cristina Lodder, Pascal Huyn, Richard Stites, Andrei Smirnov, Vitali Shentalinski et. al., along with documentary material, it illustrates the strategies adopted by the Soviet state to impose its ideologies using a new language, mythology, symbols, rites and heroes, and investigates the contribution made by writers, filmmakers, musicians, artists and playwrights (whom Stalin himself described as the "engineers of the soul" by examining the active participation of some in the Bolshevik propaganda, the isolation of others, and the despair felt by many.
David King (1943-2016) amassed one of the world's largest collections of Soviet political art and photographs. In exploring the intersection of art, politics, and society, few collections in the world can compare with the David King Collection, now part of Tate. King was not only a passionate collector, but also an artist, designer, and historian, and he produced revelatory and award-winning books on Soviet design history. Here, every step of the Soviet journey is documented with visual media, photomontage, photographs, paintings, handwritten notes, books (signed with annotations and marginalia), enclosures, and ephemera. Published to accompany an exhibition, this accessible and highly illustrated publication features key pieces from the collection, accompanied by short explanatory texts that bring this exceptional era in design history to life.
One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, this comprehensive survey explores all aspects of its groundbreaking art
One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, Revolution: Russian Art, 1917-1932 explores one of the most momentous periods in modern world history through its groundbreaking art. The October Revolution of 1917 ended centuries of Tsarist rule and left artists such as Malevich, Tatlin, Popova and Rodchenko urgently debating what form a new "people's art" would take.Painting and sculpture were redefined by Kandinsky's boldly innovative compositions, Malevich's dynamic abstractions and the Constructivists' attempts to transform art into technical engineering. Photography, architecture, film and graphic design also experienced revolutionary changes. These debates were definitively settled in 1932, when Stalin began to suppress the avant-garde in favor of Socialist Realism--collective in production, public in manifestation and Communist in ideology. Based around a remarkable exhibition shown in Leningrad's State Russian Museum in 1932--which was to be the swansong of avant-garde art in Russia--this volume explores that revolutionary 15-year period between 1917 and 1932 when possibilities seemed limitless and Russian art flourished across every medium. Published to accompany a major exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (the first to attempt to survey the entire artistic landscape of post-Revolutionary Russia), Revolution explores the painting, sculpture, photography, film, poster art and product design of the years after the Russian Revolution. Including contributions from some of the most prominent scholars in the field (John Milner, Natalia Murray, Nick Murray, Masha Chlenova, Ian Christie, John E. Bowlt, Nicoletta Misler, Zelfira Tregulova, Faina Balakhovskaya, Evgenia Petrova and Christina Lodder), Revolution is a timely and authoritative exploration of both the idealistic aspirations and the harsh realities of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath.
From the first Modernist exhibitions in the late 1890s to the Soviet rupture with the West in the mid-1930s, Russian artists and writers came into wide contact with modern European art and ideas. Introducing a wealth of little-known material set in an illuminating interpretive context, this sourcebook presents Russian and Soviet views of Western art during this critical period of cultural transformation. The writings document complex responses to these works and ideas before the Russians lost contact with them almost entirely. Many of these writings have been unavailable to foreign readers and, until recently, were not widely known even to Russian scholars. Both an important reference and a valuable resource for classrooms, the book includes an introductory essay and shorter introductions to the individual sections.
Crucial texts, many available in English for the first time, written before and during the Bolshevik Revolution by the radical biopolitical utopianists of Russian Cosmism.
Cosmism emerged in Russia before the October Revolution and developed through the 1920s and 1930s; like Marxism and the European avant-garde, two other movements that shared this intellectual moment, Russian Cosmism rejected the contemplative for the transformative, aiming to create not merely new art or philosophy but a new world. Cosmism went the furthest in its visions of transformation, calling for the end of death, the resuscitation of the dead, and free movement in cosmic space. This volume collects crucial texts, many available in English for the first time, by the radical biopolitical utopianists of Russian Cosmism.
Cosmism was developed by the Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov in the late nineteenth century; he believed that humans had an ethical obligation not only to care for the sick but to cure death using science and technology; outer space was the territory of both immortal life and infinite resources. After the revolution, a new generation pursued Fedorov's vision. Cosmist ideas inspired visual artists, poets, filmmakers, theater directors, novelists (Tolstoy and Dostoevsky read Fedorov's writings), architects, and composers, and influenced Soviet politics and technology. In the 1930s, Stalin quashed Cosmism, jailing or executing many members of the movement. Today, when the philosophical imagination has again become entangled with scientific and technological imagination, the works of the Russian Cosmists seem newly relevant.
Alexander Bogdanov, Alexander Chizhevsky, Nikolai Fedorov, Boris Groys, Valerian Muravyev, Alexander Svyatogor, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Anton Vidokle, Brian Kuan Wood
A copublication with e-flux, New York
Danzig Baldaev's father was an academic, an ethnologist who found himself imprisoned under Soviet rule as an enemy of the people. In fact much of Baldaev's family moved through the Soviet prison system, while he became a guard. At his father's suggestion, Danzig used his access to document and study the tattoos that were pervasive among the truly criminal portion of the prison population, the vory v zakonye, or legitimate thieves, a semi-professional class who kept their own brutal laws. During his 30 years supervising inmates in St. Petersburg's notorious Kresty Prison, Baldaev recorded more than 3,000 of their tattoos and parsed their meanings, in the drawings and text that made the first volume of the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia a bestseller. This essential second volume, which collects all-new, previously unseen photographs and drawings, goes to the extremes of his incredible collection. Sergei Vasiliev's photographs authenticate the images, Baldaev's drawings make sense of them and through them both we glimpse an extraordinary world where the criminal's position, history and even sexual preference are displayed indelibly on his body.