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The Priceless 1990 Documentary That Records The Critical Moments Before, During And After The West’s “Buying In” To The “Unofficial” Soviet Art Scene, And The Effects It Had, Good And Bad, On The Soviet's Repressed Unofficial Artists And Their Art, Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD, MP4 Video Download Or USB Flash Drive! (Color, 1990, 53 Minutes.) #USSRArt #SovietNonconformistArt #SovietArt #ArtOfTheSovietUnion #Art #ArtHistory #HistoryOfArt #Glasnost #Perestroika #ColdWar #RevolutionsOf1989 #DVD #VideoDownload #MP4 #USBFlashDrive
Soviet Art: Soviet Nonconformist Art: The death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, and Nikita Khrushchev's Thaw, paved the way for a wave of liberalization in the arts throughout the Soviet Union. Although no official change in policy took place, artists began to feel free to experiment in their work, with considerably less fear of repercussions than during the Stalinist period. In the 1950s Moscow artist Ely Bielutin encouraged his students to experiment with abstractionism, a practice thoroughly discouraged by the Artists' Union, which strictly enforced the official policy of Socialist Realism. Artists who chose to paint in alternative styles had to do so completely in private and were never able to exhibit or sell their work. As a result, Nonconformist Art developed along a separate path than the Official Art that was recorded in the history books. Life magazine published two portraits by two painters, who to their mind, were most representative of Russian Arts of the period: it was Serov, an official Soviet icon and Anatoly Zverev, an underground Russian avant-garde expressionist. Serov's portrait of Vladimir Lenin and Zverev's self-portrait were associated by many with an eternal Biblical struggle of Satan and Saviour. When Khrushchev learned about the publication he was outraged and forbade all contacts with Western visitors, closed down all semi legal exhibitions. And of course Zverev was the main target of his outrage. The Lianozovo Group was formed around the artist Oscar Rabin in the 1960s and included artists such as Valentina Kropivnitskaya, Vladimir Nemukhin, and Lydia Masterkova. While not adhering to any common style, these artists sought to faithfully express themselves in the mode they deemed appropriate, rather than adhere to the propagandistic style of Socialist Realism. Tolerance of Nonconformist Art by the authorities underwent an ebb and flow until the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Artists took advantage of the first few years after the death of Stalin to experiment in their work without the fear of persecution. In 1962, artists experienced a slight setback when Nikita Khrushchev appeared at the exhibition of the 30th anniversary of the Moscow Artist's Union at the Moscow Manege exhibition hall, an episode known as the Manege Affair. Among the customary works of Socialist Realism were a few abstract works by artists such as Ernst Neizvestny and Eli Beliutin, which Khrushchev criticized as being "shit," and the artists for being "homosexuals." The message was clear: artistic policy was not as liberal as everyone had hoped. The history of late Soviet art has been dominated by politics and simplistic formulae. Both within the art world and the general public, very little consideration has been given to the aesthetic character of the work produced in the USSR in the 1970s and 1980s. Instead, the official and unofficial art of the period usually stood in for either "bad" or "good" political developments. A more nuanced picture would emphasize that there were numerous competing groups making art in Moscow and Leningrad throughout this period. The most important figures for the international art scene have been the Moscow artists Ilya Kabakov, Erik Bulatov, Andrei Monastyrsky, Vitaly Komar and Aleksandr Melamid. The most infamous incident regarding nonconformist artists in the former Soviet Union was the 1974 Bulldozer Exhibition, which took place in a park just outside Moscow, and included work by such artists as Oscar Rabin, Komar and Melamid, Alexandr Zhdanov, Nikolai Smoliakov and Leonid Sokov. The artists involved had written to the authorities for permission to hold the exhibition but received no answer to their request. They decided to go ahead with the exhibition anyway, which consisted solely of unofficial works of art that did not fit into the rubric of Socialist Realism. The KGB put an end to the exhibition just hours after it opened by bringing in bulldozers to completely destroy all of the artworks present. However, the foreign press had been there to witness the event, and the worldwide coverage of it forced the authorities to permit an exhibition of Nonconformist Art two weeks later in Izmailovsky Park in Moscow. A few West European collectors supported many of the artists in the Soviet Union during the 60s and 70s. One of the leading collectors and philanthropists were the couple Kenda and Jacob Bar-Gera. The Bar-Gera Collection consists of some 200 works of 59 Soviet Russian artists of who did not want to embrace the official art directive of the post-Stalinist Soviet Union. Kenda and Jacob Bar-Gera, both are survivors of the holocaust, supported these partially persecuted artists by sending them money or painting material from Germany to the Soviet Union. Even though the Kenda and Jacob did not meet the artists in person, they bought many of their paintings and other art objects. The works were smuggled to Germany by hiding them in the suitcases of diplomats, travelling businessmen, and students, thus making the Bar-Gera Collection of Russian Non-Conformists among the largest of its kind in the world. Among others, the collection content works of Bachtschanjan Vagritsch, Jankilevskij Wladimir, Rabin Oskar, Batschurin Ewganij, Kabakov Ilja, Schablavin Sergei, Belenok Piotr, Krasnopevcev Dimitrij, Schdanov Alexander, Igor Novikov, Bitt Galina, Kropivnitzkaja Walentina, Schemjakin Michail, Bobrowskaja Olga, Kropivnitzkij Lew,Schwarzman Michail, Borisov Leonid, Kropiwnizkij Jewgenij, Sidur Vadim, Bruskin Grischa, Kulakov Michail, Sitnikov Wasili, and many others. By the 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of Perestroika and Glasnost made it virtually impossible for the authorities to place restrictions on artists or their freedom of expression. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new market economy enabled the development of a gallery system, which meant that artists no longer had to be employed by the state, and could create work according to their own tastes, as well as the tastes of their private patrons. Consequently, after around 1986 the phenomenon of Nonconformist Art in the Soviet Union ceased to exist.