The Art from behind the Iron Curtain

б. Kosolapov. Lenin – Coca-Cola. 1984

The Soviet Avant-garde is extremely popular in Europe. Even before the Sots Art (short for Socialist Art) threw off the yoke of the Ministry of Culture and NKVD, the art of Moscow iconoclasts had appeared on the word scene where it became strongly sought for and even fashionable. The West was pleased to accept the tough socio-political sarcasm of Komar and Melamid, I. Kobakov and many other nonconformists from the country of winning socialism. There was something mysterious and rebellious about their art as well as something near and dear. Pop Art and Sots Art sound similar not in vain.

Total Enlightenment: Conceptual Art in Moscow 1960-1980 is one of the largest exhibitions of the Soviet Avant-garde prepared for the Schirn Künsthalle Frankfurt by famous curator and fine art expert Boris Groys. After Germany the exhibition moved to Spain. On the 10th of October Total Enlightenment was opened in the Fundación Juan March showroom, Madrid.

About 150 items by twenty five leading conceptualist artists such as Ilya Kabakov, Erik Bulatov, Boris Mikhailov, Dmitri Prigov and many others are presented there. The exposition contains paintings, graphics, and subject and media installations. All these heterogeneous works are bound to each other by common ideology and attitude to art as a language. Each of them is a distinctive contemplation of Soviet life, country and ideology.

The exposition is divided into two parts according to the chronological periods. The first showrooms contain the works from 1960 to 1970 describing the everyday life of a common Soviet man. These are the works by Kabakov, Komar and Melamid, Pivovarov, Prigov and Rubinstein. The second part of the exhibition presents the younger generation, specifically the artist group Collective Actions, Monastyrski, Zakharov, and Pepperstein.

The exhibition will last till the 11th of January, 2009.

Fundación Juan March
Castelló, 77 – 28006 MADRID – ESPAÑA +34 91 435 42 40

Published in: on November 26, 2008 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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