Kollektsia ! — Art contemporain en URSS et en Russie 1950-2000


Painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media

Kollektsia !
Art contemporain en URSS et en Russie 1950-2000

Ends in 5 months: September 14, 2016 → March 27, 2017

The exhibition reveal the wealth and diversity of an art created outside official structures. In the late 1950s, stimulated by the exhibitions of art from abroad made possible by Khrushchev’s thaw, non-conformist artists like Francisco Infante, Vladimir Yakovlev and Yuri Zlotnikov re-engaged with the aesthetic practices of the Russian modernist avant-gardes, source of inspiration for so many Western artists, and sought to invent their own formal language In 1962, Khrushchev’s closure of the non-conformist room at the famous Moscow Manege exhibition signalled the exclusion from official exhibition spaces, for many years again, of any art that departed from the official doctrine of Socialist Realism, whose adoption in the 1930s had brought an end to Modernist experiment in the USSR.

The 1970s then saw the emergence of two major movements, their boundaries somewhat loosely defined. Moscow Conceptualism achieved a certain ascendancy with the work of Ilya Kabakov, Viktor Pivovarov and Rimma and Valery Gerlovin, then followed by Andrei Monastyrsky and Dmitri Prigov. According a leading role to language and working at the intersection of poetry, performance and visual art, these artists proposed, in the Moscow of the Brezhnevite stagnation, a conceptual art that reflected the primacy of literature in Russian culture. The first Conceptualists were joined in the late 1970s by a second generation that included the Mukhomor group, Yuri Albert, Mikhail Roshal, Viktor Skersis and Vadim Zakharov.

Alongside Moscow Conceptualism, the Sots Art invented by Komar and Melamid played in Pop fashion on the codes of Soviet propaganda. Unlike the Pop artists — confronted by a superabundance of consumer goods — Alexander Kosolapov, Boris Orlov and Leonid Sokov sought to demythologise the ideological environment of Soviet society. A prolifically productive movement, a number of whose representatives would emigrate from the 1970s onward, Sots Art strongly influenced the aesthetics of the perestroika years, inspiring the work of numerous artists, among them Grisha Bruskin.

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Boris Orlov, Buste dans le style de Rastrelli, 1996 Peinture-émail sur bronze — 71 × 47 × 18 cm Don de Vladimir et Ekaterina Semenikhin

The advent of perestroika in the mid-1980s was marked by a real creative effervescence imbued by the underground culture sustained by a number of squats. An intoxicating sense of freedom informed the work of the young artists of the day: Sergei Anufriev, Andreï Filippov, Yuri Leiderman, Pavel Pepperstein and the Pertsy group (“The Peppers”) in Moscow and Sergei Bugaev-Afrika, Oleg Kotelnikov, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe and Timur Novikov in Leningrad.

The end of the decade saw the legitimation of this art born on the margins. The mechanisms of a hitherto non-existent art market began to be set in place: in 1988, a first auction organised by Sotheby’s in Moscow gave a tangible value to unofficial art, and the boundary between official and unofficial abruptly disappeared. A new generation of artists appeared, among them AES+F, Dmitri Gutov, Valery Koshlyakov and Oleg Kulik. The 2000s saw contemporary art institutionalised and become an integral part of the national culture.

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Place Georges Pompidou

75004 Paris

T. 01 44 78 12 33 — F. 01 44 78 16 73


Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 11 AM – 9 PM
Late night on Thursday until 11 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €14.00 — Concessions €11.00

Gratuit pour les moins de 18 ans, billet exonéré pour les moins de 26 ans. Et pour tout le monde, les premiers dimanches du mois.

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