Artists Against the State:
Perestroika Revisited

May 6 - June 24, 2006

The Brooklyn Rail

The Village Voice
The New York Times

Installation view south gallery

Installation view south gallery

Installation view north gallery

Installation view north gallery

Installation view north gallery

The Peppers

Leonid Lamm

Untitled (Geese), 1989
enamel on masonite, spackle/glue mixture
48 1/2 x 58 1/2 inches
Private Collection

Assembly Hall, Butyrka Prison,
1976, 1986
oil on canvas
80 x 80 inches

Simon Faibisovich

Nikolai Kozlov

Holiday, 1986
oil on canvas
74 1/2 x 78 3/4 inches
Private Collection

Non-Party Member, c. 1989
painted wood gun replica, canvas
duffel bag with painted text
29 x 52 x 21 inches

Boris Orlov

Komar & Melamid

Group Portrait with Ribbons,
c. 1988
painted bronze
19 x 15 x 9 inches
Collection of Grisha and Alexandra Bruskin

Portrait of Ronald Reagan
as Centaur
, 1981
oil on canvas
91 x 63 inches
Collection of Michael and Judy Steinhardt

Eric Bulatov

Rimma & Valeriy Gerlovin

Sevina Sineva (Seva's Blue), 1979
oil on canvas
79 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches
The Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection
of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union.
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers,
The State University of New Jersey

Be-lie-ve, 1990
color photograph
48 x 48 inches framed
Private Collection
Brodsky & Utkin Andrei Khlobystin

Still Life, 1989
glass top iron table, painted plaster
7 feet 7 3/4 inches x 13 feet 6 inches x
29 feet 3/4 inches

Der untergang des abendlandes
1983, 1988
acrylic and mixed media on textile
51 x 39 1/2 inches
Courtesy Paul Judelson and I-20 Gallery,
New York

Grisha Bruskin

Grisha Bruskin

The Birth of the Hero, c. 1985-88
15 painted b ronze sculptures,
variable sizes
Collection of Grisha and Alexandra Bruskin

The Birth of the Hero, c. 1985-88
15 painted b ronze sculptures,
variable sizes
Collection of Grisha and Alexandra Bruskin
Sergei Bugaev (Afrika) Dimitri Prigov

Banya (Bath), 1988
oil on canvas
26 x 39 inches framed
Courtesy I-20 Gallery, New York

Glasnost, c. 1987
ink on newspaper
18 3/4 x 15 inches framed
Collection of Grisha and Alexandra Bruskin
Leonid Sokov Andrei Roiter

The Meeting: Two Sculptures,
covered bronze metal, bronze, patina
19 1/2 x 15 x 5 1/2 inches

Self-Portrait, 1991
photograph, mirror, brick
9 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches

Artists included in Artists Against the State: Perestroika Revisited
    Yuri Albert, Moscow artist, b.1959
    Nikita Alexeev, Moscow artist, b.1953
    Sergei Anufriev, Moscow artist, b.1964
    Yuri Avvakumov, Moscow artist, b.1953
    Vagrich Bakhchanyan, Moscow artist, b.1938, emigrated to New York in 1974
    Brodsky & Utkin
    (Alexander Brodsky, Moscow artist, b.1955
    Ilya Utkin,
    Moscow artist, b.1955)
    Grisha Bruskin, Moscow artist, b.1945
    Sergei Bugaev (Afrika), Leningrad artist, b.1966,
    Eric Bulatov, Moscow artist, b.1933
    Ivan Chuikov, Moscow artist, b.1935
    Collective Action, Moscow artists
    Elena Elagina, Moscow artist, b.1951
    Simon Faibisovich, Moscow artist, b.1949
    Andrei Filippov, Moscow artist, b.1959
    Rimma & Valeriy Gerlovin, Moscow artists, b.1945, emigrated to New York in 1980
    Eduard Gorokhovsky, Moscow artist, 1929-2004
    Sven Gundlakh, Moscow artist, b.1959
    Georgy Guryanov, Leningrad artist, b.1961
    Ilya Kabakov, Moscow artist, b.1933
    Andrei Khlobystin, Leningrad artist, b.1961
    George Kizewalter, Moscow artist, b.1955
    Komar & Melamid
    (Vitaly Komar,
    Moscow artist, b.1943, emigrated to New York in 1978
    Alexander Melamid, Moscow artist, b.1945, emigrated to New York in 1978)
    Maria Konstantinova,
    Moscow artist, b.1955
    Igor Kopystiansky, Moscow artist, b.1954
    Svetlana Kopystiansky, Moscow artist, b.1950
    Alexander Kosolapov,
    Moscow artist, b.1943, emigrated to New York in 1975
    Nikolai Kozlov,
    Moscow artist, b.1954
      Leonid Lamm, Moscow artist, b.1928, emigrated to New York in 1982
      Rostislav Lebedev, Moscow artist, b.1946
      Yuri Leiderman, Moscow artist, b.1963
      Georgy Litichevsky, Moscow artist, b.1956
      Igor Makarevich, Moscow artist, b.1943
      The Martinchiks
      (Svetlana Martinchik,
      Moscow artist, b.1965
      Igor Stepin,
      Moscow artist, b.1967)
      Sergei Mironenko, Moscow artist, b.1959
      Andrei Monastyrsky, Moscow artist, b.1949
      Irina Nakhova, Moscow artist, b.1955
      Timur Novikov, Leningrad artist, 1958
      Boris Orlov, Moscow artist, b.1941
      Nikolai Ovchinnikov, Moscow artist, b.1958
      The Peppers
      (Ludmila Skripkina,
      Moscow artist, b.1965
      Oleg Petrenko, Moscow artist, b.1964)
      Pavel Peppershtein, Moscow artist, b.1966
      Gregory Perkel, Moscow artist, b.1939, emigrated to New York in 1977
      Viktor Pivovarov, Moscow artist, b.1937
      Dimitri Prigov, Moscow artist, b.1940
      Andrei Roiter, Moscow artist, b.1960
      Aidan Salakhova, Moscow artist, b.1964
      Maria Serebryakova, Moscow artist, b.1965
      Leonid Sokov, Moscow artist, b.1941, emigrated to New York in 1979
      Oleg Vassiliev, Moscow artist, b.1931
      Sergei Volkov, Moscow artist, b.1956
      Andrei Yakhnin, Moscow artist, b.1966
      Vadim Zakharov, Moscow artist, b.1959
      Konstantin Zvezdochetov, Moscow artist, b.1958
      Larisa Zvezdochetova, Moscow artist, b.1958
      Anatoly Zhuravlev, Moscow artist, b.1963

Click here for a PDF version of the following
Press Release.
For Immediate Release: April 18, 2006


May 6 – June 24

It has not been emphasized nearly enough that the history of nonconformist art is one of the great heroic stories of the last half of this century. It is the story of several generations of artists who had learned their skills in the rigorous state-supported system of training, but who insisted on the kind of interior freedom that was anathema to the authorities.…The desire to create from a sense of utter necessity and honesty prompted their refusal to accept the authority of the state in matters of art.

Renee Baigell and Matthew Baigell, Soviet Dissident Artists (Rutgers University Press:1995)

The Feldman Gallery will exhibit conceptual works by more than fifty nonconformist artists from the former Soviet Union who burst onto the international art scene during Perestroika – that period of political and cultural reform initiated by Gorbachev in the late ‘80s and ending in 1991 with the break-up of the USSR. Working outside the parameters of government sanctioned art, unofficial artists developed various strategies for survival that ranged from public confrontation to withdrawal into the private sphere. Subject to persecution, the underground existed at great risk.

Nonconformist art evolved with its own systems of signage characterized by: text and commentary, the deconstruction of Soviet ideology, banalities of daily life, fictional mythologies and shifting truths, and arcane hermeneutics – an anti-utopian conceptualism laced with irony and biting satire.

The exhibition covers the period from the beginning of conceptualism in the ‘70s through Perestroika, with a few later works that relate to those times, and features early works by Komar & Melamid, whose satirical inversion of Soviet ideology (Sots Art) was a major influence throughout the period. The sprawling installation is comprised of four groups of several generations. Moscow Conceptualism includes Ilya Kabakov, Eric Bulatov, artists from the performance-based group, Collective Action, Vadim Zakharov, and Pavel Peppershtein, Yuri Leiderman, and Sergei Anufriev, who often collaborated as the Medical Hermeneutics. Other Moscow artists include Grisha Bruskin, “paper architects,” and several younger artists working under different circumstances. Important Leningrad artists (now St. Petersburg) of the same period include the late Timur Novikov and Sergei Bugaev (Afrika). Works by émigré artists, who emigrated in the ‘70s, include Vagrich Bakhchanyan’s depictions of caricatured Americans, Leonid Sokov sculptures, and a Leonid Lamm painting based upon his experience in prison.

A collection of drawings created for Andrew Solomon’s book, The Irony Tower (Knopf:1991), captures the spirit of the times. Archival material traces the history of underground exhibitions from the censored to the commercial.

The Feldman Gallery has an historic association with nonconformist Russian artists beginning with its exhibition of smuggled works by Komar & Melamid in 1976. The gallery premiered three major installations by Ilya Kabakov, including the first realization of Ten Characters in 1988. Other exhibitions include large-scale installations by the paper architects, Brodsky & Utkin in 1990; Grey Matter by Alexander Brodsky in 1999; and installations by two collaborative duos, the Peppers in 1991 and The Martinchiks in 1995. The Feldman Gallery facilitated the United States traveling tour of Perspectives of Conceptualism, one of the first uncensored exhibitions of conceptual art held in Moscow in 1988. The gallery also published Projects, a portfolio of 35 etchings by Brodsky & Utkin.

The exhibition is curated by Marco Nocella, Peggy Jarrell Kaplan, and Ronald Feldman. The Harriman Institute at Columbia University will exhibit related photographs by Peggy Jarrell Kaplan in October.

There will be a reception May 6th, 6:00 – 8:00. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 – 6:00. Monday by appointment. For more information, contact Sarah Paulson at (212) 226-3232 or

Copyright 2010 Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Inc. Click here for more detailed information.