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(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov – «Коллекция 2х3м» – русский текст >> /// Die Sammlung 2x3m – deutscher Text >>

(E-E) EVGENIJ KOZLOV ‘The Collection 2 x 3 m’

Curator: Hannelore Fobo

Text and Documentation (Summary): Hannelore Fobo, May 2019
List of works >>

A detailed description in seven chapters is available in German >> and Russian >>

Related documents:
The first exhibition on Palace Bridge 1990 >>
Video by Evgenij Kozlov (1991) >>
The 4th exhibition of Evgenij Kozlov's «Collection 2 x 3m», Berlin 1995, exhibition booklet >>
Two lost paintings by Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe from 1990 >>



(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at the Exhibition on Palace Bridge, Saint Petersburg, on the night from the 22nd to the 23rd of July 1990. Six of the exhibibited works constitute the beginning of Kozlov's Collection 2x3m: two at the top of the left column (Oleg Kotelnikov, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe) and four at the top of the right column (Ivan Sotnikov, Vladislav Gutsevich, Elena Bogdanova and Vyacheslav Mogilevsky). Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 23 July 1990

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at the Exhibition on Palace Bridge, Saint Petersburg, on the night from the 22nd to the 23rd of July 1990. Six of the exhibibited works constitute the beginning of Kozlov's Collection 2x3m: two at the top of the left column (Oleg Kotelnikov, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe) and four at the top of the right column (Ivan Sotnikov, Vladislav Gutsevich, Elena Bogdanova and Vyacheslav Mogilevsky).
Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 23 July 1990
more >>


The Collection 2x3m – The Concept

Born in Leningrad in 1955, Evgenij Kozlov, who works under the artist name ‘E-E’, was one of the leading artists of the Leningrad avant-garde of the 1980s. (Kozlov about "The New Artists”, 2010 >>)

In 1990, as the Soviet Union was facing a political crisis of unprecedented magnitude, he laid the foundation for an extraordinary collection of Russian art: The Collection 2x3m. This collection was to serve a double purpose: to demonstrate that power could not rule over spirit forever and to reestablish ‘Art from Leningrad’ as a concept – a brand.

As a rule, art collections are known by the names of the collectors or the institutions they belong to: The Shchukin Collection, The Morozov Collection (both now belong to the Pushkin Museum and the Hermitage), The National Gallery Collection, Berlin. By contrast, the name The Collection 2x3m refers to the concept it is based on.

The beginning of The Collection 2x3m. Left: Oleg Kotelnikov Still-Life at +90˚; right: Ivan Sotnikov Christmas Smile; on the floor: Elena Bogdavona Sunspot Studio (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov The Russian Field, Leningrad, 1990 Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 9 May 1990

The beginning of The Collection 2x3m. Left: Oleg Kotelnikov Still-Life at +90˚; right: Ivan Sotnikov Christmas Smile; on the floor: Elena Bogdavona Sunspot
Studio (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
The Russian Field, Leningrad, 1990
Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 9 May 1990

Kozlov would invite the most gifted artists of his city to his studio RUSSKOEE POLEE / The Russian Field and suggest that they create, specifically for the collection, a work measuring two by three meters, thus challenging them to realise their creative potential with a large-scale composition. In this way he strove to build up an art collection together with the principal figures of the former Leningrad underground – a collection that would have the magnitude of a museum collection, both in terms of its scope and the size of its works, and could bear comparison with the first Russian avant-garde.

Ivan Sotnikov painting Christmas Smile for The Collection 2x3m Studio (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov The Russian Field, Leningrad, 1990 Photo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Ivan Sotnikov painting Christmas Smile for The Collection 2x3m
Studio (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
The Russian Field, Leningrad, 1990
Photo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

In reaction to the censorship of the Soviet times, the young Leningrad art scene of the 1980s had created, together with the music scene, its own microcosm, which encompassed many different artistic trends and attracted artists from other regions and republics of the Soviet Union (the Ukraine, Azerbaijan, etc.).

The Collection 2x3m shows this diversity in a powerful way, as a grand narrative. It comprises more than forty works by members of the best-known Petersburg art groups of the eighties and nineties: The New Artists, Necrorealists, Mitki, The School of Engineers of Art, and Neoacademists. Besides, it boasts a number of independent artists, such as Bob Koshelokhov, who played a significant role in the so-called unofficial Leningrad art since the 1970s, or Vadim Sadovnikov, a rocker and priest discovered by Kozlov. In Oleg Kulik, it also has an outstanding representative of Moscow conceptualism. Kozlov hopes to complete The Collection 2x3m with works by other Moscow artists as well.

The fourth exhibition of The Collection 2x3m, partial view. From left to right, leaning against the wall: works by Vyacheslav Mogilevsky (cut at the right margin), Ivan Sotnikov, Oleg Zaika, Franz Rotvald, and Inal Savchenkov. Works hanging by Elena Bogdanova, Vladislav Saitsev, and Sergey Enkov. On the floor: Vladislav Gutsevich. On the rear wall: two works by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov from the cycle Miniatures in Paradise more >>. The Russian Field No 2, studio (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, Berlin, 1995. Photo: Hannelore Fobo

The fourth exhibition of The Collection 2x3m, partial view.
From left to right, leaning against the wall: works by Vyacheslav Mogilevsky (cut at the right margin), Ivan Sotnikov, Oleg Zaika, Franz Rotvald, and Inal Savchenkov.
Works hanging by Elena Bogdanova, Vladislav Saitsev, and Sergey Enkov. On the floor: Vladislav Gutsevich.
On the rear wall: two works by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov from the cycle
Miniatures in Paradise more >>.
The Russian Field No 2, studio (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, Berlin, 1995.
Photo: Hannelore Fobo


Good-bye to Leningrad – Welcome to Berlin

Entrance to building C at Chausseestrasse 34/35, Berlin. On the upper floor was (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov's studio RUSSKOEE POLEE / DAS RUSSISCHE FELD Nr 2 – The Russian Field No 2 or – simply – The Russian Field (1994-2008). Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 1990s.

Entrance to building C at Chausseestrasse 34/35, Berlin. On the upper floor was (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov's studio RUSSKOEE POLEE / DAS RUSSISCHE FELD Nr 2The Russian Field No 2 or – simply – The Russian Field (1994-2008). Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 1990s.

Evgenij Kozlov developed the collection in the 1990s. Since 1994, this process took place in his Berlin studio The Russian Field No. 2, which we opened together. We first met in Leningrad in 1990, and since 1991 I have been the curator of The Collection 2x3m. Thus, two periods can be identified in the collection’s development: the beginning of The Collection 2x3m in the Leningrad studio The Russian Field, which Kozlov had to give up in 1991, and its continuation in the Berlin studio The Russian Field No. 2 (1994–2008), where we held the third and fourth exhibition of The Collection 2x3m in 1994 and 1995, respectively.

The creation of The Collection 2x3m was determined by three factors: the microcosm of the Leningrad art scene, the charisma of one of its principal figures, who had a grand vision for Russian art, and the last stage of perestroika, when the old restrictions of the Soviet era were no longer relevant and the new capitalist ones had not yet taken effect. The Great Le-ye-nin (1990), Kozlov's own contribution to The Collection 2x3m, was a farewell to the Soviet era: Lenin's red eyes symbolize the ruthlessness with which Lenin and his comrades ‘reshaped’ the Russian society, regardless of the casualties.

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at the opening of the exhibition Умелые ручки / Skilled Hands at the Mayak Club, Leningrad, 17 May 1990. Left Kozlov's The Great Le-yeh-nin.

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at the opening of the exhibition Умелые ручки / Skilled Hands at the Mayak Club, Leningrad, 17 May 1990. Left Kozlov's The Great Le-yeh-nin. more >>

For Berlin, too, the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall were amazing years of transition: art initiatives flourished unimpeded in vacant houses that were not immediately put up for sale. In a disused factory in Chausseestraße 35, in former East Berlin, Evgenij Kozlov found a new artistic home in 1994. Here we could once again receive Petersburg artists, as well as continue with The Collection 2x3m and display it. Moreover, we established The Russian Field No. 2 as a meeting place for the Russian-German art and cultural scene with exhibitions, concerts, parties, fashion shows, etc. more >>, until gentrification reached the northern area of Berlin-Mitte and we had to close the studio in 2008.

The press and the public had high expectations for the nineties, hoping for a kind of revival of the Russian Berlin of the 1920s. As early as January 1995, articles appeared in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune about (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, The Russian Field, and The Collection 2x3m. The Berliner Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel and the art magazine art soon followed suit. On the occasion of the fourth exhibition of The Collection 2x3m in December 1995, the Sender Freies Berlin reported on our initiative to lay the foundation for a Berlin Museum of Russian Art with this collection; in February 1996, the art magazine art covered this topic as well.

The article in the art magazine art from February 1996 presents The Collection 2x3m with the headline ‘Eine Performance lieferte den Grundstock für die Sammlung’ (A Performance Laid the Foundation for the Collection). The headline was probably inspired by the Hannelore Fobo's picture displaying Evgenij Kozlov and Andrey Khlobystin with the paper sculpture Shadow from 1994, Khlobystin's donation to Kozlov's Collection 2x3m. Yet only in 1995 a work for the collection was in fact created during an art performance: Oleg Maslov and Viktor Kuznetsov painted it during the opening of the fourth exhibition of The Collection 2x3m (see picture below).

The article in the art magazine art from February 1996 presents The Collection 2x3m with the headline ‘Eine Performance lieferte den Grundstock für die Sammlung’ (A Performance Laid the Foundation for the Collection). The headline was probably inspired by the Hannelore Fobo's picture displaying Evgenij Kozlov and Andrey Khlobystin with the paper sculpture Shadow from 1994, Khlobystin's donation to Kozlov's Collection 2x3m. Yet only in 1995 a work for the collection was in fact created during an art performance: Oleg Maslov and Viktor Kuznetsov painted it during the opening of the fourth exhibition of The Collection 2x3m (see picture below).

However, the long years of self-imposed Soviet isolation had taken their toll: the West generally saw Russian contemporary art as a local phenomenon rather than as a part of world culture. ‘The Russians’, in a way, first had to prove that they were up to date. This was the fundamental difference from the Russian Berlin of the twenties, whose principal figures had been considered ahead of the times – not in spite but because of their cultural identity.

Only the future will show whether Kozlov's Collection 2x3m will be able to broaden the Western view of contemporary Russian art. And in the meantime, the artists of The Collection 2x3m hold solo exhibitions in large institutions. For example, we can mention Babi Badalov's For the wall, for the world at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016) or Vita Buivid's retrospective at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2016). As for Kozlov himself, he participated in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.

Works by these and other artists of The Collection 2x3m are housed in major private collections and museums, including the Tate Gallery and Centre Pompidou, both of which are building a department of contemporary art from Russia.

Studio (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov The Russian Field No 2, Berlin, 7 December 1995, at the opening of the fourth exhibition of The Collection 2x3m. Video frames from Ivetta Pomerantseva's documentary.
The Collection 2x3m, from left to right: Igor Ryatov, Valery Morozov, Vadim Ovchinnikov, Oleg Kotelnikov, Ivan Sotnikov. Performance by the Russian-German Chamber Orchestra. (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov. Left: Viktor Kuznestov und Oleg Maslov
The Collection 2x3m, from left to right: Igor Ryatov, Valery Morozov, Vadim Ovchinnikov, Oleg Kotelnikov, Ivan Sotnikov.
Performance by the Russian-German Chamber Orchestra.
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov.
Left: Viktor Kuznestov und Oleg Maslov
Hannelore Fobo, curator of The Collection 2x3m. Paintings by Elena Bogdanova (NIKA) (left) and Vladislav Saitsev (right). Oleg Kotelnikov and Franz Rodvalt. Painting in the background by Andrey Rudev.
Hannelore Fobo, curator of The Collection 2x3m. Paintings by Elena Bogdanova (NIKA) (left) and Vladislav Saitsev (right). Oleg Kotelnikov and Franz Rodvalt. Painting in the background by Andrey Rudev.
Guests from Moscow: artist Sergey Shutov (with glasses) talking to Igor Shulinsky, editor of «Ptyuch» magazine. Oleg Maslov (left) und Viktor Kuznetsov (right) painting a work for Evgenij Kozlov's Collection 2x3m.
Guests from Moscow: artist Sergey Shutov (with glasses) talking to Igor Shulinsky, editor of «Ptyuch» magazine. Oleg Maslov (left) und Viktor Kuznetsov (right) painting a work for Evgenij Kozlov's Collection 2x3m.


The Collection 2x3m in a nutshell

• With The Collection 2x3m artist (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov ostentatiously took the responsibility for art from the state and gave it back to its producers.

The Collection 2x3m shows representatives of the most important artistic movements of the St. Petersburg art scene of the 1980s and 1990s.

• It includes 44 works by 42 artists that date from between 1990 and 1999 and mostly measure 2x3m (or 3x2m). Eleven of them were produced in Kozlov's Leningrad and Berlin studios. A few works were created without relation to this project and then selected for the collection by the artists themselves.

• The latter category includes Bob Koshelokhov's painting, which was created already in the late 1980s and, measuring 320 x 540 cm, is the largest work of the collection.

• The works are executed in different techniques, mostly oil or acrylic on canvas, but also include photographs and works on paper and fabric.

• The paintings are in Berlin. Two additional paintings are at the moment still in St. Petersburg.

The Collection 2x3m and the process of its creation are well-documented, and so is the history of its losses. A third category is made up of works that were painted for the collection but never actually became part of it.

• There have been four exhibitions so far: in 1990 (Leningrad), 1991 (Nantes, France), 1994 (Berlin), and 1995 (Berlin).

• (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov aspires to expand The Collection 2x3m. His goal is to convert it into a museum collection.

Hannelore Fobo, 17 May 2019.

Translation from the German: Tatiana Ziulikova

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov and Timur Novikov with Novikov's work from 1995 for The Collection 2x3m. Berlin, 1996. In the background: four of Kozlov's works from the cycle  „Miniatures in Paradise“, 1995 more >> Studio (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov The Russian Field No 2. Photo: Hannelore Fobo

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov and Timur Novikov with Novikov's work from 1995 for The Collection 2x3m. Berlin, 1996.
In the background: four of Kozlov's works from the cycle „Miniatures in Paradise“, 1995
more >>
Studio (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
The Russian Field No 2. Photo: Hannelore Fobo



List of works >>

A detailed description in seven chapters is available in German >> and Russian >>

Related documents:
The first exhibition on Palace Bridge 1990 >>
Video by Evgenij Kozlov (1991) >>
The 4th exhibition of Evgenij Kozlov's «Collection 2 x 3m», Berlin 1995, exhibition booklet >>
Two lost paintings by Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe from 1990 >>

Uploaded 17 May 2019
Last updated 9 December 2019