(E-E) Ev.g.e.n.i.j ..K.o.z.l.o.     Berlin                                                  


      (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: exhibitions >> • Leningrad 80s >>

Ryska Konstnärer från Leningrad
Russian Artists from Leningrad

Pierre Munkeborg Antik & Inredningar, Stockholm
December 1988

Artists: Sergei Bugaev • Georgy Guryanov • Vladislav Gutsevich • Evgeny Yufit • Oleg Kotelnikov • Evgenij Kozlov • Andrei Krisanov • Irena Kuksenaite • Timur Novikov • Vadim Ovchinnikov • Inal Savchenkov • Viktor Tsoy •
and Armen Avetisian, Anatolyi Belkin, Gennady Zubkov.
Сергеи Бугаев • Георгий Гурьянов • Владислав Гуцевич • Евгений Юфит • Олег Котельников • Евгений Козлов • Андрей Кирсанов • Ирена Куксенайте • Тимур Новиков • Вадим Овчинников • Инал Савченков • Виктор Цой
И Армен Аветисян • Анатолий Белкин • Геннадий Зубков

Text and research: Hannelore Fobo, November / December 2021





Birgitta Rubin: Uttrycksfulla ryska målare (Expressive Russian painters).  DN. På Stan, (Dagens Nyheter, Downtown) 3-9 December 1988. The review presents two exihibitions of Leningrad artists, a group exhibition of the New Artists at Pierre Munkeborg Antik & Inredningar, and a  Gleb Bogomolov's soloshow at Gallery Narva. Picture: Georgy Guryanov "Kosmonauts", The Sara Åkerrén Collection

Birgitta Rubin: Uttrycksfulla ryska målare (Expressive Russian painters).
DN. På Stan, (Dagens Nyheter, Downtown) 3-9 December 1988.

The review presents two exihibitions of Leningrad artists, a group exhibition of the New Artists at Pierre Munkeborg Antik & Inredningar, and a Gleb Bogomolov's soloshow at Gallery Narva.

Picture: Georgy Guryanov "Kosmonauts", The Sara Åkerrén Collection




At the end of 1988, a few months after the large New Artists exhibition De Nya från Leningrad / The New from Leningrad at the Kulturhuset, Stockholm more >>, another exhibition of Leningrad artists opened in Stockholm at Pierre Munkeborg's antique store – Ryska Konstnärer från Leningrad / Russian Artists from Leningrad. The connection between both exhibtions is obvious, since not only their titles were similar, but Russian Artists from Leningrad also included some of the exhibits previously shown at the Kulturhuset. With fifteen artists, its lineup of artists was quite impressive, although the venue itself was rather unusual for an exhibition of "punk painting", as the works were labeled in Birgitta Rubin's review for Dagens Nyheter. The exact exhibition dates can no longer be established. The review was published in the DN's cultural agenda for 3–9 December 1988, and the exhibition might have opened somewhat earlier.

Given the fact that most of those fifteen artists were from the New Artists group, and bearing in mind that Timur Novikov meticulously collected information about New Artists exhibitions, it is strange that Russian Artists from Leningrad appears neither in New Artists compilations nor in Novikov's personal list of exhibitions. I was myself completely unaware of this exhibition until I had a chance to look at Sara Åkerrén's archive in November 2021. I am very grateful to Sara for generously presenting her archival material to me.

Sara Åkerrén is Swedish art-collector, based in Stockholm, with a unique collection of late Soviet art. In the second half of the 1980s, as a young student, she was a regular visitor to Leningrad and became friends with musicians and artists from the so-called "unofficial" scene. Her artist friends, whose works she collected, belonged, in the main, to two groups: the New Artists and Mitki. She also gathered a number of pictures and documents related to that period which now make up her archive. Because of her expertise, Åkerrén was involved in the Kulturhuset exhibition and compiled the booklet for the exhibition at Pierre Munkeborg's antique store, to which she contributed with some works from her own collection.

This short presentation, concentrating on the list of works presented, is meant to be a first step towards a more detailed analysis of the material available in Sara Åkerrén's archive. Since the focus of my research is on the New Artists, I will not include the works by Armen Avetisian, Anatolyi Belkin, and Gennady Zubkov.

The New Artists sales list for Russian Artists from Leningrad comprises twenty-seven works: Gurjanov (3), Gutsevich (3), Jufit (1), Kotelnikov (1), Kozlov (1), Krisanov (5), Novikov (1), Ovtchinnikov (4), Savchenkov (1), and Tsoy (4). Bugaev's three works were co-authored with other artists, one with Kotelnikov, one with Kuksenaite and a third one with Novikov. Judging by Sara Åkerrén's pictures taken at the exhibition, only part of these twenty-seven works were actually on display. On the other hand, the list seems to be incomplete, missing (at the least) one painting by Oleg Kotelnikov, as two of Kotelnikov's paintings are documented in the exhibtion, but only one is in the list.

According to Sara Åkarrén, in terms of sales, the exhibition was not particularly successful. In her opinion, one of the reasons for its failure was that it took place not long after the Kulturhuset festival. As a matter of fact, I noticed that the paintings by Kotelnikov, Kozlov, Jufit and Savchenkov, and a least one work by Gutsevich, Gurjanov and Tsoy, respectively, had already been shown to the public at the Kulturhuset. Yet Birgitta Rubin's review published in Dagens Nyheter proves that the exhibition did not go unnoticed. Rubin actually presents two exhibitions of Leningrad artists, the other one being a one-man show by Gleb Bogomolov at Gallery Narva, and this double occurrence might have sparked her interest.

Another point is also interesting. Just as the Kulturhuset show, the one at Pierre Munkeborg's antique store included works from the February-April 1988 London-Rotterdam tour (7 Independent Artists Live from Leningrad at the Young Unknowns Gallery, London more >> and Da Da Majakowski at Dionysus Gallery, Rotterdam more >>. ). Exhibition views allowed me to identify two works: Timur Novikov's red textile work, mentioned in the article as "a fabric print in glasnost spirit", and Georgy Guryanov's "Pilot / Parachutist". Most likely, "Black Square", a work co-authored by Bugaev with Novikov, indicted on the pricelist, has the same provenance, and there might have been other works, too. Put differently, regarding the exhibition history of New Artists' works, there are numerous cross-links between the London-Rotterdam tour, the Kulturhuset exhibition and the exhibition at Pierre Munkeborg's antique store, which I hope to be able to substantiate further.

Hannelore Fobo, 11 December 2021.


Uploaded 11 December 2021
Last updated 26 January 2022