Evgenij Kozlov (Yevgeny Kozlov) in the international press


Russian Artists Flocking To Berlin - by Stephen Kinzer, The New York Times, 1995



Еvgenij Kozlov with guests in his studio «the Russian Field», Berlin, 1995. Wooden objects by Oleg Kotelnikov, 1991, collection Kozlov and Fobo. Poster with painting by Vladislav Mamychev-Monro «This is not Love», formerly «collection 2 x 3m»

Еvgenij Kozlov with guests in his studio «the Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

Wooden objects by Oleg Kotelnikov, 1991, collection Kozlov and Fobo.
Poster with painting by Vladislav Mamychev-Monro «This is not Love», formerly «collection 2 x 3m»

All pictures on this page are film stills from Ivetta Pomerantseva's documentary about Evgenij Kozlov's Berlin studio "Russkoe Polee - The Russian Field". The documentary was produced on the occasion of the opening of the forth exhibition of Evgenij Kozlov's «collection 2 x 3 m», December 7, 1995, in the presence of artists from St. Petersburg and Moscow and other international guests.

More about Evgenij Kozlov's «Collection 2 x 3m» >>


Russian Artists Flocking To Berlin

By STEPHEN KINZER , THE NEW YORK TIMES

Published: January 17, 1995

For the second time this century, Russian artists are descending on Berlin. In the years after the 1917 revolution, some 50,000 fleeing Russians came here, establishing Russian newspapers, galleries, cafes and theater companies. Among them were creative artists ranging from Vladimir Horowitz to Wassily Kandinsky to Vladimir Nabokov.

 «Collection 2 x 3 m», paintings from left to right by Igor Ryatov, Valery Morozov, Vadim Ovchinnikov, Oleg Kotelnikov, Ivan Sotnikov. Performance by the Russian-German Chamber Orchestra. studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

«Collection 2 x 3 m», paintings from left to right by Igor Ryatov, Valery Morozov, Vadim Ovchinnikov, Oleg Kotelnikov, Ivan Sotnikov.

Performance by the Russian-German Chamber Orchestra.

studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

A smaller version of that scene is now flowering here. Many Russian artists are using Berlin as a base from which to seek an international audience. At a spacious loft in eastern Berlin one evening last month, ballet dancers entertained guests at the opening of a new complex called Russian Field, which is dedicated to promoting art from St. Petersburg. Artists from St. Petersburg will be invited to work and show there.

The first exhibition was of large-format works, and it was organized by Yevgeny Kozlov, a leading figure in the St. Petersburg art underground in the 1980's. The pieces ranged from photo collages to bright semi-abstract paintings by Mr. Kozlov himself. "Before the revolution, there was a great wave of art coming from Russia," Mr. Kozlov said at the opening. "For 70 years, this art was either not created or not shown. Now Russia is part of the world again, and there is a great surge of artistic energy. Berlin seems to be the center of interest in what we're doing."

 Evgenij Kozlov. In the background his self-portrait from 1995. To the left: Viktor Kuznestov (St. Petersburg) and Oleg Maslov. studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

Evgenij Kozlov. In the background his self-portrait from 1995.
To the left: Viktor Kuznestov (St. Petersburg) and Oleg Maslov

studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

Some 15,000 Russians live legally in Berlin and perhaps nearly that many more are undocumented. Among them are scores of artists, enough to have built a community here. They have their own hangouts, like the Pasternak Cafe in the funky eastern neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, where they sip Russian tea brewed in samovars or dine on borscht and blinis. Many turn out for special events, like the Russian breakfasts and Russian fairy tale evenings that were mounted to complement a show in December by German and Russian artists in the Hackeschen Hofe, a cultural center near Prenzlauer Berg.

"I don't think you can compare the current moment to the 20's, which was the last time a large number of Russian artists came to Berlin," said Jule Reuter, a German art historian who has written extensively about Russian art. "But in one sense it is richer, because there is so much more variety to what is being produced. This is art that deserves a market. It has as good a chance of finding a market in Berlin as anywhere in the world."




Oleg Kotelnikov (St. Petersburg) and Frants Rodvalt (Berlin). In the back: painting by Andrey Rudev from the «Collection 2 x 3 m»

studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

A round of telephone calls to gallery owners who show Russian art reflected the vigor of local interest. A colleague of Inge Herbert, a gallery owner who regularly shows painters from Moscow, reported that Miss Herbert had gone to Israel for meetings with Russian-born artists and collectors there. Another owner, Friedrich Loock, had decided to go to St. Petersburg to oversee an exhibition of German artists and to visit studios.

"People here are beginning to see the quality of art that has been and is being produced in Russia," Mr. Loock said. "Berlin is probably the main port of entry through which that art reaches the West."

Art produced in recent decades in Communist countries has had trouble finding a market. Part of the reason is the conviction, openly asserted by some Western curators, that no truly meaningful art was produced in Eastern Europe, nor could it have been under the repressive conditions there.

 Oleg Maslov (left) and Viktor Kuznestov (St. Petersburg) painting a work for Evgenij Kozlov's «Collection 2 x 3m». studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

Oleg Maslov (left) and Viktor Kuznestov (St. Petersburg) painting a work for Evgenij Kozlov's «Collection 2 x 3m»

studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

But at an all-day seminar on art from Eastern Europe that was held in Berlin recently, several leading critics and gallery owners rejected that view. "Unfortunately, there is still a political need to say such things," said Eduard Beaucamp, a critic for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "There was a period of enforced Stalinism in art, but that eased in the 50's and 60's. Many artists were able to function in spite of conditions. In Russia there were illustrators of children's books who produced avant-garde art at night. That art deserves to be taken seriously. It should be shown alongside that of Western artists from the same period. Not a single museum in the world does that. It would be great if Berlin could take the lead in bringing this art to a wider public."



Hannelore Fobo, curator of Evgenij Kozlov's "Collection 2 x 3 m". In the back: paintings by Elena Bogdanova (NIKA) (left) and Vladislav Saitsev (right) from the «Collection 2 x 3 m». studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

Hannelore Fobo, curator of Evgenij Kozlov's "Collection 2 x 3 m". In the back: paintings by Elena Bogdanova (NIKA) (left) and Vladislav Saitsev (right) from the «Collection 2 x 3 m»

studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

Specialists in contemporary Russian art say that the artistic traditions which have developed in Moscow are markedly different from those of St. Petersburg, the country's second-largest city and its capital until 1918. "Moscow art is more conscious of trends, more clearly tied to developments in the West," said Hannelore Fobo, director of the group that is backing Russian Field. "In Moscow you see more Installation Art, visual art and Conceptual Art. Some art produced in Moscow has a stronger Asian feel, as opposed to a Slavic feel. St. Petersburg is more European, but at the same time more provincial. Painting still plays a big role in the art scene there."


A rich exhibtion in Kiel entitled "Positions in St. Peterburg Art From 1970 Until Today" will open at the Haus am Waldsee in Berlin on Feb. 3. It will then go to Norway and Poland before being mounted in St. Petersburg at the end of 1995. "Our contemporary art is contemplative and meditative by nature," wrote Viktor Krivulin, an artist from St. petersburg, in the exhibition catalogue.

 Sergey Shutov (with glasses), Moscow,  talking to Igor Shulinsky, Moscow, editor of «Ptuch» magazine. studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

Sergey Shutov (with glasses), Moscow, talking to Igor Shulinsky, Moscow, editor of «Ptuch» magazine

studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

"It developed special ways of enabling people to persistently ignore the total politicization of everyday existence that was forced on Russian artists since the first days of Bolshevik rule."

Perhaps the clearest sign that the Berlin art establishment has rediscovered its fascination with things Russian was the announcement that the Berliner Festspiele, one of Europe's most prestigious annual culture festivals, would be based on the theme "Berlin-Moscow" this year. "Fifty years after the end of the war, this speaks for the beginning of a new epoch, one of true reconciliation between both peoples and the overcoming of a painful past," organizers said in a statement.

Leading Russian and German writers, painters, sculptors, dancers and film makers, as well as orchestras, opera companies and theater troupes, are to participate in the festival, which opens in late summer and continues until November.

A grand-scale exhibition featuring Russian art, photography, film and design will open at the Martin Gropius Bau in September and run for five months before traveling to the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. "Berlin is going to have a Russian autumn in 1995," Ulrich Eckhardt, the festival director, said in announcing the plans. "Russia and Germany, focused on their capitals, Moscow and Berlin, have been tied together by fate," Mr. Eckhardt said. "Giving this relationship a positive design is one of the greatest tasks facing the two societies as we approach the 21st century."

  Catalogs  "Berlin - Moscow", edited by Jörn Merkert, 1995 (left)  "The New from Leningrad" Kulturhuset, Stockholm, 1988 (center)  "Mitki" (right)  "Gegenkunst in Leningrad" by Jule Reuter, 1990 (top left). studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995


Catalogs

"Berlin - Moscow", edited by Jörn Merkert, 1995 (left)

"The New from Leningrad" Kulturhuset, Stockholm, 1988 (center)

"Mitki" (right)

"Gegenkunst in Leningrad" by Jule Reuter, 1990 (top left)

studio Evgenij Kozlov, «The Russian Field», Berlin, 1995

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