Evgenij Kozlov on the Leningrad Eighties and the “New Artists”. page 2

Questions by Yelena Fedotova, art magazine “Artchronika” (Moscow), on the occasion of the exhibition
“Brushstroke. New Artists and Necrorealists 1982-1991” at the Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, February-May 2010

стр. 1 стр. 2 стр. 3 стр. 4 стр. 5 стр. 6 русский
page 1 page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5 page 6 english
Seite.1 Seite 2 Seite 3 Seite 4 Seite 5 Seite 6 deutsch

How was Timur’s gallery “ASSA” founded? In what year?

Timur’s studio on Ulitsa Voinova [Voinov-Street] always remained a studio for me. When we made an appointment, it was always in Timur’s studio, not in the ASSA Gallery. This has to do with the fact that I began exhibiting there already in those days, when Timur, others and I belonged to the artistic group “Letopis”. I do not remember exactly when we started showing our works there. However, I still have some photos and notes documenting an exhibition of “Letopis” in March 1981 with Yelena Figurina, Bob Koshelokhov, Timur and myself.

 Evgenij Kozlov im Atelier von Timur Novikov Ausstellung der Gruppe «Letopis», 1981 Linke Wand: Bilder von E. Kozlov Rechte Wand: Bilder von T. Novikov Fotografie: Timur Novikov  Тimur Novikov, Elena Figurina im Atelier von T. Novikov, 1981 Fotografie: E. Kovlov
Evgenij Kozlov at Timur Novikov's studio
Exhibition of the group “Letopis”, 1981
left wall: pictures by E. Kozlov
right wall: pictures by T. Novikov

photo: Timur Novikov

Тimur Novikov, Elena Figurina at
T. Novikov's studio, 1981

photo: E. Kovlov

In his autobiography Timur writes: “And then, in 1982, Ivan Sotnikov and I created a group called New Artists. From the members of the old “Letopis” it included, beside myself, Evgenij Kozlov. The others joined the TEII…” Then, he enumerates the other members of the New Artists. So for me the place remained the same, only the circle of artists exhibiting had changed. In addition to that, the number of the rooms we used grew gradually larger as the inhabitants of the apartment moved out one by one to allow for the building’s complete renovation. Due to that, the exhibitions became more spacious.

Some fundamental points should be made here. We cannot compare a modern gallery with what was considered a gallery in those days. The main point of a “gallery” was that it allowed us to meet and show each other our works. By “we” I am talking about artists who appreciated each other for unexpected, new and ingenious approaches in art. No one could just bring along some friends and let them show their works before their talent was generally accepted. Moreover, the financial aspect played no role at all, while today it has come to the front. In those days, there simply was no market for the New Artists’ works, and there was not even a concept of a “market”.

Therefore, selling pictures was no matter for discussion. Sergei Bugaev, though, found his way into this field earlier than others. This gave him certain advantages, sometimes to the detriment of the others. Generally speaking it is quite astonishing that today, when money governs art, people express interest in the times when money played no role in art at all. This is a real paradox. Unbelievable as it may seem, we used to talk of our works, not of money. Today’s interest may be explained to some extent by cycles and fashions that repeat themselves about every thirty years.

next >>


Timur Novikov, Galerie «АSSA». Die Gruppe «Letopis» Elena Figurina, Bob Koshelokhov, Timur Novikov, Evgenij Kozlov
Галерея Тимура Новикова «АССА». Группа «Летопись» Елена Фигурина, Боб Кошелохов, Тимур Новиков, Евгений Козлов