Evgenij Kozlov on the Leningrad Eighties and the “New Artists”. page 6

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

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What were the relationships between New Artists and necrorealists?

Frankly speaking, an intelligent answer to this question should imply that there was some group identity, so that two these groups could be somehow put in contrast with each other. In reality, there was nothing of the kind, because each artist was a bright individuality in him or herself. The position of Yevgeny Yufit, who is considered to be the founder of necrorealism, allows for his place among the New Artists. It refers to the way he presented himself, the way he looked, what and how he photographed and painted, and certainly to his films. If it did not sound like an evaluation one could say that he moved on the periphery of the New Artists. But it is no evaluation rather, it is a characterization of space. In this respect, one could just as well say that all New Artists moved around a particular name of “New Artists.”

Еvgeny Yufit Fotografie: Evgenij Kozlov 1986 Gemälde von Evgeny Yufit. Fotografie: Evgenij Kozlov 1986
Еvgeny Yufit
photo: Evgenij Kozlov 1986
painting by Evgeny Yufit
photo: Evgenij Kozlov 1986

The New Artists were all geniuses, without exception. What is genius? To possess genius or talent, if this concept suits you better, is to feel deep inside oneself a powerful motivation to search for something that cannot be found yet, because it must first be created. A person who has talent and senses this talent in others feels no rivalry, but receives an impulse for his or her own work. Let me repeat: in the 80s as well as now, a New Artist was not engaged in the problems of the world of today, but in the creation of the art of future. The degree of awareness with which each of us pursued this question, must be discussed separately. But the fact remains that in today’s world this attitude is not customary, it is rejected. Art is regarded simply as a social phenomenon.

Oleg Kotelnikov, ”Fresco“ Kitchen of the apartment at Borovaya Street. photo: Evgenij Kozlov Kirill Khazanovich, ”Know the Nato!“ photo: Evgenij Kozlov Еvgenij Kozlov, Valery Alakhov, Georgy Gurianov at the Leningrad Rock-Club at Rubinstein Street Pictures in the background by Natalia Batisheva
Oleg Kotelnikov, ”Fresco“
Kitchen of the apartment at Borovaya Street.
photo: Evgenij Kozlov
Kirill Khazanovich, ”Know the Nato!“
photo: Evgenij Kozlov
Еvgenij Kozlov, Valery Alakhov, Georgy Gurianov at the Leningrad Rock-Club at Rubinstein Street
Pictures on the wall:
Left: Natalia Batisheva
Right: Ivan Sotnikov "Cosmic Flights"
more >>
photo: Timur Novikov, 1985

Consequently, the New Artists are nowadays described chiefly as a movement. The attention is focused upon who did what and when, or how one named something, thus bringing some dynamics into the group. No doubt, all this is also important. But it should be realized that in this dynamics the individuality was completely preserved. In the future, it will be much more interesting to study the genius, that is, the spirit of innovation of each artist, the way it manifested itself at a certain period of time, with all its nuances, shades, in short; its distinctiveness.

If we, the artists, had not felt a natural interest in this individuality, we would have had no right to claim ourselves as an artistic group. We never spoke about ourselves as “the New Artists painted a picture”. It always was “Oleg Kotelnikov painted a picture”, “Inal Savchenkov painted a picture”, “Timur Novikov painted a picture”, “Ivan Sotnikov painted a picture”, “Kirill Khazanovich painted a picture”, “Vadim Ovchinnikov painted a picture”, “Georgy Guryanov painted a picture”, “Vladislav Gutsevich painted a picture”, “Sergey Bugaev painted a picture”, “Viktor Tsoy painted a picture”, “Igor Verichev painted a picture”, “Evgenij Kozlov painted a picture” (the list of geniuses can be continued…).

But, as a matter of fact, my thoughts are engaged not in the past, but in the future and the present

 Evgenij Kozlov, written down by Hannelore Fobo, 8. 1. 2010

related articles:
Art of the Future, Evgenij Kozlov in dialogue with Hannelore Fobo, 1991 (German and Russian) >>
CHAOSE ART, Essay, 2009 >>
The dynamis of the portrait: “Igor. Peace?” and “Valera. the Soul of Things” >>
• «New Artists» and Necrorealists in the “2x3m collection” >> : Oleg Kotelnikov >>, Timur Novikov >>, Vadim Ovchinnikov >>, Inal Savtchenkov >>, Ivan Sotnikov >>, Vladilslav Gutsevich >>, Evgenij Yufit >>, Vladimir Kustov >>, Valerij Morozov >>
The Leningrad Eighties in Evgenij Kozlov's work >>
THE RAW, THE COOKED, THE PACKAGED The Archives of Perestroika Art - Museum of Contemporary Art KIASMA / Finnish National Gallery, 2007 / 08 >>
Press release of the Russian Museum concerning the exhibition “Brushstroke. New Artists and Necrorealists 1982 - 1991”, February - May 2010 (in Russian) >>
New Artists Blog >>

Last updated 25 September 2021


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