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


      (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Leningrad 80s • No.115 >>

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection • Harvard University

USA-CCCP. Points of Contact.
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov – Catherine Mannick
Correspondence 1979 – 1990

Letter J (August 1986) – CCCP-USA

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov usually created his own illustrations for the top page of his letters, but Letter J, dated 29 August 1986, is an exception. The top page consists of an agitprop postcard – political propaganda in the style of the early Soviet period.  

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Letter J to Catherine Mannick, dated 29 August 1986, front of page 1 with Yury Reyner's poster from 1932. This 1978 reprint originally constituted the left half of sheet number 7 of an album dedicated to the “Leninskiy Komsomol”.  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University  Text:  КОМСОМОЛ КРЕПИ ШЕФСТВО! Мы вместе с партией и всем рабочим классом страны ответственны перед пролетариатом мира за оборону СССР и обязаны сделать ее центральной задачей своей работы. Договор по соцсоревнованию. Шефскую работу подчинить задач

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter J to Catherine Mannick, dated 29 August 1986, front of page 1 with Yury Reyner's poster from 1932. This 1978 reprint originally constituted the left half of sheet number 7 of an album dedicated to the “Leninskiy Komsomol” External link >>.

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

Text:

КОМСОМОЛ КРЕПИ ШЕФСТВО!
Мы вместе с партией и всем рабочим классом страны ответственны перед пролетариатом мира за оборону СССР и обязаны сделать ее центральной задачей своей работы.

Договор по соцсоревнованию.
Шефскую работу подчинить задачам укрепления боевой и политической подготовки красноармейцев.




The reverse of the card informs us that the picture is a 1978 reproduction of a poster from 1932 by artist Yu. Reyner.[1] It presents a sailor and a Komsomol member exchanging a Договор по соцсоревнованию, a socialialistic competition agreement, and, as background effects, uses constructivism’s elongated perspectives of buildings and views best known through Alexander Rodchenko’s work.

In 1922, Lenin made the communist youth organisation Komsomol[2] “patron” of the Soviet Navy, and the title at the top of the card calls for the Komsomol’s strong commitment: КОМСОМОЛ КРЕПИ ШЕФСТВО! / KOMSOMOL STRENGTHEN PATRONAGE! The term щевство, shevstvo, “patronage”, can also be translated as tutoring, looking after, or taking care, although all this may sound somewhat strange in the context of a youth organisation’s higher-order responsibilities towards the army. One would expect it to be the other way round, the Navy taking care of the youth. But after the Civil War, the Soviet Navy was in a disastrous condition, and therefore Lenin’s idea was that the Komsomol, guided by Party directives, should take over its share of patriotic duties by building up the Red Fleet with highly motivated young people.[3] The text below the headline refers to the Komsomol's obligation:

    Мы вместе с партией и всем рабочим классом страны ответственны перед пролетариатом мира за оборону СССР и обязаны сделать ее центральной задачей своей работы.
    Together with the party and the entire working class of the country, we are responsible to the proletariat of the world for the defense of the USSR and are obliged to make it the central task of our work.

Thus, the text of the agreement reads:

    Шефскую работу подчинить задачам укрепления боевой и политической подготовки красноармейцев.
    Subordinate the patronage work to the tasks of strengthening the combat and political training of the Red Army.

Here, the Red Army refers to the Soviet Navy. Like pilots, sailors constituted a highly attractive branch of the Soviet military – they travelled the seven seas as bold and handsome defenders of the country. As a child, Evgenij Kozlov remembers, he wanted to become a sailor and begged his mother to sew him a sailor costume and buy him a sailor hat with a ribbon.[4]

  Standing at the base of Palace Bridge, at Vaslievsky Island, Evgenij Kozlov is looking across the Neva River towards some distant horizon. The young boy is wearing a sailor costume his mother made for him on his request. In the background, from left to right: Peter and Paul Fortress with Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral (Петропавловский собор), Petrogradsky District, and Trinity Bridge (Троицкий мост).  Photo: Valentin Kozlov, vintage print, ca. 1960

Standing at the base of Palace Bridge, at Vaslievsky Island, Evgenij Kozlov is looking across the Neva River towards some distant horizon. The young boy is wearing a sailor costume his mother made for him on his request.
In the background, from left to right: Peter and Paul Fortress with Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral (Петропавловский собор), Petrogradsky District, and Trinity Bridge (Троицкий мост).

Photo: Valentin Kozlov, vintage print, ca. 1960



Behind the two young men in Reyner’s illustration are several ships or submarines illuminating the sky to detect the enemy, depicted as a bourgeois capitalist rearing his ugly head, and a factory with workers, presumably part of a dockyard.

Detail of the upper left corner of Yuri Reyner's illustration. In agitprop illustrations, a black top hat is a typical symbol for the malicious bourgeois exploiter – and likewise, for the America capitalist – while a cap is a reference to an honest worker. See also Vladimir Mayakovsky's ROSTA windows

Detail of the upper left corner of Yuri Reyner's illustration. In agitprop illustrations, a black top hat is a typical symbol for the malicious bourgeois exploiter – and likewise, for the America capitalist – while a cap is a reference to an honest worker. See also Vladimir Mayakovsky's ROSTA windows more >>.



The original card from 1978 was actually double the size and had three illustrations; Reyner’s poster was on the right. The left half displayed a picture of the Black Sea Fleet and another one from WWII showed sailors holding the Komsomol banner. The card or sheet was number 7 of an album dedicated to the “Leninskiy Komsomol”, showing how the Komsomol defended the Socialist USSR on all fronts, not only by supporting the army, but also, for instance, during collectivisation.[5] Kozlov cut the sheet through the middle and used only the right half.

He doesn’t mention the picture in his letter, and what exactly motivated him to choose this illustration and discard the photographic images he doesn't remember, except that as work of art, albeit not particularly well achieved, it was more interesting than the photos. But he assumes the reason might have been the image of two persons exchanging a document, which can be interpreted as an allusion to his situation with his American friend.

Be that as it may, Kozlov didn’t choose the card for lack of his own pictures: pages two and three of his letter are written on two of his painted photographs, one with KINO drummer Georgy Guryanov and New Composer Igor Verichev and the other one with New Artist Timur Novikov. Besides, he doesn’t mention those either.

There is, however, a correlation between Reyner’s image and the content of the letter. Reyner’s subject matter, the Soviet Union combatting its main enemy, symbolised by the bourgeois capitalist, touches the complicated Soviet-American relationship implicitly. Kozlov’s refers to this relationship explicitly — through “CCCP-USA”, a recent painting he discussed in the letter. Note that the artist pronounces CCCP – USSR – the English way, as see-see-see-pee, and when in 2021, Tate Gallery acquired his large work “CCCP” from 1987, insisted that to keep the sound, the title shouldn’t be translated more >>.

    I have just reached the middle of my new painting – “CCCP-USA”, and I see that I really miss you, your presence now. I'm thinking and I can't decide what other crazy element I should add to my new painting, you would certainly help and suggest something interesting. I've been painting this picture for a whole month, I see that the work is going well and, anyway, I'm only half satisfied with myself – right at the moment, I can't catch inside myself the essential element, some kind of shock moment. (Page 1 / 2)

Whether Kozlov was appealing to his friend’s imaginativeness to get ideas for his painting or whether he considered her as an expert on matters relating to America we do not know. What counted to him was his inner dialogue with her.

    […] maybe this conversation, this conversation with you now, will help me. [...] If I can do it, then you helped me in some way! (Page 2)

He actually finished the composition without Mannick’s written advice: in the following letter, sent about a month later (Letter K), he informs her that he has completed it.

Alas, there is no reproduction of an early stage of this work that could help to determine which particular shock moment Kozlov added after writing his letter. Catherine Mannick’s slides from October 1986 and Kozlov’s black and white reproduction, which are identical with respect to the composition, show the painting after its completion.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  CCCP-USA. Oil on canvas, approx. 160 x 110 cm, 1986.  E-E archival number: E-E-186026  Photo: Catherine Mannick, October 1986. The picture, taken at Kozlov's Peterhof flat and studio "Galaxy Gallery", presents the artist in front of his painting.  Photo: Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  CCCP-USA Oil on canvas, approx. 160 x 110 cm, 1986. Black-and-white reproduction.  E-E archival number (painting): E-E-186026

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

CCCP-USA. Oil on canvas, approx. 160 x 110 cm, 1986.

E-E archival number: E-E-186026

Photo: Catherine Mannick, October 1986. The picture, taken at Kozlov's Peterhof flat and studio "Galaxy Gallery", presents the artist in front of his painting.

Photo: Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

CCCP-USA
Oil on canvas, approx. 160 x 110 cm, 1986.
Black-and-white reproduction.

E-E archival number (painting): E-E-186026



“CCCP-USA” has, in fact, numerous “shock moments” – in the first place the two central figures wearing head masks. They are both bent forward, one carrying the other one its back, as in a rescue mission. More exactly, it is the one on top rescuing the other one underneath. Kozlov had been inspired by an image depicting a helicopter hoist rescue, which explains why the figures’ legs are suspended in mid-air, crossing each other. The top figure is bearing a flat spiked ring around its waist, a structure reminiscent of the rings of Saturn with spokes.

On the left are two mischievous creatures, “trolls” or “goblins” of sorts. Their heads, resembling carved Halloween pumpkins, are crowned with CCCP flags or emblems. One is sneering threateningly, clenching its skinny arms above its head in a triumphant gesture. The other one, a curly matchstick figure, is shooting its tongue towards a rocket labelled USA. Its head, provided with a grid of longitude and latitude lines, looks like a globe.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Untitled sketch for CCCP / USA symbols applied to the painting above. Ballpen on paper, 7.5 x 7.5 cm, 1986  E-E archival number: E-E-186061

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Untitled sketch for CCCP / USA symbols applied to the painting above.
Ballpen on paper, 7.5 x 7.5 cm, 1986

E-E archival number: E-E-186061



A black walking figure in profile at the top left corner was inspired by one of Kozlov’s painted vintage prints, a photo collage from his B(L)ack art series that the artist had given his friend.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Painted photo collage on cardboard from the B(L)ACK ART series, approx. 30 x 20 cm, 1986.  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University  E-E archival number:E-E-186079 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Timur Novikov with his doppelgänger, a scalpel or needle drawing into the 35 mm black and white negative. From the "Timur on Horseback" series, 1985 more >> See also page three of Letter J below.  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-AR35

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Painted photo collage on cardboard from the B(L)ACK ART series, approx. 30 x 20 cm, 1986.

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

E-E archival number:E-E-186079

See also Letter L more >>

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Timur Novikov with his doppelgänger, a scalpel or needle drawing into the 35 mm black and white negative.
From the "Timur on Horseback" series, 1985 more >>
See also page three of Letter J below.

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-AR35



In the photo, it mirrors the figure of Timur Novikov with some kind of alter ego or doppelgänger. Its spooky shape actually reproduces Kozlov’s drawing scratched into the wet emulsion of the black and white negative film (regarding the technique see also Letter H more >>).

Apart from these main elements, there are numerous concrete and abstract objects interacting with them – a planet, a dollar bill, another figure, grids, zigzagging lines, spirals, and xxx-chains. With their bright contrasting colours and sizzling energy, they fill in virtually every remaining space left – with the exception of a white spot near the bottom, a “white hole”, in a manner of speaking. The overall effect is that of a living chaos, as if created by poltergeists attacking their host. The painting is an early example of what Evgenij Kozlov would define, in 2009, as CHAOSE ART art, the E in “chaose” being a reference to his artist name E-E:

    There are, however, works of art that challenge both the mind and the intuition by producing complex harmonies which include the unordered, the uncoded without arranging it, but rather establishing relations within it. There are works of art that accept chaos as it is and, at the same time, turn it into a higher order – they are CHAOSE ART. more >>

Returning once more to Reyner’s image KOMSOMOL STRENGTHEN PATRONAGE!, it is obvious that “CCCP-USA” is different not only with regard to style – constructivism versus CHAOSE ART – but, most importantly, with regard to meaning. Unlike Reyner’s straight message, Kozlov’s composition is anything but unequivocal. It isn’t even clear which of the two central figures visualises the USSR and which one the USA – who is the “carrier” and who is the “load”. 

It is not the first painting the artist dedicated to the polarity between the two superpowers. As a matter of fact, works dealing with the CCCP-USA or USA-CCCP relationship (Kozlov uses both word orders) cover the entire decade of the 1980s, that is, practically the entire period of his correspondence with Catherine Mannick more >>. This, of course, allows one to assume that his permanent contact with the American world stimulated him to reinterpret this relationship. In fact, Letter J speaks in favour of this assumption:

    I do sports, run in your NIKE, swim, sunbathe, do gymnastics with dumbbells, try a lot to have fun with friends when I have free time from painting, and all the time I think about the culture of your country, it beckons and attracts me. By what? Perhaps with its energy and movement or by you? I want to see and know more than I have now. Surely this is the main solution for my creativity and life. I strive for my future, I want to be happy. (Page 3)

Kozlov was the only Leningrad artist to pursue a systematic approach to the USA-CCCP subject matter. The focus is on the second half of the 1980s – the period of perestroika –  when he started introducing script, as in his  “funny picture” for Catherine Mannick in Letter H from October 1985 more >>. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he always used the letters USA and CCCP, but they appear quite frequently, not only on paintings, but also on objects, for example, on a table and on handbags more >>.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov and poet and song-writer Andrei Solovev (Андрей Солевёв) with Kozlov‘s table from his CCCP series. On the wall: Star, 1987 more >>. "Galaxy Gallery", Peterhof, 1987 Note that the letters CCCP have been applied counter-clockwise.  Photo: Andrey Fitenko  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-EH53

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov and poet and song-writer Andrei Solovev (Андрей Солевёв) with Kozlov‘s table from his CCCP series. On the wall: Star, 1987 more >>. "Galaxy Gallery", Peterhof, 1987
Note that the letters CCCP have been applied counter-clockwise.

Photo: Andrey Fitenko

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-EH53



In the Soviet Union, political propaganda was omnipresent. It was part of the natural environment, like advertisements in a capitalist society. But instead of promising people to fulfil their desires or to strike some advantageous bargain, its mission was to keep them in a perpetual state of agitation – in view of real or imaginary dangers, in the first place coming from America, since America was the only country perceived as being on the same level of grandeur as the USSR. Put differently, the aim of agitprop was to keep people “always prepared”, according to the solemn pioneer promise, and to have them guided by the wisdom of the Party. Kozlov, through his frequent jobs as a designer of visual propaganda, that is, of sign boards and banners, was in permanent contact with such crude party slogans as  “Внешнюю и внутреннюю политику КПСС одобряем и поддерживаем / We support and approve the foreign and internal policy of the CPSU”.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at Petrodvorets Canteen Combine, Petrodvorets (Peterhof), Leningrad, his workplace from 1983 to 1986. For the picture, the artist wrapped himself into a piece of red calico (“kumach”), the material for the banners displayed on the wall more >> • more >>. (The banners were made by his collegues, whereas he was responsible for sign boards.)  Top banner: “Внешнюю и внутреннюю политику КПСС одобряем и поддерживаем / We support and approve the foreign and internal policy of the CPSU”.   Photo: Viktor Labutov, 1986  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-DG12

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at Petrodvorets Canteen Combine, Petrodvorets (Peterhof), Leningrad, his workplace from 1983 to 1986. For the picture, the artist wrapped himself into a piece of red calico (“kumach”), the material for the banners displayed on the wall more >> more >>. (The banners were made by his collegues, whereas he was responsible for sign boards.)

Top banner:
“Внешнюю и внутреннюю политику КПСС одобряем и поддерживаем / We support and approve the foreign and internal policy of the CPSU”.

Photo: Viktor Labutov, 1986


E-E archival number: E-E-pho-DG12



Not surprisingly, many Soviet artists reacted to these “newspeak” stereotypes with irony, for which the Russian language created a proper term, стеб / stiob, semantically somewhere in between banter and sarcasm displaying intellectual superiority.[6] It became particularly popular among Moscow conceptualists, such as Komar and Melamid. After the duo settled in New York in 1978, they created, in the style of socialist realism, ironic paintings of Stalin with E.T. or Lenin with a MacDonald’s logo (“Ностальгический соцреализм / Nostalgic Sots-Realism”, 1982–1983). In the same vein of fusing Soviet symbols and American logos, Moscow-born Alexander Kosolapov, who emigrated to the US in 1975, assembled Lenin and Coca Cola or Malevich and Marlboro. Following the example of Andy Warhol for American Pop Art, they established themselves as Soviet pop artists, but unlike Andy Warhol, added a “stiob” note.

Evgenij Kozlov’s approach to the USA-CCCP relationship is different from that of Soviet pop artists. First of all, the paintings, works on paper, sketches, textile works, and objects he dedicated to this subject matter constitute only a fraction of his body of works from the 1980s, albeit an important one. Second, he created them in a variety of styles – from Malevich’s and Lebedev’s geometrical, monochrome approach to figures (1980) to graffiti art (1985-1987) and constructivism (1987/1989), thereby adapting Russian avant-garde features as well as contemporary American art more >>. In other words, he applied the very styles to the USA-CCCP subject matter he used for other works from the same years.

Third, the stiob doesn’t play a determining role in his compositions, although there are often humorous “shock moments”. Fourth, the artist created his own symbols and logotypes, including script, carefully worked out in his sketches to appear in numerous paintings or objects. The “carved pumpkin head”, the “smiling sickle”, the “shouting skull” and the lettering “ART из СССР” (ART iz СССР / ART from the CCCP) illustrate his approach and technique.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  ART из СССР / ART from the CCCP Mixed media on offset print on wood, 28.6 x 44 x 0.3 cm, 1988  E-E archival number: E-E-188053

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

ART из СССР / ART from the CCCP
Mixed media on offset print on wood, 28.6 x 44 x 0.3 cm, 1988

E-E archival number: E-E-188053



Fifth, in many compositions, the message remains ambiguous, as in “CCCP-USA” described above or in a second version of his photo collage diptych from 1984. When he spray-painted CCCP 671 and 21 USA, respectively, on large parts of these collages, it changed their message completely, yet there is no obvious interpretation of why one part of the diptych now refers to the USSR, while the other one refers to the USA.[7]

E-E-186005 Left: Untitled, as shown at the 1984 exhibition.
E-E archival number: E-E-186005 Right: 21 AVE USA, final version. Mixed media, photo collage and spray on fibreboard, 99.5 х 65, no later than 1986

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Left: Untitled, as shown at the 1984 exhibition more >>. Right: 21 AVE USA, final version, no later than 1986
Mixed media, photo collage and spray on fibreboard, 99.5 х 65, 1984/1986

E-E archival number: E-E-186005


E-E-186006 Left: Untitled, as shown at the 1984 exhibition. 
E-E archival number: E-E-186006 Right: CCCP, final version. Mixed media, photo collage and spray on fibreboard, 82.5 х 60, no later than 1986

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Left: Untitled, as shown at the 1984 exhibition more >>. Right: CCCP, final version, no later than 1986
Mixed media, photo collage and spray on fibreboard, 82.5 х 60, 1984/1986

E-E archival number: E-E-186006



The same ambiguity is present in the title of a large work on paper from 1987, “CuCsCaP (Сто вопросов и ответов) / CuCsCaP (One hundred questions and answers)”, where the letters CCCP and USA are rhythmically intertwined.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  CuCsCaP (Сто вопросов и ответов) / CuCsCaP (One hundred questions and answers) Mixed media on paper, 171 x 354 cm 1987.  E-E archival number: E-E-187012

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

CuCsCaP (Сто вопросов и ответов) / CuCsCaP (One hundred questions and answers)
Mixed media on paper, 171 x 354 cm 1987.

E-E archival number: E-E-187012 more >>

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  CuCsCaP (Сто вопросов и ответов) / CuCsCaP (One hundred questions and answers) Detail from the lower border with lettering CUPSCAP  E-E archival number: E-E-187012

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

CuCsCaP (Сто вопросов и ответов) / CuCsCaP (One hundred questions and answers)
Detail from the lower border with lettering CUPSCAP

E-E archival number: E-E-187012



Last but not least, there are sometimes spiritual-religious dimensions in his pictures that may not be evident at first sight. An example is a large painting from 1989, the title of which is painted in black at the top: “Страх Врагам. Огни Петродворца. / Terror to the Enemy. The Fires of Petrodvorets” more >>. The Cyrillic letters Ст, however, are painted yellow, so that the first word may be read either as Russian страх, terror or fear, or, alternatively, as Latin pax – peace: Terror / Peace to the Enemy.


 Top: Terror to the Enemy. The Fires of Petrodvorets. Detail with title The first word can be read as Russian страх – terror or fear or, alternatively, as Latin pax – peace: Terror / Peace to the Enemy. Left: Tau - Rho Τ Ρ = Staurogram / monogrammatic cross / Crux commissa Right: Statuette of St Peter with lamp with staurogram. 4th century(?) Reproduction from an exhibition catalogue 1939, Berlin
Illustration number 15 from a conference paper (2018):
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov USA-CCCP-CHINA – Works 1980-1989 and Their Spiritual-Religious Dimensions
more>>.

Top: Terror to the Enemy. The Fires of Petrodvorets.
Detail with title

The first word can be read as Russian страх – terror or fear
or, alternatively, as Latin pax – peace:
Terror / Peace to the Enemy.

Left: Tau - Rho
Τ Ρ = Staurogram / monogrammatic cross / Crux commissa

Right: Statuette of St Peter with lamp with staurogram.
4th century(?)
Reproduction from an exhibition catalogue 1939, Berlin




This dialectic approach finds its culmination in the constructivist “Точки соприкосновения / Points of Contact” from 1989, described in the introduction:

    In this painting, the USA and the CCCP are portrayed as a couple, a woman and a man, with the question of who represents who being left to the viewer. Each has a black dot and a red dot on their head and stomach, though in reverse. […] The viewer intuitively joins these points [of contact] together to form two diagonally-crossing lines – a cross of St Andrew – Crux Decussata, thus creating an equilibrium in the dynamic force of the two poles more>>.
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Points of Contact Oil on jute, 237 x 112 cm, 1989, E-E archival number: E-E 189031


Saltire / Saint Andrew‘s Cross / Crux decussata. Wikipedia Public Domain

Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Points of Contact
Oil on jute, 237 x 112 cm, 1989, E-E archival number: E-E 189031

Right: Saltire / Saint Andrew‘s Cross / Crux decussata. Wikipedia Public Domain

For a detailed analysis see:
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov USA-CCCP-CHINA – Works 1980-1989 and Their Spiritual-Religious Dimensions more>>.



Creating complex interdependencies of the USA and the CCCP, Kozlov proceeded from antagonistic to complementary forces. To come to a synthesis, he merged opposite points of view, as explained in his manifesto “Two Cosmic Systems” from 1991 – a view according to the laws of the Earth and a view of creation as a whole from the Cosmos, as if the artist “had been born in space and had completed their complete path of development and formation solely in it.” more>>

This doesn’t mean that his “view from the Cosmos” compensated for earthly restrictions. He was greatly impressed by the ease with which his friend moved around those parts of Europe that had inspired generations of Russian artists – up to the October Revolution. After that, travelling the world became the “privilege” of Russian emigrants – Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov. Marc Chagall, Vasily Kandinsky, to name just a few.

    I received your postcard from Paris the day before yesterday. You're having a great time! France — Switzerland—Italy— WHAT IS IT? WHERE IS IT? I've never been there, but I've always wanted to see museums, streets, parks, outdoor cafes, restaurants, just people, air, fashion, you… (Page 3)

This customary educational journey was denied him.

But just as much, or perhaps even more so, he felt attracted by the culture of the New World, by “its energy and movement” represented by his friend. When in 1988, he created a series of objects carrying his logotype “ART из СССР” (ART from the CCCP), he completed several of them with “ART для USA” (ART for the USA) more>>. In this way, he not only asserted his own position as an artist, but conveyed the message that he intended these works to be a gift to America.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  ART из СССР, ART для USA / ART from the USSR, ART for the USA (ул. Коминтерна / Komintern Street) Mixed media on wood, two-sided, 42.5 x 59.9 x 2 cm + pedestal, 1988.  E-E archival number: E-E-188041 (front)

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

ART из СССР, ART для USA / ART from the USSR, ART for the USA (ул. Коминтерна / Komintern Street)
Mixed media on wood, two-sided, 42.5 x 59.9 x 2 cm + pedestal, 1988.

E-E archival number: E-E-188041 (front) more>> more>>

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  ART из СССР, ART для USA / ART from the USSR, ART for the USA Mixed media on wood, two-sided, 42.5 x 59.9 x 2 cm + pedestal, 1988.  E-E archival number: E-E-188041 (reverse)

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

ART из СССР, ART для USA / ART from the USSR, ART for the USA
Mixed media on wood, two-sided, 42.5 x 59.9 x 2 cm + pedestal, 1988.

E-E archival number: E-E-188041 (reverse) more>>more>>



Hannelore Fobo, 28 June 2023



[1]Yuri Petrovich Reyner (Юрий Петрович Рейнер), Moscow, 1911–1973 External link >>

[2] The full name is Всесоюзный ленинский коммунистический союз молодёжи / All-Union Leninist Young Communist League, and it is also known under its abbreviation ВЛКСМ / VLKSM.

[3] 16 октября 1922г. в Москве в Большом театре состоявшийся V Всероссийский съезд РКСМ принял решение о шефстве комсомола над Военно–Морским флотом. / On October 16, 1922, in Moscow at the Bolshoi Theater, the V All–Russian Congress of the RKSM took a decision on the patronage of the Komsomol over the Navy. Source: Материалы научно-практической конференции РУСО, посвященной 100-летию ВЛКСМ, published by D.G. Novikov, 24 October 2018. External link >>

[4] After Gagarin became the first person to orbit the earth, he wanted to be a cosmonaut conquering the space to demonstrate the superiority of his country. Finally, when, during his summer vacation in a pioneer camp, he burnt his feet in a smouldering marsh fire, he decided to become a firemen to save the people of his country. After that, all he wanted to be was an artist.

[5] See: Выставка художественной открытки «Молодёжные движения в СССР: комсомольцы, пионеры, октябрята»: к 100-летию со дня образования ВЛКСМ. Омская государственная областная научная библиотека имени А. С. Пушкина. / Art postcard exhibition "Youth movements in the USSR: Komsomol members, pioneers, Octobrists". On the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Komsomol.  Omsk State Regional Scientific Library named after A. S. Pushkin. External link >>

[6] See also: Hannelore Fobo. Pop Mekhanika in the West, page 6. Why shouldn’t one play with a funny nose on? The “styob” (2017/2018) more >>.

[7] The titles of the works, written on the reverse of the diptych, are “CCCP” and “21 AVE USA”. Kozlov didn’t change the dates, which means that he might have done both second versions already in 1984 – or, if later, he didn’t bother to correct them.




(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov "MY HALLOWEEN" Drawing on paper, 1979, top page of folded letter to Catherine Mannick dated 30 October 1979 (Letter A).  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University  E-E archival number: E-E-179020

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter J to Catherine Mannick, dated 29 August 1986, front of page 1 with Yury Reyner's poster from 1932. This 1978 reprint originally constituted the left half of sheet number 7 of an album dedicated to the “Leninskiy Komsomol”.

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

Text:

КОМСОМОЛ КРЕПИ ШЕФСТВО!
Мы вместе с партией и всем рабочим классом страны ответственны перед пролетариатом мира за оборону СССР и обязаны сделать ее центральной задачей своей работы.

Договор по соцсоревнованию.
Шефскую работу подчинить задачам укрепления боевой и политической подготовки красноармейцев




(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Letter A to Catherine Mannick, page 2, October / November 1979 Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter J to Catherine Mannick, page 1, dated 29 August 1986 and written on the reverse of Yury Reyner's poster (see above).

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

Page 1

29 / VIII / 86

Дорогая моя Катя!

Только что дошел до середины своей новой картины — „СССР-USA“, и вижу, что мне очень не хватает тебя, твоего присутствие сейчас. Я думаю и не могу решить, что еще добавить сумасшедшего в свою новую живопись, ты бы, наверняка, помогла и подсказала бы что-то интересное, я пишу эту картину уже целый месяц, вижу, что работа идет хорошо и, все равно, я доволен собой только наполовину — никак не могу уловить внутри себя, именно в данный момент, что-то самое главное,




(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov "MY HALLOWEEN" Drawing on paper, 1979, top page of folded letter to Catherine Mannick dated 30 October 1979 (Letter A). Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University E-E archival number: E-E-179020

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter J to Catherine Mannick, 29 August 1986. Georgy Guryanov (left) and Igor Verichev (right). Coloured vintage print, top of page 2.

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-Y065-opc.
See also Kozlov's album: It's the Fashion 1984-1990, E-E-pho-Y016-opc more>>

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov "MY HALLOWEEN" Drawing on paper, 1979, top page of folded letter to Catherine Mannick dated 30 October 1979 (Letter A). Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University E-E archival number: E-E-179020

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter J to Catherine Mannick, page 3, 29 August 1986

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

Page 2

какой-то ударный момент. Со мной происходит так каждый раз, пока не найду что-то интересное в образах своей живописи в процессе работы — думаю — думаю — и успокаиваюсь только после окончания работы, может быть разговор, этот разговор с тобой сейчас, поможет мне. Надеюсь.

Сейчас глубока ночь, темная, вдохновляющая, спокойная, завтра не пойду на работу — ненавижу работу, буду отдыхать и рисовать, буду пытаться закончить картину. Если смогу сделать её, значит ты в чем-то помогла мне! Последнее время я на подъеме, это отличное чувство, такое впечатление, что многое происходит помимо моей воли, то-ли то, что я всегда знаю, что ты помнишь обо мне и я знаю это — точно знаю и все равно удивляюсь — ведь вокруг тебя столько разных людей, столько всего, что могло бы быть более важным. И мне особенно приятно думать, что я важен для тебя.




(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov "MY HALLOWEEN" Drawing on paper, 1979, top page of folded letter to Catherine Mannick dated 30 October 1979 (Letter A). Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University E-E archival number: E-E-179020

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter J to Catherine Mannick, 29 August 1986. Timur Novikov. Coloured vintage print, top of page 3.

This picture inspired the artist to his large portrait "Timur on Horseback" (1985), printed on the catalogue cover and poster of DE NYA FRÅN LENINGRAD • Новые художники / The New from Leningrad – the first large international exhibition of the New Artists at the Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Aug 27 - Sept 25, 1988 more >>.

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-AR42-opc.
See also: the complete "Timur on Horseback" series, 1985 more >>.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov "MY HALLOWEEN" Drawing on paper, 1979, top page of folded letter to Catherine Mannick dated 30 October 1979 (Letter A). Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University E-E archival number: E-E-179020

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter J to Catherine Mannick, page 3, 29 August 1986

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

Page 3

Я занимаюсь спортом, бегаю в твоем NIKE, купаюсь, загораю, делаю гимнастику с гантелями, много стараюсь развлекаться с друзами, когда есть свободное время от живописи и все время думаю о культуре твоей страны, она манит и тянет меня. Чем? Возможно своей энергией и движением или тобой? Хочу видеть и знать больше, чем я имею сейчас. Наверняка в этом главное решение для моего творчества и жизни. Стремлюсь в свое будущее, хочу быть счастливым.

Позавчера получил твою открытку из Парижа. Ты отлично развлекаешься! Франция — Швейцария — Италия — ЧТО — ЭТО? ГДЕ ЭТО? Никогда там не был, но всегда хотел увидеть музеи, улицы, парки, уличные кафе, рестораны, просто людей, воздух, моды, тебя…

Целую тебя, Женя. Думаю о тебе всегда.  




USA-CCCP. Points of Contact.
Part 1: Introduction
Synopsis • Preliminary Remarks
1. From Leningrad to Boston and Back
2. Let’s Talk About Art. New Wave, New Artists, and B(L)ack art
3. Perestroika Emissaries
4. The End of Censorship
5. “It Seems I Need a Manager.” The Impact of Getting Popular
6. Leningrad Artists and Musicians in E-E Kozlov's Pictures
— The River of Forgetfulness, 1988 —
Part 2: Letters
Letter A (1979) – Halloween
Letter B (1980) – To Be at Peace with Yourself
Letter C (1980) – Harlequin
Letter D (1982) – The Sea and the Countryside
Letter E (1983) – Saigon
Letter F (1983) – Moscow
Letter G (1984) – New Wave
Letter H (1985) – New Composers
Letter I (1986) – Happy New Year at the Leningrad Rock Club
Letter J (1986) – CCCP-USA
Letter K (1986) – The Price of Art
Letter L (1986) – B (L)ack art • PoPs from the USSSR
Letter M (1986) – A Taste for Colours
Letter N (1987) – Part 1: Changes and Challenges
Letter N (1987) – Part 2: ASSA
Letter O (1987) – Joanna Stingray's Wedding
Letter P (1989) – Perestroika Hot News
Letter Q (1989) – Russkoee Polee • The Russian Field
Letter R (1990) – New Classicals
Epilogue: USA-CCCP. Points of Contact (Forthcoming)

see also
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, Catherine Mannick, and Hannelore Fobo papers, 1979-2022 (inclusive)
Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection Harvard University >>

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Published 14 July 2023
Last updated 7 June 2024