(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

Text and Research: Hannelore Fobo, 2021/2024

Letter R (1990) – New Classicals

previous page: Letter Q (1989) – Russkoee Polee • The Russian Field

Synopsis • Preliminary Remarks


Letter R (March 1990) – New Classicals

With Letter R, dated 18 March 1990, the correspondence between Catherine Mannick and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, begun in 1979, comes to an end. It is a short message, written on a double postcard some weeks after Mannick and Kozlov finally met again in January 1990, for the first time since October 1986. Mannick was on a business trip to the Soviet Union, but they missed each other in Leningrad, and therefore Kozlov took the train to Moscow. Mannick remembers:

    As soon as I arrived in Leningrad in January 1990, I contacted Kolya Vlasov, who had a telephone and often conveyed messages between Evgenij and me.  Kolya and I got together for tea, and I asked him to pass on my travel plans to Evgenij.  After that, I didn’t know if Evgenij and I would meet or not until he actually came by my hotel in Moscow.[1]

In Letter R, Kozlov recalls the meeting, which was short but memorable:

    How glad I was to see you in Moscow! It has been one of the most wonderful and pleasant moments of my life lately, and I really love to remember that half an hour of our conversation. (p.1)

If the West was travelling eastward, Kozlov set up his mind to travel westward. He writes:

    In a week I'm leaving for Finland, Sweden, Germany, Poland. Then I will return to “The Russian Field” and leave again, but to the USA.[…] There is a studio waiting for me in New York, but let's see if the capital of the world will make my work more spiritual and productive than Leningrad and "The Russian Field". I will make a choice. (pp. 2,3)

Kozlov had finally received his first international passport – общегражданский заграничный паспорт, also called “external passport” – in January 1990.[2] While New York was to become his (temporary) home, with his trip to European countries, he intended to track down his “lost” paintings from different exhibitions and auctions (see Letter N, part 1 and chapter 5, “It seems I need a manager.” The Impact of Getting Popular). Yet after his initial trip to Sweden in April 1990, he felt disillusioned. The journey didn’t meet his expectations, neither with respect to locating his paintings nor as an entertaining adventure – most probably because he travelled with his manager instead of his best friend Andrey. He forwent his plans to visit the other countries, and in the end, didn’t go to New York, either. He made a choice without testing whether “the capital of the world” would make his work more spiritual – the risk becoming unproductive seemed too great. But he continued travelling in 1991, to Germany and France, with his new companion – myself.

In 2023, looking back at her last meeting with Kozlov in 1990, Mannick recalls their 1986 farewell evening, about which she had written at the time “… the farewell evening was a real high … when I hear that Beatles song … I am immediately there – on another, wonderful planet.” (See Letter L, October 1986):

    The song was the Beatles’ “PS I Love You”. The evening was, in fact, a farewell, although I don't think we knew it at the time. We wouldn’t see each other again for almost 4 years, in Moscow, in January 1990, and then, briefly, in Leningrad in May and in the fall of 1990 (my planned 1988 and 1989 visits had fallen through). By this time, we, and the USSR, had changed. I was married and starting a career doing business in Russia. Evgenij’s art was finding international acclaim and, with his life partner Hannelore Fobo, he would soon begin a new chapter of his artistic life in Berlin. The USSR collapsed just over a year later. (Private message, 2023)

Lenin with Red Eyes

In the Davis Center Special Collection, from Catherine Mannick’s archive, are six colour prints presumably sent with Letter R (three of them can be seen on the page for Letter Q more >>). Among these six pictures, all printed on Agfa paper – which, it seems, was now available in the Soviet Union – is a photograph of the artist on the train to Moscow.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov on the night train to Moscow, January 1990 Vintage print, front, 1990 Photo: Unknown E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA08-op Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov on the night train to Moscow, January 1990

Vintage print, front, 1990
Photo: Unknown

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA08-op

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

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Vintage print, reverse, 1990, signed Путешествиее из Леенинграда в Москву. 3:00. Ночь. / Traveyelling from Leyeningrad to Moscow. 3:00. At night. Photo: Unknown  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA08-op  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Vintage print, reverse, 1990, signed Путешествиее из Леенинграда в Москву. 3:00. Ночь. / Traveyelling from Leyeningrad to Moscow. 3:00. At night.
Photo: Unknown

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA08-op

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



Kozlov is standing at the vestibule, and behind him, written on the steamy windowpane of the waggon door, we see a “plus” version of his E-E logotype – E+E. The double E (= ye-ye), described in the introduction to Letter Q more >>, is also present on the reverse of this picture, signed Путешествиее из Леенинграда в Москву. 3:00. Ночь. / Traveyelling from Leyeningrad to Moscow. 3:00. At night.

Likewise, the double E becomes a feature of Kozlov’s “new ‘Leyenin’ style”, as shown in the next paragraph of his letter, presenting the main news:

    A few days ago, one of my Russian friends, Sergey Zaitsev, left for the USA, I hope he was able to find you or called you or Marina, or will still do it. I sent you some gifts, including video material that will be interesting for you to watch, and, of course, one of the posters of my new “Leyenin” [Леенин] style. This is one of my latest developments in my work, I want to destroy Lenin as an icon and as an image of worship. (p.1)

Lenin, his body preserved in the mausoleum on Red Square for public display, was turned into a god-like figure by the communist ideology, which generated a new genre in art – Leniniana. Consider the following quote from a book published in 1990 specifically for teachers, entitled “Leniniana in Soviet Fine Arts”:

    Vladimir Ilyich Lenin …
    It would be hard to imagine a more rewarding challenge for an artist than to present Lenin in his entirety; imbued and alive with the components of a massive, steadfast will, formidable energy, power of comprehension and intellectual concentration.[3]
All over the Soviet Union, the “leader of the world revolution” – alternatively, “the leader of the world proletariat” – was immortalised with Lenin monuments and museums, his name printed on countless banners and given to numerous squares, streets, institutions, and factories, and, of course, to the city of Saint Petersburg.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov on Red Square, Moscow. Left: Lenin's Mausoleum Scan from contact sheet. Photo: Rinad Akhmethine  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-HK26

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov on Red Square, Moscow, 1990 (or 1989). Left: Lenin's Mausoleum
Scan from contact sheet.
Photo: Rinad Akhmethine

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-HK26



What is more, Lenin’s quotes were made guidelines for people of all ages, starting in early childhood with the phrase study, study, study (учиться, учиться и учиться), meant to stimulate children’s achievements in school. For a Soviet citizen, it was almost impossible to escape Lenin’s omnipresence, lest they deliberately ignored his presence, which was difficult to do even in Kozlov’s home-town Peterhof, the “Russian Versailles”. Peterhof (Petrodvorets from 1944 to 1997) offered a stunning example of Lenin worshipping. New Peterhof railway station, architect Nikolai Benois' famous landmark, was decorated with a six-metre portrait of Lenin placed between the entrances to the ladies and gents.

Interior of Peterhof railway station ("New Peterhof") in 1986 From left to right: Misha Malin, girl, Valery Alakhov, Andrei Krisanov For many years, architect Nikolai Benois' famous landmark was decorated with a huge portrait of Lenin, placed between the entrances to the ladies and gents toilets. Kozlov applied a scratching technique to the moist emulsion of the negative. Scan from negative  Photo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, 1986  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-CT86
Interior of Peterhof railway station ("New Peterhof") in 1986
From left to right: Misha Malin, girl, Valery Alakhov, Andrei Krisanov
For many years, architect Nikolai Benois' famous landmark was decorated with a huge portrait of Lenin, placed between the entrances to the ladies and gents toilets. Kozlov applied a scratching technique to the moist emulsion of the negative.
Scan from negative

Photo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, 1986

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-CT86



Although it is Felix Dzerzhinsky, the head of the Soviet secret police Cheka founded immediately after the October Revolution, who is generally identified with institutionalised terror – “Red Terror” – Lenin was by no means the benevolent grandfather idealised in Leniniana myths. In the name of the revolution, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin’s birth name) was ready to walk over dead bodies – in a literal, not figurative sense. The most explicit document from Lenin’s government is his so-called “hanging order”, a telegram dated 11 August 1918:

    “Comrades! The insurrection of five kulak districts should be pitilessly suppressed. The interests of the whole revolution require this because ‘the last decisive battle’ with the kulaks is now underway everywhere. An example must be made. Hang (absolutely hang, in full view of the people) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, fatcats, bloodsuckers. […]”[4]

Obviously, this kind of documents was not brought to public knowledge during the Soviet times. Nevertheless, to Kozlov, Lenin’s hunger for unlimited power, his unique role in launching a “world revolution” and the devastating consequences it had for Russia, and not only, were obvious enough. In his words, it made Lenin a symbol of destruction more than even Stalin, whose totalitarian dictatorship lasted much longer than Lenin’s.[5]

By the end of the 1980s, the time had come to settle accounts with Lenin. In 1990, Kozlov destroyed Lenin “as an icon and as an image of worship” using a simple but striking feature: Filling the iris around the pupil with red colour, he awarded Lenin’s portrait the politician’s genuine character – that of a bloodthirsty dictator, quite unlike the non-descript person we see in Warhol’s silkscreen prints. Kozlov followed the “Leniniana” principle, “To create the figure of Lenin anew in artistic terms means representing the collective experience of the people”.[6]

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov overpainting the eyes of a Lenin poster Still from the German Television “Aspekte” documentary, spring of 1990.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov overpainting the eyes of a Lenin poster
Still from the German Television “Aspekte” documentary, spring of 1990.
External link to YouTube >>



It was a fast and efficient way to transform Lenin posters – produced in great numbers to be sold in bookstores, stationaries, and souvenir shops – and Kozlov gave them away as presents. At the same time, he derided Lenin by reduplicating the letter “e” – Леенин, pronounced “Leyenin”. The “new Leyenin style” poster he sent Catherine Mannick through Sergey Zaitsev, mentioned in his letter, could not be located,[7] but one of these posters is in a colour picture of “Leyenin’s Room”, the bathroom of Kozlov’s studio The Russian Field. (see Letter Q).

The Lenin postcard Kozlov used for Letter R is, however, without the red eyes. Instead, he gave this portrait a feminine touch by adding light pink colour to the lips and the area around the eyes.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Letter Q to Catherine Mannick.  Cover of double postcard with a portrat of V. I. Lenin, partly overpainted by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter Q to Catherine Mannick.

Cover of double postcard with a portrat of V. I. Lenin, partly overpainted by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

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



Kozlov not only repainted prints, but also created original paintings and drawings of Lenin. They fall into two categories: the serious ones, presenting Lenin with a stern gaze, and the humorous ones, those mocking Lenin.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov's studio RusskoeePole / The Russian Field with paintings from 1990.  Top, from left to right: Капли Вождя / The Leader's Drops • Автопортрет / Self-portrait • Two protraits of Lenin: Ленин в Нью Йорке / Lenin in New York • Ленин в Ленинграде / Lenin in Leningrad (both received additional features in 1995) • Two portraits of Agnes: Герман и я (German i ia) / Hermann and I (Germany) • Красный Цветок / The Red Flower Bottom, from left to right: Ангелы Русского Поля / Angels of the Russian Field see Letter Q • Энергия и Сила Женщин / The Energy and Strength of Women • Я люблю тебя-я / I love You-ou • Сфинксы Русского Поляяя / Sphinges of the Russian Field see Letter Q Right: Love for Work (displayed vertically) from the New Classicals cycle (see below)  Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 1990

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov's studio RusskoeePole / The Russian Field with paintings from 1990.

Top, from left to right: Капли Вождя / The Leader's Drops • Автопортрет / Self-portrait • Two protraits of Lenin: Ленин в Нью Йорке / Lenin in New York • Ленин в Ленинграде / Lenin in Leningrad (both received additional features in 1995) • Two portraits of Agnes: Герман и я (German i ia) / Hermann and I (Germany) • Красный Цветок / The Red Flower
Bottom, from left to right: Ангелы Русского Поля / Angels of the Russian Field see Letter Q • Энергия и Сила Женщин / The Energy and Strength of Women • Я люблю тебя-я / I love You-ou • Сфинксы Русского Поляяя / Sphinges of the Russian Field see Letter Q
Right: Love for Work (displayed vertically) from the New Classicals cycle (see below)

Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 1990



A picture from 1990 with a general view of one of the rooms of The Russian Field presents both categories. To the first belongs a diptych, “Lenin in Leningrad” and “Lenin in New York” , and to the second “The Leader's Drops“, the drops being tulips. The mocking aspect of Kozlov’s Leniniana is also present in twenty-five felt-marker drawings from his “Leninskaya Erotica” series, where Lenin, the object of adoration for beautiful women, occasionally appears with a female body more>>. The German TV “Aspekte” documentary from 1990 shows how Kozlov created likeness with Lenin’s main – iconic – facial features: the bald skull with some hair at the sides, the oblong oval shape with the short triangular goatee, the hard-angled eyebrows, and the slight upside-down V shape of the moustache External link to YouTube >>.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov creating a picture of "Lenin with Red Eyes" Still from the German Television “Aspekte” documentary, spring of 1990.
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov creating a picture of "Lenin with Red Eyes"
Still from the German Television “Aspekte” documentary, spring of 1990.
External link to YouTube >>



The culmination of Kozlov’s new approach to Lenin was, without any doubt, Большой Ле-енинThe Great Le-yenin or The Big Le-yenin. The portrait in 3 x 2 m format, painted with oil on canvas, was first displayed at the exhibition “Skilled Hands” which opened at the Mayak Club, the former mansion of Baron von Dervis, on 17 May 1990.[8] Pictures show it in the lavishly decorated Moorish room with E-E Kozlov and Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, the two of them forming a stylish couple. In fact, Kozlov himself looks like Lenin’s aristocratic alter ego. To present such a painting publicly would have been unthinkable even a year earlier and is hardly imaginable in today’s Russia, considering the wave of censorship. Besides, just as unthinkable is Vladislav Mamyshev’s public performance as Marilyn Monroe, since present anti-LGBTQ+ legislation bans any “activism” of the queer movement.[9]  


 Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov in front of E. Kozlov's painting "The Great Le-yenin", oil on canvas, 3x2m, 1990. Exhibition “Skilled Hands”, Mayak Club, Leningrad,17 May 1990 more>> photo: unknown. From Evgenij Kozlov's archive.

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
in front of E. Kozlov's painting "The Great Le-yenin", oil on canvas, 3x2m, 1990.
Exhibition “Skilled Hands”, Mayak Club, Leningrad,17 May 1990 more>>
photo: unknown. From Evgenij Kozlov's archive.



The combination of Lenin and Monroe was actually quite irresistible, especially in the eyes of the western audience. In 1991, a picture taken at The Russian Field with Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe in front of one of his “Monroe” paintings and The Great Le-yenin became the cover of the book "Der Wilde Osten" (Wild East), a German album on the Soviet Union.

Book cover of "Der Wilde Osten" ("Wild East”,1991), showing Vladislav Mamshev-Monroe in front of his painting “Self poisoned? No, poisoned!!! (To Evgenij Kozlov)” To the right (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov's painting "The Great Le-yenin" Mamyshev holds the poster of Gorbachev from his series "Members of the Politburo" more >>. Photo taken by A. Reiser at Evgenij Kozlov's studio "Russkoee Polee" (The Russian Field), 1990  E-E Kozlov's interpretation of the photo shooting in a drawing from 1994.

Book cover of "Der Wilde Osten" ("Wild East”,1991), showing Vladislav Mamshev-Monroe in front of his painting “Self poisoned? No, poisoned!!! (To Evgenij Kozlov)”
To the right (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov's painting "The Great Le-yenin"
Mamyshev holds the poster of Gorbachev from his series "Members of the Politburo" more >>.
Photo taken by A. Reiser at Evgenij Kozlov's studio "Russkoee Polee" (The Russian Field), 1990 more >>

E-E Kozlov's interpretation of the photo shooting in a drawing from 1994.



New Classicals

As always, Kozlov was engaged in different styles and topics simultaneously, and if Lenin was a significant subject matter in 1990, it was by far not the only one, not even among his portraits, which included, among others, a self-portrait and several portraits of Agnes, a Hungarian friend he had started portraying a year earlier (see studio view above). The pictures he sent along with his letter (Посылаю несколько фотографий своего творчества / I am sending you some photos of my work.) focus on another important theme – his New Classicals paintings from 1989/1990, dedicated to the main aspects of love, seven all in all. Two pictures taken at The Russian Field show Kozlov with Love for the Cosmos and Love for the Wonderful, the latter with the first of two versions.

 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov in his Leningrad studio “Russkoe Polee” / The Russian Field with two paintings from his "New Classicals" cycle 1989/1990: Love for the Cosmos and Love for the Wonderful (first version) more>> Colour print with text on the reverse from Letter R, 18 March 1990 Photo: unknown.  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA06-op  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov in his Leningrad studio “Russkoe Polee” / The Russian Field with two paintings from his "New Classicals" cycle 1989/1990: Love for the Cosmos and Love for the Wonderful (first version) more>>
Colour print with text on the reverse from Letter R, 18 March 1990
Photo: unknown.

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA06-op

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

 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Vintage print, reverse, 1990, signed Ленинград „Русскоее Полее”. 1990. Холсты из серии „Новая Классика“. / Leningrad. “The Russian Field. 1990.” Canvases from the “New Classicals” series.  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA06-op  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Vintage print, reverse, 1990, signed Ленинград „Русскоее Полее”. 1990. Холсты из серии „Новая Классика“. / Leningrad. “The Russian Field. 1990.” Canvases from the “New Classicals” series.

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA06-op

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



Kozlov again used 2 x 3 m canvases, the largest primed canvases available at the store of the Union of Artists (which finally sold to non-members). Yet other than with The Great Le-yenin, he used them in a horizontal format. Displayed next to each other, the bright and complex compositions look quite impressive. The pictures are signed on the reverse Холсты из серии „Новая Классика“Kholsty iz serii “Novaya Klassika”, that is, Canvases from the “New Classicals” series.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov in his Leningrad studio “Russkoe Polee” / The Russian Field with two paintings from his "New Classicals" cycle 1989/1990: Love for the Cosmos and Love for the Wonderful (first version) more>> Colour print with text on the reverse from Letter R, 18 March 1990 Photo: unknown.  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA06-op  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov in his Leningrad studio “Russkoe Polee” / The Russian Field with two paintings from his "New Classicals" cycle 1989/1990: Love for the Cosmos and Love for the Wonderful (first version) more>>
Colour print with text on the reverse from Letter R, 18 March 1990
Photo: unknown.

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA06-op

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

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Vintage print, reverse, 1990, signed Ленинград „Русскоее Полее”. 1990. Холсты из серии „Новая Классика“. / Leningrad. “The Russian Field. 1990.” Canvases from the “New Classicals” series. more>>  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA06-op  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Vintage print, reverse, 1990, signed Ленинград „Русскоее Полее”. 1990. Холсты из серии „Новая Классика“. / Leningrad. “The Russian Field. 1990.” Canvases from the “New Classicals” series. more>>

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-ZA06-op

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



For the 2 x 3 m format canvases, Kozlov adapted the constructivist-figurative motifs he had created on bus-stop signs in 1989 (see Letter Q, Love for Woman), but now assigned each motif a basic colour from the spectrum: Love for Man – red, Love for Work – orange, Love for Woman – yellow, Love for the Earth – green, Love for the Cosmos – blue, Love for the Wonderful – indigo, and Love for God – violet. There is no bus-stop sign prototype for the last motif, Love for God, and Kozlov never realised it, except for a sketch from the new millennium. In this sketch, he departed from the constructivist style of the other motifs.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Новая Классика • Novaya Klassika • New Classicals
Oil on canvas, 2 x 3 m each, 1989/1990 more>>
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Love for Man, red, 1989 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Love for Woman, yellow, 1989 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Love for the Earth, green, 1990
Love for Man, red, 1989 Love for Woman, yellow, 1989 Love for the Earth, green, 1990
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Love for the Wonderful, blue, 1990 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Love for Work’, orange, 1990 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Love for the Cosmos, light blue, 1990
Love for the Wonderful, blue, 1990 Love for Work, orange, 1990 Love for the Cosmos, light blue, 1990



The title New Classicals proposes a new approach to art, although the result is still “classical”. This seems to be a contradiction. As a matter of fact, it is difficult to translate the original title Novaya Klassika into English, since klassika refers not only to a specific historical period in art, but to any form that sets the standard – in other words, becomes classical. New Classicals therefore seems to be the most appropriate translation. In 1991, Kozlov was more specific about this idea. In our conversation about The Art of the Future more>>, he argued that “all art made by hand is by nature classical” – it is a product, a work of art. Yet he considers the product as secondary, while in his opinion, of primary importance is “a feeling experienced by the artist that places him in a state of receptiveness – a feeling, moreover, that actually precedes the creative act.”[10] Not the feeling as such, but gaining consciousness of it preceding the creative act is what is new.

It is not known when exactly these two pictures from Letter R were taken, but by March 1990, Kozlov had achieved at least four motifs from the New Classicals cycle, and the other two, Love for the Earth and Love for Work, were soon to follow.

In his text on the New Classicals cycle from 1993 – Kozlov first spoke of a “series”, but considering the thematic unity of the works, later called it a “cycle” – the artist wrote, “‘New Classicals’ emerged at the height of the collapse of the empire.” more >> The same goes for to The Great Le-yenin. The New Classicals cycle is, however, opposed to The Great Le-yenin in several respects. The most apparent difference is that the seven New Classicals motifs display abstract figures, not personalised images – ideas, not idols. On a deeper level, though, it is the principle of universal love against the principle of dualism, of us against them – the principle of class struggle, in Marxist terms.

Dualism is an essential quality of earthly matters, of that which regards space and time – left and right, now and then, etc. – and materialism regards only earthly matters, thereby carrying antagonisms to the extreme. Hence the persuasive power of such a popular dichotomy as “people” and “enemy of the people” or, alternatively, “proletariat” and “class enemy”. Hence Lenin’s “ruthless extermination of the enemy” by “the party of the class-conscious proletariat”.[11] [12]

If dualism (polarity, dichotomy) is represented by the number two, seven is the full-scale number of rhythmical occurrences, with number eight returning to one, like in an octave,[13] or like the seven days of a week, each governed by a planet mirrored in its respective name which thus refers to its cosmic origin.[14] Each tone or day is functionally different from the others, but not opposed to them, and the same goes for the seven motifs of the New Classicals cycle and their basic “rainbow” colours. Love for God should have finalised this comprehensive project – a critical endeavour, comparable, perhaps, to Edvard Munch’s Frieze of Life realised a century earlier.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov standing in front of the Southern segment of Palace Bridge raised open. The exhibition displays Kozlov's collection “2x3m”, five of Kozlov's own works from the cycle “New Classicals”, as well as a number of works belonging to other artists. Photo: Hannelore Fobo
The First Exhibition on Palace Bridge , Leningrad, 23 July 1990
E-E) Evgenij Kozlov standing in front of the Southern segment of Palace Bridge raised open.
The exhibition displays Kozlov's collection “2x3m”, five of Kozlov's own works from the cycle “New Classicals”, as well as a number of works belonging to other artists more>>.

Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 1990



So far, the history of this cycle has been quite interesting. The total number of paintings is eight, since two motifs, Love for the Wonderful and Love for the Earth, were painted in two versions. Love for Woman, Love for Man, and Love for the Cosmos left to New York some time in early 1990. The other five were first exhibited in July 1990, during the spectacular night exhibition on Palace Bridge near the Hermitage more>>. In 1991, three of them went to an exhibition tour to Hamburg, Germany and Cherbourg, France more>>, while the remaining two took part in the Leningrad festival “Les Allumées” in Nantes, France, where they could be seen hanging not far from The Great Le-yenin more>>. During the following years, we managed with great difficulty to reunite all eight works in Berlin.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov's Berlin studio "The Russian Field no2", 1996 On the floor: six works from the cycle New Classicals.In the background: four works from the cycle Miniatures in Paradise. On the right wall: Five works from the cycle Virtuoso Reality  Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 1996

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov's Berlin studio “The Russian Field (2)”, 1996
On the floor: six works from the cycle New Classicals more>>
In the background: four works from the cycle Miniatures in Paradise more>>
On the right wall: Five works from the cycle Virtuoso Reality more>>
Photo: Hannelore Fobo



In 2016, Love for Work was shown at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, Poland, during the international exhibition Notes from the Undergound. Art and Alternative Music in Eastern Europe 1968–1994 more>>.

Exhibition catalogue “Notes from the Underground”, ed.by David Crowley and Daniel Muzyczuk Exhibition view at the Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, 2016, with the “Leningrad” room more>>. Left: Videoclip by Joanna Stingray with the band KINO, on the right paintings by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov. Next to the screen: “Love for Work” from the New Classicals cycle Object: “Utiugon” by Timur Novikov and Ivan Sotnikov
Exhibition catalogue “Notes from the Underground”, ed.by David Crowley and
Daniel Muzyczuk
Exhibition view at the Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, 2016, with the “Leningrad” room more>>.
Left: Videoclip by Joanna Stingray with the band KINO, on the right paintings by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov. Next to the screen: “Love for Work” from the New Classicals cycle
Object: “Utiugon” by Timur Novikov and Ivan Sotnikov more>>



An exhibition project to display the entire cycle in 2022 had to be cancelled at the last minute, and today, the cycle is again split – between Berlin, Paris, and London. One of the Love for the Earth canvases is in the collection of the Centre Pompidou, while Love for Work and Love for the Cosmos have recently become part of the collection of Tate Modern. In case of an exhibition during the artist’s lifetime, Love for God might materialise, which would be no little thing in these times of turmoil.

Hannelore Fobo, 24 January 2024



[1] Private message from 24 January 2024.

[2] At that time, to apply for a passport was still not easy for ordinary Soviet citizens, although it was now more a question of patience than of getting permission for a specific trip. In the first place, Soviet citizens needed an official invitation from a resident or business partner in the country of destination, and, following that, their employer’s support to travel abroad — in Kozlov’s case, the employer was fictitious. With these documents, they applied for a passport at the local OVIR, Отдел Виз и Регистрации, Visa and Registration Department. The OVIR issued the passport together with a single exit visa to the country in question, which expired after six months. With the passport and the official invitation in their hands, potential travellers would then apply for an entry visa at the respective consulate. There was, however, no guarantee that the consulate would issue an entry visa before the exit visa expired. In this case, another exit visa was needed. Soviet passports contained several pages to register exit visas – one for each trip, and this procedure was abandoned only in 1993. See also: Выезд за границу из СССР в конце 80ых - начале 90ых - как это было? (Going abroad from the USSR in the late 80s - early 90s - how was it?) author: Ian Valentinovich, (Ян_Валентинович) 22 February 2015 https://ja-va.livejournal.com/275961.html

[3] Кузнецова,Э.В. Лениниана в советском изобразительном искусстве: кн. для учителя / Era Vasilievna Kuznetsova,  Leniniana in Soviet Fine Arts: A Teacher's Book. Prosveshchenie, 1990, p. 3. English translation quoted after:
Hannelore Fobo. Hello Mr Lenin, 1991 more >>.

[4] English translation quoted from Wikipedia’s article Vladimir Lenin's Hanging Order https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Lenin%27s_Hanging_Order

[5] In our private conversation from 20 January 2024.

As I’m writing these lines, January 21st, 2024, marks the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s death, and faithful communists laid a wreath at his mausoleum. On the same day, the Russian politician Leonid Gozman, who like many of his colleagues emigrated after Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine to avoid prison, published a post on Facebook where he called Lenin “one of the greatest villains in the history of mankind” (одним из величайших злодеев в истории человечества), stating

    He was fantastically cruel (judging by the way he savoured the words hang, shoot in his orders, he was also a sadist), he was absolutely unscrupulous. He killed and maimed millions of people, he destroyed the lives of the entire population of the country, he destroyed morality. Ordinary human feelings were unknown to him, he was a genius in the struggle for power.
    Он был фантастически жесток (судя по тому, как в своих распоряжениях он смаковал слова повесить, расстрелять, он был еще и садистом), он был абсолютно беспринципен. Он убил и искалечил миллионы людей, он разрушил жизнь всего населения страны, он уничтожил мораль. Обычные человеческие чувства были ему неведомы, он был гением борьбы за власть.

Леонид Гозман. На смерть злодея. Сто лет со дня кончины Владимира Ильича Ленина / Leonid Gozman. To the death of the villain. One hundred years since the death of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin). Facebook post republished on exo / echo, https://echofm.online/opinions/na-smert-zlodeya-sto-let-so-dnya-konchiny-vladimira-ilicha-lenina

[6] Leniniana in Soviet Fine Arts, p.3

[7] The same goes for the other gifts sent with Sergey Zaitsev.

[8] In October 1990, the painting could be seen at “Tenderness and Virility. I love California” which took place at the Exhibition Halls of the Leningrad Organization of the Union of Artists (LOSKh) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUvFRY6oKl0, and a year later, it travelled to the large Leningrad / Saint Petersburg festival “Les Allumées” in Nantes, France more >>.

[9] See: Solcyre Burga. Russia’s Court Ban of the ‘LGBTQ Movement’ Is the Latest Global Move Against Inclusion. Time, 4 December 2023, https://time.com/6342383/russias-court-ban-of-the-lgbtq-movement/

[10] The Art of the Future. A conversation between (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov and Hannelore Fobo, 1991 more >>.

[11] In 1906, Lenin wrote, “The onslaught on the enemy must be pressed with the greatest vigour; attack, not defence, must be the slogan of the masses; the ruthless extermination of the enemy will be their task […] And in this momentous struggle, the party of the class-conscious proletariat must discharge its duty to the full.” In: Lessons of the Moscow Uprising Published: Proletary, No. 2, August 29, 1906. Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 11, pages 171-178. Credits: Marxists Internet Archive https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1906/aug/29.htm

Besides, even some Soviet dissidents accepted Lenin’s ruthlessness. A striking case is Alexander Zinoviev, a famous sociologist and writer who was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1978 and returned in 1999. In an interview with Viktor Kozhemiako, presumably from 2004, Zinoviev, who according to Kozhemiako defined himself as a “romantic communist, then and now” (Я – романтический коммунист. Был таковым и остаюсь), called Lenin “one of the greatest men in the history of mankind and the greatest man of the twentieth century.” (это один из величайших людей в истории человечества и величайший человек XX века.). Giving the problem of Lenin’s ruthlessness some thought, he addressed himself:

    Zinoviev, you are dissatisfied with, say, the actions of Lenin or Stalin, but what would you have done in their place? And I came to the conclusion that I couldn‘t have done otherwise. So there is no need to speculate on “cruelty”, “repression”, etc. Historically, it was impossible to avoid this. Everything that was done was done out of necessity.
    Зиновьев, ты недоволен, скажем, действиями Ленина или Сталина, но сам-то ты на их месте как бы поступил? И приходил к выводу: иначе поступить не смог бы. Так что не надо спекулировать на «жестокости», «репрессиях» и т.д. Избежать этого исторически было нельзя. Все, что делалось, — делалось в силу необходимости.

Quoted after: Философ Александр Зиновьев о Ленине / The Philosopher Alexander Zinoviev about Lenin. kommari, 6 December 2009, 12:16  https://kpss-ru.livejournal.com/69646.html

The original text was reprinted in: Александр Зиновьев о русской катастрофе. Из бесед с Виктором Кожемяко, Издательство Родина, 2022 / Alexander Zinoviev about the Russian Catastrophy. From the Conversations with Viktor Kozhemiako, Izdatel‘stvo Rodina, 2022.

The trouble with Zinoviev’s acceptance of repression out of necessity is that it will never be enough to eliminate just one specific group as “enemy of the people”, be it because of their social position, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, or other criteria. Within the remaining group, a dichotomy reemerges likewise out of necessity, as demonstrated by the “Reign of Terror” established after the French revolution. The process of detecting yet another “enemy of the people” will be perpetuated until there is no one left or until the agenda changes.

[12] Among other Russian laws, the Foreign Agent Law from 2012 pursues a similar function of expelling politically active individuals from society, although not yet eliminating them physically.

[13] For instance C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C for a C major scale.

[14] See Ilaria Bultrighini, “The week as known today is the result of the merging of two different cultural traditions: the Jewish, biblical week and the planetary week of astrological origin. […] The sequence of the planets within the week is as follows: day of Kronos/Saturn (Saturday), day of Helios/Sol (Sunday), day of Selene/Luna (Monday), day of Ares/Mars (Tuesday), day of Hermes/Mercury (Wednesday), day of Zeus/Jupiter (Thursday), and day of Aphrodite/Venus (Friday).”

Ilaria Bultrighini. The origins of the planetary week. 2 May 2022.

https://blogs.fu-berlin.de/zodiacblog/2022/05/02/the-origins-of-the-planetary-week/

In Italian and other romance languages, weekdays still show their planetary origin: lunedì  martedì mercoledì, giovedì, venerdì, while sabato stands for Shabbat and domenica is the Lord’s Day. English introduced the names of the corresponding Germanic gods for the weekdays, but kept Saturn and translated Sol into Sun.




(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Letter Q to Catherine Mannick.  Cover of double postcard with a portrat of V. I. Lenin, partly overpainted by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter Q to Catherine Mannick.

Cover of double postcard with a portrait of V. I. Lenin, partly overpainted by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

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



 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Letter R to Catherine Mannick, pp. 1 and 2, 19 March 1990  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter R to Catherine Mannick, pp. 1 and 2, 19 March 1990

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

Page 1 + 2

18. III. 90

Ленинград.

„Русскоее Полее“.

Дорогая моя Катя,

Как я был рад видеть тебя в Москве! За последнее время это было одно из самых чудесных и приятных моментов моей жизни, и помнить те пол часа нашего общения я очень люблю.

Несколько дней назад один из моих русских друзей — Сергей Зайцев — уехал в USA, надеюсь он смог найти тебя или звонил тебе или Марине, или еще будет это делать. Я послал для тебя некоторые подарки и в том числе video материал, который будет интересен вам смотреть, и, конечно, один из плакатов моего нового стиля „Леенин“. Это одно из моих последних разработок в творчестве, хочу уничтожить Ленина, как икону и как образ поклонения.

Уже через неделю уезжаю в Финляндию, Швецию, ФРГ, Польшу. Потом вернусь в „Русскоее Полее“ и вновь уезжаю, но в USA.




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(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Letter R to Catherine Mannick, p 3, 19 March 1990  Imprint: Photo: M. Nappelbaum, design V. Alekseev. “Plakat", Moscow, 1987  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University


(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter R to Catherine Mannick, p 3, 19 March 1990

Imprint: Photo: M. Nappelbaum, design V. Alekseev. “Plakat", Moscow, 1987

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

Page 3

Мой менеджер провел окончательные переговоры о моем пребывании в USA. В New York-e готова мастерская, но посмотрим, станет ли столица мира духовнее и продуктивнее для меня в творчестве, чем Ленинград и „Русскоее Полее“. Буду делать выбор.

Посылаю несколько фотографий своего творчества.

Целую и обнимаю,

Твой Евгений.




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 (1988) – 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 29 January 2024

Last updated 13 June 2024