(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

5. “It seems I need a manager.” The Impact of Getting Popular

Censorship in a wider sense – lack of time and energy resulting from the Law on Social Parasitism – nevertheless continued being a problem through most of the 1980s, as Kozlov explained in 2023:

    In the Soviet Union, working in ordinary jobs was considered the norm for ordinary people, and I was definitely not expected to be outside the norm. So I went to work at the local watch factory[1] where, during an eight hours shift, I would count tiny screws for watches with the help of a pair of tweezers. The idea was that say, Mozart or da Vinci would have a regular job absorbing all their energy and completely demoralising them, just to miraculously write or draw their masterpieces in their spare time. (See Letter K, September 1986)

Although there were often longer breaks between two jobs, the little money he gained did not allow him to consider looking for a larger studio. Besides, by law, artists’ studios were only available for union members.[2] On the other hand, selling art privately to local collectors was only a theoretical option, as Kozlov’s remarks on the 1985 “Happy New Year” exhibition demonstrate – those few people who could allow themselves to buy art would rather invest in established values, while collectors of contemporary art were not in a situation to spend much money:

    Fans of traditional art either didn't understand anything or didn’t care at all – very cool, don't you think so? Collectors didn't buy anything – they were too poor and only asked for some gifts, while museums are also poor, but unlike collectors, they don't know anything about contemporary art.[3] (Letter I, spring 1986)

Kozlov was frustrated by the situation. After Catherine Mannick’s October 1986 visit, he wrote her:  

    I lack a field of activity, of creating on a large scale – there is nowhere to unfold exactly what I have already talked about with you, or rather I did not have time to talk, I just complained a little. I, Katya, am suffocating. Do you know this depressing state? (Letter L, October 1986)

The transition towards “creating on a large scale” happened in stages, starting in 1987. Although Kozlov’s legal and material conditions didn’t improve, he decided to spend more time on art. Towards the end of 1987, he wrote:

    I really began to work a lot and you know why? Oddly enough, this is due to the fact that I have nothing but art (not even you next to me), this position obligates me to do more and more new things. And if I don't paint for a day or two or three, then I start to feel broken and sick. This is what interests me especially now! (Letter N, autumn 1987)
 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  The artist in front of his painting China - USSR (1987) more >> wearing his T-shirt from 1987 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCP more >> The white parallel stripes on the wall are imprints from the painting CCCP, the border of which can be seen on the left.  Vintage print, 17.8 x 23.8 cm, 1987 Possibly sent with Letter N to Catherine Mannick, autumn 1987.  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-EF11-op3

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

The artist in front of his painting China - USSR (1987) more >> wearing his T-shirt from 1987 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCP more >>
The white parallel stripes on the wall are imprints from the painting CCCP, the border of which can be seen on the left.

Vintage print, 17.8 x 23.8 cm, 1987
Possibly sent with Letter N to Catherine Mannick, autumn 1987 more >>.

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

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-EF11-op3
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  To – For Katerine with my GREAT Chinese Halloween Евгений Козлов „Китай-СССР“ 1987 (Evgenij Kozlov “China - USSR” 1987) Reverse of vintage print, 17.8 x 23.8 cm, 1987 Possibly sent with Letter N to Catherine Mannick, autumn 1987.  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University  E-E archival number: E-E-pho-EF11-op3
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

To – For Katerine with my GREAT Chinese Halloween
Евгений Козлов „Китай-СССР“ 1987 (Evgenij Kozlov “China - USSR” 1987)
Reverse of vintage print, 17.8 x 23.8 cm, 1987
Possibly sent with Letter N to Catherine Mannick, autumn 1987.

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

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-EF11-op3



Earlier that year, in May 1987, Kozlov had quit a last “government” job, disregarding the fact that the Law on Social Parasitism was still in force; it was abolished only in April 1991. This solved the problem of time, though not that of space to paint large canvases nor of money to acquire professional quality art material. But he found a pragmatic solution, using the tiny space of his Peterhof flat and studio “Galaxy Gallery” and “poor” material – red calico, a cotton textile for Soviet banners available in large quantities. With an old Singer hand crank sewing machine, he sewed several panels of calico to large pieces, some of which he provided with carefully created zigzagging contours more >>. He then fixed them to the wall and painted them with white wall paint. The largest work, CCCP, produced in a 2 x 6 m format, was too large for any of the walls of his room, and the material had to be fixed around the corner, to adjacent walls. Three of these paintings from 1987, “Star” more >>, “Star. 6 Figures” more >>, and “CCCP” more >>, are today in the collection of Tate Modern.[4] 

 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Page 1 of the album of painted photo-collages "It‘s the Fashion!”, 1984-1990 17.8 x 12.9 cm (folded, without paper clipping) Inv. no. E-E-pho-Y015-opc  The picture, taken at Kozlov‘s apartment-studio "Galaxy Gallery" shows the artist painting ARMY (mixed media on canvas, 69 x 93 cm, 1987, inv. no E-E-187008); behind the easel is Oile (mixed media on canvas, 110 x 70 cm, 1987, inv.no E-E-187017) more >> These and some other paintings partly cover CCCP, but we can still see that CCCP is attached to two adjacent walls. (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at his apartment-studio "Galaxy Gallery", Peterhof, 1988. On the wall, turned upside down, is a paper stencil for the painting "Portrait of Timur Novikov with Arms consisting of Bones” more >> The white parallel stripes on the wall are imprints from CCCP painted in a year ealier. The brush strokes, disconnected at regular intervals, show where the calico was taken off the wall to prevent it from getting stuck to the wallpaper. Inv. no. E-E-pho-CZ24

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Page 1 of the album of painted photo-collages "It‘s the Fashion!”, 1984-1990 more >>
17.8 x 12.9 cm (folded, without paper clipping)
Inv. no. E-E-pho-Y015-opc

The picture, taken at Kozlov‘s apartment-studio "Galaxy Gallery" shows the artist painting ARMY (mixed media on canvas, 69 x 93 cm, 1987, inv. no E-E-187008); behind the easel is Oile (mixed media on canvas, 110 x 70 cm, 1987, inv.no E-E-187017) more >>
These and some other paintings partly cover CCCP, but we can still see that CCCP is attached to two adjacent walls. more >>.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at his apartment-studio "Galaxy Gallery", Peterhof, 1988.
On the wall, turned upside down, is a paper stencil for the painting "Portrait of Timur Novikov with Arms consisting of Bones” more >>.
The white parallel stripes on the wall are imprints from CCCP painted in a year earlier. The brush strokes, disconnected at regular intervals, show where the calico was taken off the wall to prevent it from getting stuck to the wallpaper more >>.
Inv. no. E-E-pho-CZ24

Photo: Vadim Sadovnikov
"CCCP” (1987), fragment of the reverse. A small piece of wallpaper remained attached to the calico more >>. Photo @ Tate (Harriet Pearson)

"CCCP” (1987), fragment of the reverse. A small piece of wallpaper remained attached to the calico more >>.
Photo @ Tate (Harriet Pearson)



Sverdlov House of Culture, Leningrad, Exhibition "The New Artists", 24 April 1988 more >> Stage with works by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Left: "Star", E-E archival number: E-E-E-E-187115 Centre: "CCCP", E-E archival number: E-E-E-E-187113 Right: “Star. 6 Figures" , E-E archival number: E-E-E-E-187116 In 2021, these three paintings joined the collection of Tate Gallery, London.  Photo: Alexander Savatyugin

Sverdlov House of Culture, Leningrad, Exhibition "The New Artists", 24 April 1988 more >>
Stage with works by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov:
Left: "Star", E-E archival number: E-E-E-E-187115
Centre: "CCCP", E-E archival number: E-E-E-E-187113
Right: “Star. 6 Figures" , E-E archival number: E-E-E-E-187116
In 2021, these three paintings joined the collection of Tate Gallery, London External link >>

Photo: Alexander Savatyugin

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov with two works from the “White on Red” series Left: “Звезда. 6 Фигур” / Star. 6 Figures, white paint on red calico, 211 x 230 cm, 1987. Right: “Звезда” / Star, white paint on red calico, 207 x 225 cm, 1987 Exhibtion USA-CCCP-CHINA, Egbert Baqué Contemporary, Berlin, 2018 more >>  Photo: Hannelore Fobo

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov with two works from the “White on Red” series
Left: “Звезда. 6 Фигур” / Star. 6 Figures, white paint on red calico, 211 x 230 cm, 1987.
Right: “Звезда” / Star, white paint on red calico, 207 x 225 cm, 1987
Exhibtion USA-CCCP-CHINA, Egbert Baqué Contemporary, Berlin, 2018 more >>

Photo: Hannelore Fobo



In 1988, Kozlov continued experimenting with cloths of different quality and primed them to obtain neutral surfaces for large multifigure compositions. Unable to check his working progress from a distance – because the room was too small – he attached a mirror to the opposite wall and looked at the mirrored image through the wide-angle lens of a door viewer, thus creating an optical illusion of a distant object. Seven large figurative paintings on canvas, with the larger side up to 220 cm, and five works on paper up to 4 metres length have been documented for 1988 more >>. It is difficult to imagine how Kozlov was able to produce such a considerable number of highly complex paintings under these circumstances.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov in his studio “Galaxy Gallery”, 1988 with his painting “Anna Karenina 2” more >> • more >> Photo: Vadim Sadovnikov E-E archival number: E-E-pho-DA25-op

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov in his studio “Galaxy Gallery”, 1988
with his painting “Anna Karenina 2” more >>more >>
Photo: Vadim Sadovnikov

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-DA25-op

See also Letter P, March 1989



At this point, selling art to foreign collectors, whose interest rose with perestroika, seemed to be the only way to make some money. At the same time, the prospect of selling his art internationally raised new questions, as it meant dealing with unknown variables:

    [It would be] also interesting to know how much Soviet art usually costs in America? And is anyone really seriously interested in it, or is it just a fashion? I have a problem now – should I sell my paintings or keep everything. Because if circumstances are good and I can find some people who are interested, there could be an exhibition in, say, America or Europe. (Letter N, part 1, 1987).

Mannick’s answer came shortly afterwards:

    Every day I read in the newspapers about exhibits of Soviet artists in America, about the purchase of Soviet art by American collectors. (Letter 41, December 1987)

Kozlov didn’t wait for a personal exhibition, and in 1988/1989, almost all of his large works from 1987 and 1988 left his studio for New Artists group exhibitions to Sweden more >>, Denmark, England more >>, Finland more >>, and the USA more >>, making an impact on the western audience.

At the beginning of 1989, he stated:

    My paintings were printed on the covers of catalogues and posters, so I kind of was the face of Modern Art – there's something in that, isn't there? (Letter P, 1989)
“Perestroika in the Avant-Garde” Festival Poster. Bluecoat, Liverpool, 1989 more >>. Logo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozov Звезда / "Star" (white paint on red calico, 207 x 225 cm, 1987) The Kozlov & Fobo Collection, Berlin

“Perestroika in the Avant-Garde” Festival Poster. Bluecoat, Liverpool, 1989 more >>.
Logo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozov Звезда / "Star" (white paint on red calico, 207 x 225 cm, 1987)
The Kozlov & Fobo Collection, Berlin




As a matter of fact, for Kozlov, the year 1988 marks the passage from being subject to the local command economy, which had restrained his potential as an artist, to becoming an agent in an international market system, the rules of which he had to govern by himself. Put differently, apart from being an artist, he had to become his own art dealer; only then could he hope to create the conditions to unfold his artistic potential. Fixing prices and royalties[5] were just part of the difficulties that emerged as his art started selling internationally. Unlike other artists, Kozlov didn’t instantly travel abroad with his works; rather, he relied on his fellow artists to whom he handed over his art in Leningrad, in the first place on Sergei Bugaev. It didn’t work out – Kozlov didn’t know what was sold at what price and what remained unsold.[6] What is more, collecting unsold works from exhibitions became a serious problem:

    A month ago I signed an agreement with one of the Moscow galleries dealing with Soviet art internationally to supply my paintings to the western market. In May, nine paintings and a sculpture will go to auction in W. Berlin. The auction [house] is quite prestigious, a competitor to Sotheby's and Christie’s (London). But for me, there is one “But“ or dissatisfaction in this matter – at the time I was selecting paintings for the auction, my main works had not yet returned from the English exhibition (see Letter N, Part 1, “Lost Art”), so I had to send canvases of small sizes and a different stylistic approach to Germany (which I call POPs), and accordingly, who the hell knows how they will sell. But we'll wait and see. (Letter P, March 1989)

With no place to paint large works while losing control over the works he had sent off, the situation was getting out of hand. Again, Kozlov felt like having come to a dead end. But now, as an art market was gradually emerging in the Soviet Union, he opted for a business solution:

    Generally speaking, my plans are big. I want to paint, but I can't realise that much because of the circumstances. Perhaps this is my fate after all. The horoscope correctly says that people with my sign are not able to create for themselves good working conditions and that only if they are good, I will be able to perfectly carry out everything I conceive. It seems I need a manager. (Letter P, March 1989)

Later the same year, Kozlov indeed found a manager – Rinad Akhmethine, a young man who wasn’t involved in the art scene at all, but saw a potential for future sales of Kozlov’s art. Thanks to perestroika, Akhmethine was able to help him open his new studio Russkoee Polee / “The Russian Field”, a spacious flat in the centre of Leningrad. In Letter Q from December 1989, Kozlov gives a description of his studio and his current situation: “My business is going quite well. My paintings are bought by foreign collectors and museums.” more >>

Up to that point, travelling had been an option depending on the circumstances:

    “[…] perestroika has now made it possible to travel abroad. […] And if my financial affairs become positive now, which is quite likely, or I get an invitation from a gallery, which is also possible now, then I will go off immediately.” (Letter P, March 1989)

Now – half a year later – Kozlov was reasonably optimistic regarding his future and seriously considered travelling to the States: “Many of the latest works have already been transported to the USA and most likely in the spring I will see your Homeland too.”

The passage obviously refers to a New Artists exhibition at Paul Judelson Arts, New York, which opened in May 1990 in Judelson’s flat. Paul Judelson had started his career as an art dealer with Leningrad’s New Artists a year earlier through a contact with Joanna Stingray and Sergei Bugaev. The inaugural exhibition in May 1989 was called “The First North American Exhibition of the Friends of Mayakovsky Club, Leningrad U.S.S.R.”[7] Accordingly, the May 1990 exhibit was “The Friends of Mayakovsky Club. Leningrad USSR, Exhibition II.”[8] Kozlov’s works participated in both exhibitions.

The young American art dealer established a personal contact with Kozlov in the winter of 1989/1990, when he travelled to Leningrad and visited Kozlov’s studio “The Russian Field”, where he selected numerous works to take to the States, mainly portraits and nude paintings as well as works from the New Classicals cycle. On that occasion, he also offered Kozlov the prospect of a studio of his own in New York.

In his last letter, Letter R from March 1990, he again confirms his plan for the upcoming spring:

    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. (Letter R, March 1990)

Around that time, some other Leningrad artists were already making it to New York, and for several weeks, Judelson’s flat became their showcase. In the archive of artist and art historian Andrey Khlobystin, there is a picture from March 1990 showing Alla Mitrofanova, Marta Volkova, Vadim Ovchinnikov, Andrey Khlobystin, Timur Novikov, Irena Kuksenaite, and Sergei Bugaev gathering in Judelson’s place in front of Kozlov’s portrait of Tolstoy from 1988.

Artists from Leningrad at Paul Judelson Art, New York, 5 March 1990 From left to right Alla Mitrofanova, Marta Volkova, Vadim Ovchinnikov, Andrei Khlobystin (standing), Timur Novikov, Irena Kuksenaite, Sergei Bugaev Art: Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, M.I.R. (Portrait of Tolstoy), 1988 Right: Textile composition by Sergei Bugaev Paul Judelson Arts, New York, 11 March 1990 Courtesy Andrey Khlobystin

Artists from Leningrad at Paul Judelson Art, New York, 5 March 1990
From left to right
Alla Mitrofanova, Marta Volkova, Vadim Ovchinnikov, Andrey Khlobystin (standing), Timur Novikov, Irena Kuksenaite, Sergei Bugaev
Art: Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, M.I.R. (Portrait of Tolstoy), 1988
Right: Textile composition by Sergei Bugaev
Paul Judelson Arts, New York, 5 March 1990 more >>

Courtesy Andrey Khlobystin



Khlobystin remembers how New York’s social elite felt curiously attracted by the presence of “real” Russian artists. In his book Schizorevolution, he lists some of the celebrities who visited the exhibition, “Richard Gere, Catherine Deneuve, Milos Forman, Bruno Bischofberger, Nam June Paik, and many others".[9]

That Kozlov should join his artist friends across the Atlantic looks like a natural consequence of the attraction America’s culture had been exerting on him for many years.

    […] 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? (Letter J, August 1986)

He now starts expressing himself in English:

    I should like believe that my life  ➜ ✮ and ← time in Amerika will be mad ➜ ✮ and ← happy, and I’m very expect this time. (Letter Q, December 1989)

Paradoxically, and his enthusiasm notwithstanding, he never went. As he explained later, in essence, two arguments convinced him to remain in Leningrad. First, after the end of censorship – both in a stricter and in a wider sense – there was no longer the need to look for better working conditions elsewhere. With the help of his manager, he had moved to a spacious studio, and having proper working material at his disposal, he could paint when, what, and how he wanted. Instead of meeting foreign curators and journalists abroad, they would come to his place (see Letter Q, December 1989). “The Russian Field” also allowed him to invite his artist friends to build up a unique collection of contemporary Russian art, “2x3m”, with paintings in this very format created on the spot more >>. Second, he was not really sure about the support he would find in New York, financially and otherwise, and whether it would last beyond a starting period. In addition, his Stockholm trip in April 1990 had shown him that travelling without good companionship was not that enjoyable (see Letter R, March 1990). This brought him back to the first argument.  

As a result, instead of Kozlov meeting Mannick in New York, Mannick came to see her friend at the “The Russian Field” in May 1990, and then again in later the same year; it was to become their last personal encounter.

Andrey Fitenko at E-E Kozlov's studio “The Russian Field”, Leningrad, May 1990 more >>. Photo: Catherine Mannick  Digitised slide image: Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov with his painting “Love for the Earth”, oil on canvas, 2x3m, 1990 more >> at his studio “The Russian Field” (see Letter Q, December 1989). Leningrad, May 1990. Photo: Catherine Mannick  Digitised slide image: Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

Andrey Fitenko at E-E Kozlov's studio “The Russian Field”, Leningrad, May 1990 more >>.
Photo: Catherine Mannick

Digitised slide image: Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov with his painting “Love for the Earth”, oil on canvas, 2x3m, 1990 more >> at his studio “The Russian Field” (see Letter Q, December 1989). Leningrad, May 1990.
Photo: Catherine Mannick

Digitised slide image: Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University




Looking back, Kozlov doubts weren’t unfounded. “Gorby fever” reached its peak around 1989/1990, and very soon, the perestroika bonus, which had promoted a wide spectrum of Soviet and Russian art, faded away. Not surprisingly, there was no “Exhibition III” of Leningrad / St. Petersburg artists at Paul Judelson Art, although Judelson continued working with some of these artists for another while.

The end of “Gorby fever” might not in itself have been a major problem for Kozlov’s art, but it limited the scope of what American collectors considered as true Russian art – Sots art, that is, the pop version of Moscow conceptualism with its political-social connotation. Sots art had established itself in New York earlier with artists born in the 1930s and 1940s, such Alexander Kosolapov and the tandem Komar and Melamid. Sotheby’s 1988 Moscow auction intensified this trend with the success of Moscow conceptualism.[10]

Kozlov, born in 1955, was still affected by Soviet life, but to a lesser degree, and his concept of art was universal. There is subject matter coming close to Sots art, but this approach doesn’t go beyond the year 1990 – the “USA-CCCP” works from the period of 1980 to 1989 (see Letter J, August 1986) and the “Lenin with Red Eyes” variations from 1990 (see Letter R, March 1990). What is more, the fact that Kozlov embraces a wide variety of styles and often comes up with new ideas and techniques doesn’t facilitate marketing his art. To imagine how things would have worked out in New York is therefore quite impossible.

Postscript

That Kozlov didn’t leave Leningrad had another, unexpected effect. Coming from Berlin, I was on a trip through the Soviet Union, looking for contemporary art in Leningrad, Riga, Kiev and Odessa. On 9 May 1990, shortly after Mannick’s trip to Leningrad, I visited Kozlov’s studio for the first time. In the Soviet Union, and today in Russia, the 9th of May is “Victory Day”, victory over Germany in WWII, and that day was yet another victory over Germany – I was instantly won over by what I saw, I was thrilled, I knew exactly that I had found what I was looking for. And when the business partnership between Kozlov and his manager broke up in 1991, which led to Kozlov losing his studio, he moved to Berlin, where I found another studio for him – “The Russian Field No. 2” (1994-2008).

Hannelore Fobo and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at Kozlov's Berlin studio RUSSKOEE POLEE /The Russian Field No 2 or – simply – The Russian Field (1994-2008). Photo: brains (Libera / Müller), 1999.

Hannelore Fobo and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at Kozlov's Berlin studio RUSSKOEE POLEE /The Russian Field No 2 or – simply – The Russian Field (1994-2008).
Photo: brains (Libera / Müller), 1999.




It was the beginning of a deep and lasting Russian-German friendship, spiritual relationship, business partnership, and, eventually, marriage.

In this respect, Catherine Mannick’s words from 1983 sound prescient:

    I just reread the letter that you sent me in August, about the separation between your creative life and your personal, social life, how difficult it is for you to give yourself at the same time to both your art and to people. The question seems to be whether it is possible to find a place for your personal life in your creative life and vice versa, how to join them. In particular for an artist, for whom work is very important, private life probably suffers. But, on the other hand, there are always people who understand this work and its role in the life of an artist so well that they themselves find a place for themselves in the artist's creative life, and support him, give him new strength, new inspiration. So Zhenya, those people exist. They are rarer, of course, but because of this, friendship with them is dearer. You will find them and they will find you! I so want for you to be happy and content! Your art already gives many people great satisfaction, your artwork already touches them deeply. And among these people there are those who, in turn, will also touch you. That’s what I think. Zhenya, I am worried about you and your happiness - know that I strongly believe in you and that if you only follow your deepest internal voice, you will always do the right thing and will never lose your way. (Letter 17, November 1983)

It so happened that Evgenij Kozlov came to Germany instead of going to America, and that in our personal biography, “Victory Day” turned into Europe Day, which, based on the Schuman declaration of 9 May 1950, celebrates peace and unity in Europe.

Hannelore Fobo, 14 April 2024

[1] The Petrodvorets Watch Factory “Raketa” was one of the oldest factories in Russia. With perestroika, it made an unexpected market entry in the US, as Catherine Mannick observed: “In New York the most fashionable women wear “Raketa” watches. (Letter 48, August 1989)

[2] Sharing a space with some other artists, for instance at Timur Novikov’s Assa Gallery (see Letter N, part 2, 1987), was not an option, since Kozlov needed to be undisturbed to concentrate on his art.

[3] Again, union members were privileged in this regard, because they could hope for well-paid public contracts, such as murals or paintings for reception halls, but naturally, their art had to be traditional. As a result, some union artists were traditional when executing public contracts and innovative with respect to their private art.

[4] The three paintings were first exhibited in Leningrad in April 1988, framing the stage of the Sverdlov House of Culture (see picutre above). In August 1988, they went to the Swedish Kulturhuset exhibition, and after a long and adventurous exhibition tour, arrived in Berlin at the beginning of the 1990s.

[5] Concerning royalties, see Kozlov’s discussion of his picture for the cover of the album “Popular Mechanics. Insect Culture”, Letter N, part 1, autumn 1987.

[6] In 2013, Kozlov and three other former members of the New Artists filed suit against Sergei Bugaev, having discovered several of their works in a public exhibition in Saint Petersburg. See: Lost Art in Court. Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2013–2014. Summary more >>.

[7] Concerning the title of the exhibition see Hannelore Fobo.  The New Artists and the Mayakovsky Friends Club (1986-1990). Chapter 18. The Mayakovsky Friends Club in the USA, 1989-1990. (2021) more >> 

[8] The line-up of the May 1990 exhibition was Sergei Bugaev (“Afrika”), Timur Novikov, Georgy Guryanov, Evgenij Kozlov, Yevgeny Yufit, and Andrey Khlobystin. more >>

[9] Khlobystin, Andrey. Shizorevolutsiia,(Schizorevolution) [Шизореволуция] Saint Petersburg: Borey Art,  2017, p. 114

[10] Grisha Bruskin’s painting “Fundamental Lexicon”, a narrative compilation of Soviet symbols, was on the cover of the auction catalogue. While its estimate was 20.000 £, the actual selling price went up to 220.000 £ – 242.000 £ including 10 % buyer’s premium (author’s private notes taken during the auction).




The End of Censorship
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
Pictures 1981 – Flat Exhibitions / Letopis ("Chronicle”)
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 7 June 2024

Last updated 9 July 2024