New Russian Art

New Russian Art

by Donald B. Kuspit, Donald Kuspit, Andrew Solomon, Jon Burris

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Library Journal
While neither of these surveys of nonconformist Russian artists is complete unto itself, they perfectly complement each other. Matthew and Renee Baigell, a professor of art history and a student of Russian literature, respectively, offer interviews they conducted with 47 Russian artists who worked outside the government-ordained school of Socialist Realism. Their interviews were conducted recently, spurred by the donation to Rutgers University of Norton Dodge's significant collection of unoffical art assembled over more than three decades. (For more on Dodge, see John McPhee's The Ransom of Russian Art, LJ 11/1/94.) Reprinted verbatim, the interviews are straightforward and as often biographical as analytical in subject matter. Collectively, they offer a singularly clear picture of the trials, and vastly dissimilar experiences, of artists operating at once under and outside a totalitarian regime. While it provides invaluable context, the book lacks both illustrations and an overarching art historical analysis, leaving the reader's appetite whetted but unsatisfied. A catalog of more than 40 paintings from the late 1980s and early 1990s, New Russian Art by contrast offers a vital contemporary sampling, albeit somewhat short on context. The reproductions are large and clear, and the two introductory essays anecdotally describe the building of the collection while offering a quick gloss on the history of the 20th-century Russian avant-garde. Seven of the artists appear in both books. Small art collections might purchase New Russian Art as a sufficient look at recent Russian art, but all larger collections should have both records of this underdocumented milieu.Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"

Product Details

Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.78(w) x 12.47(h) x 0.80(d)

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