• Conference: ALTERNATIVE ENCOUNTERS: THE "SECOND WORLD" AND THE "GLOBAL SOUTH", 1945-1991 (Imre Kertesz Kolleg, Jena; Nov. 3-4, 2014)

    A collaboration between the Imre Kertész Kolleg, Friedrich Schiller University Jena; the Centre for Area Studies, University of Leipzig; and the Centre of Imperial & Global History, University of Exeter. Organised with support from the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung and Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

    In the post-war period, as decolonization accelerated, new linkages opened up, and existing ties were remade, between the so-called “Second World” (from the Soviet Union to the GDR) and the “Global South” (from Latin America to Africa to Asia). Contacts multiplied through, for instance, the development of political linkages; economic development and aid; health and cultural and academic projects; as well as military interventions. Yet these important encounters, and their impacts on national, regional and global histories, have hitherto only played a marginal role in accounts of late 20th century globalization, which have mainly focused on links between the West and former colonies, or between the countries of the “Global South.” There is still little study of the interaction between these areas, where commonly shared — and contested — beliefs in the power of socialist modernization and anti-imperial culture opened up possibilities of meaningful transfers during the Cold War and its aftermath. This conference seeks to address this lacuna, by bringing together specialists working on forms of exchange, intervention and subjugation. In doing so, it seeks to provide new insights into the global circulation of ideas during the Cold War, and explore “the socialist world” as a dynamic hub of global interactions during the second half of the twentieth century.


  • Exhibition: PREMONITION: UKRAINIAN ART NOW (Saatchi Gallery, London; October 9 - November 3, 2014)

    Premonition: Ukrainian Art Now aims to provide a broad introduction to the diverse and energetic nature of Ukraine’s art-scene through showcasing over 70 works by 38 artists.

    The exhibition will take over one entire floor of the Gallery and features work that has been made recently, but mostly pre-dates the social unrest and upheaval that Ukraine has experienced during 2014. However, the title acknowledges that since the early years of the new millennium, the work of many Ukrainian artists has tended to reflect, or even predict in an uncanny way, the growing challenges, issues and questions concerning their nation’s future identity and stability.

    Premonition: Ukrainian Art Now showcases an exciting group of artists who are relatively unknown outside their homeland. Some of the artists featured in this exhibition have established reputations in Ukraine, while others are recent graduates. The work of these two generations of artists provides an arresting insight into the future of contemporary art in Ukraine and is set to play a key role in shaping our understanding of the culturally rich but complex environment in which they practice their art. The exhibition has been organised by The Firtash Foundation as part of Days of Ukraine in the UK, a celebration of contemporary and traditional Ukrainian art, fashion, literature and music.

    Premonition: Ukrainian Art Now forms the largest survey to date of Ukrainian contemporary art in the UK. It is the third in a series of exhibitions at the Gallery aimed at showcasing Ukraine’s unique culture and heritage to an international audience in London and is part of a long-term partnership between the Saatchi Gallery and the Firtash Foundation announced in July 2014.

    The exhibition has been co-curated by Marina Shcherbenko, Igor Abramovych, Oleksandr Soloviov and Andriy Sydorenko with advice from Vladyslav Tuzov and Natalia Shpitkovskaya at the Modern Art Research Institute and National Academy of Arts of Ukraine.

    Ukraine has one of the most vibrant art scenes in the Former Soviet Union and the artists in this exhibition have chosen very individual and unique ways to communicate; showing extraordinary commitment, energy, insight, resilience and talent.

  • Event: 2014 Art Film Festival (Hunter College, New York; November 1, 2014)

    The Russian American Cultural Center, in collaboration with the Russian and Slavic Studies Program, Hunter College, CUNY is pleased to announce the 2014 Art Film Festival.

    Saturday, November 1, 2014
    Ida K. Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College
    695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065

    FREE OF CHARGE, but you can support by making a donation here.

    The films screened include RUSSIA! The Drama of Art in Twelve Episodes by Nina Zaretskaya; Lazar Khidekel by Olga Radvilovitch and Elena Plugatireva; Lazar Khidekel Element – Suprematism for Humanity; and Away from All Suns by Isabella Willinger.


  • CFP: AAH2015: After the Great War / After the Cold War. Nations, identities and art histories in Central Europe (Norwich; April 9-11, 2015)

    41st Annual Conference & Bookfair
    Sainsbury Institute for Art, UEA, Norwich
    9 – 11 April 2015

    After the Great War / After the Cold War. Nations, identities and art histories in Central Europe

    Paper proposals, to be sent to the session convenor in accordance with proposal guidelines. Paper proposal deadline: 10 November 2014

    Session Convenors:

    Klara Kemp-Welch, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London,
    Beata Hock, University of Leipzig,

    The collapse of Imperial and Soviet empires after the Great War and the Cold War saw the (re-)formation of individual nation states and the production of new cultural identities. These changes brought new opportunities for artists and art historians across Central Europe and beyond, but also new challenges. This session invites participants to explore how art, art history, and criticism in Central Europe have engaged with shifting approaches to nation and identity (embracing considerations such as class, ethnicity, gender, religion) across the modern and the contemporary.

    The session invites papers that consider: the critical framing of domestic or national artistic developments in relation to local concerns; Central European art in an international framework; histories of minority communities; Central European historiography; the construction of identity through print media and popular culture. What do ‘minor’ art histories reveal about mainstream ones, and vice-versa? To what extent are the processes observable in national and international art and art history between the wars comparable to the tensions between the local and global that have come to the forefront since the end of the Cold War? In view of the present violence in the Ukraine, the resurgence of nationalisms across Europe in the post-Cold War period, and the alarming political polarisation in many European countries today, this session invites participants to critically reconsider ideas of nation and identity in the region from a range of art historical perspectives.

  • Special Event: Jack of Diamonds: Disputes at The Courtauld, Friday 24 October and 7 November 2014

    Jack of Diamonds: Disputes

    Friday, 24 October and 7 November 2014
    18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art

    The Jack of Diamonds Disputes taking place on 24 October and 7 November 2014 will highlight the special display of paintings that will be hung in The Courtauld Gallery from Thursday 18 September through to 12 January 2014. The Jack of Diamonds was an enormously influential Russian Artists’ Association based in Moscow and active from 1910-1917. Its large exhibitions brought together the latest Western art from Paris, Munich and elsewhere in confrontation with the latest innovative Russian art. One result of this was to trigger a lively debate about Russian culture, and whether it needs to pay any attention at all to Western precedents. This issue of a culture split between East and West had existed since Peter the Great founded St Petersburg as his window onto the West. The vast inventive richness of French and German art before World War I had a great impact in Russia, but also provoked a vigorous reaction. To accommodate these powerful debates the Jack of Diamonds Artists’ Association held a series of lively debates that they billed as Disputes. We aim to acknowledge these Disputes, by recreating their innovative arguments, acted out in character, complete with audience participation.

    Dispute 1: Friday 24 October, 18.00

    18.00 – 18.20: Konstantin Akinsha as Russian Futurist David Burliuk

    18.20 – 18.40: James Butterwick as Aristarkh Lentulov, a dynamic and colourful painter in the Jack of Diamonds

    18.40 – 19.00: Elena Sudakova will interrupt as the brilliant and assertive Natalia Goncharova. There will be engagement with the audience.

    Dispute 2: Friday 7 November, 18.00

    18.00 – 18.20: John Milner as the Futurist and neo-Primitive painter Mikhail Larionov

    18.20 – 18.40: Robin Milner-Gulland as the Futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov, the self-styled King of Time

    18.40 – 19.00: Jordan Tobin as Natalia Goncharova will announce Russian Futurist face and body painting. There will be engagement with the audience.

    Ticket/Entry details: Open to all, with free gallery admission prior to the event.

  • CFP: International Graduate Student Workshop in Soviet History - The European University at St. Petersburg

    The International Graduate Student Workshop in Soviet History at the History Department of the European University at Saint Petersburg is pleased to invite applications for the 2014-2015 academic year. We bring together EUSPb students and graduate students conducting archival research in Russia and neighboring countries. The primary goal of the workshop is twofold: first, to enrich participants’ research projects and promote an exchange of knowledge about relevant historiographies, theories, methodologies, and archival and other sources; and second, to create a larger and international academic community for participants, and thus to offer them a network of international contacts on which to draw for intellectual as well as professional ends.

    Carryover has produced a fully-booked fall semester. Graduate students interested in presenting their work in the spring should submit a 300-word English- or Russian-language abstract of their papers and a CV to Sam Hirst ( by November 20. Funding for travel and accommodations is available for presenters not based in St. Petersburg. We ask that anyone interested in attending the workshop send their contact information so that we can add you to the seminar’s mailing list.


  • Member News: CCRAC announces the appointment of a new co-director

    Following the retirement of Professor John Milner, Dr. Maria Mileeva is succeeding him as Co-director of the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre.

    Dr. Mileeva is a specialist in Imperial and Soviet art, and is currently Early Career Lecturer with Special Responsibility for Research Administration at The Courtauld Institute of Art.

    Louise Hardiman is taking over as CCRAC’s Administrator. After a career as a lawyer, Louise is currently completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge on the Russian Arts and Crafts in Britain, and has lectured widely on Russian art.

    Professor Milner will remain deeply involved in CCRAC’s activities as Honorary Co-Founder. CCRAC remains hugely grateful for the continuing support and energy that he brings to the organization.

  • Exhibition: Russian Avant-garde Theatre: War, Revolution, and Design 1913 – 1933 (Victoria & Albert Museum, London; October 18, 2014 – January 25, 2015)

    Official website of the exhibition

    On the 18 October a new display in the Theatre and Performance Galleries will present more than 150 radical designs for theatrical productions by celebrated figures of the Russian avant-garde. On view will be set and costume designs conceived between 1913 and 1933 by leading artists and designers including Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko, Vladimir Tatlin, Alexandra Exter, El Lissitsky, Liubov Popova and Varvara Stepanova. Many previously unseen in the UK.

    Created over the course of two decades marked by the Russian revolutions and First World War, the works represent an extraordinary point in Russian culture during which artistic, literary and musical traditions underwent profound transformations. New types of theatrical productions demanded innovative design solutions and benefitted from the unprecedented symbiosis of artists, musicians, directors and performers which characterized the period. Artists who worked in a variety of mediums including painting, architecture, textiles, photography and graphics worked collaboratively on theatrical productions to create a rich variety of design. For the avant-garde this work in theatrical innovation came to inform wider artistic practices.


  • Exhibition: Beyond Zero (Calvert 22, London; October 8 - November 30, 2014)

    Beyond Zero

    Two revolutionary events took place in 20th century Russia that changed the way we look at the world: the emergence of non-objective art and the founding of the Soviet Union’s space programme. Beyond Zero is a homage to these historic moments and explores how contemporary artists continue to challenge conventional notions of time and space.


  • Exhibition: RUSSIAN PORTRAITS OF THE 18th-20th CENTURIES (St. Petersburg Gallery, London; October 2 – December 20, 2014)

    St. Petersburg Gallery is proud to present the new exhibition “Russian Portraits of the 18th- 20th Centuries”. This exciting new show will depict the history of Russian portraiture through the display of more than a hundred paintings, drawings, sculptures and porcelain objects. The juxtaposition of different styles, covering three centuries, will allow the visitor to examine through change and continuity the development of one of the great European portraiture traditions.