• Member News: Regina Khidekel publishes Lazar Khidekel and Suprematism

    Member News: Regina Khidekel publishes Lazar Khidekel and Suprematism

    Lazar Khidekel and Suprematism
    Regina Khidekel, with contributions by Constantin Boym, Magdalena Dabrowski, Charlotte Douglas, Tatyana Goryacheva, Irina Karasik, Boris Kirikov and Margarita Shtiglits, and Alla Rosenfeld

    256 pages with 250 illustrations
    9 ½ x 11 ¾ in.
    ISBN: 978-3-7913-4968-8
    Publication Date: November 2014
    Published in association with Modernism Inc., San Francisco.

    The first book dedicated solely to this important member of the Russian avant-garde, this volume profiles Lazar Khidekel, a brilliant artist and architect whose career proves a key link in the story of abstraction.

    For decades the work of Lazar Khidekel has been undeservedly overlooked by galleries and museums—primarily because the Russian avant-garde movement was interrupted midstream and forced underground by the Soviet state. This elegantly designed book provides the perfect introduction to Khidekel’s decades-long career and coincides with a recently renewed fascination with Suprematism and the development of 20th-century abstraction. A student of Chagall and Malevich, Khidekel was an artistic prodigy whose fascination with architecture led to his part in the founding of UNOVIS, or “Affirmers of the New Art.” He later became a significant figure in the Suprematist movement, a distinctly Russian form of abstraction. The volume features the best examples from each phase of Khidekel’s career, from his pre-Suprematist work and early architectural and eco-futuristic projects to his post-Suprematist paintings, works on paper, and architectural projects.

    About the Author:
    Regina Khidekel is President of the Lazar Khidekel Society, a group of art historians, museum specialists, and art supporters working to sustain and preserve Khidekel’s legacy. An experienced art critic and an expert on Russian and Jewish 20th-century art, she is also the founder of the Russian American Cultural Center in New York. She is the author of the best-selling book ‘It’s the Real Thing’ Soviet and Post-Soviet Sots Art and American Pop Art (1998, University of Minnesota Press).

  • Symposium: Ukrainian art now: Spaces of Identity (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London; 25 February, 2015)

    Ukrainian art now: Spaces of Identity
    Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art
    Friday, 27 February 2015
    13.00 – 18.00 (with registration from 12.30)

    Speakers: Konstantin Akinsha (Curator, New York, Guest Fellow Max Webber Koleg, Erfurt); Susanne Clausen (Artist, London); Pavlo Kerestey (Artist, London); Alisa Lozhkina (Curator and Editor-in-Chief of Art Ukraine, Kiev); Roman Minin (Artist, Kharkov); Alexander Roytburd (Artist, Kiev); Nikita Shalenny (Artist, Dnepropetrovsk).

    Ticket/entry details: £16 (£11 students, Courtauld staff/students and concessions).

    Organised by: Svitlana Biedarieva and Klara Kemp-Welch (The Courtauld Institute of Art).

    Ukrainian Art Now: Spaces of Identity examines the cultural dimensions of the social reload that found its expression in the revolutionary Maidan events of November 2013-February 2014. Building on the unprecedented number of recent cultural events devoted to Ukrainian art worldwide (among others the touring exhibition I am a Drop in the Ocean: Art of the Ukrainian Revolution), our symposium brings together leading Ukrainian artists and curators to discuss identity, protest and the social legacies of contemporary Ukrainian art in relation to key political changes and cultural transformations.

    Our main aim is to interrogate changes in the field of Ukrainian identity as these are being expressed in visual and conceptual terms. If, for decades, Ukraine lacked new symbols with which to integrate its two major language groups and to accommodate an expanded variety of cultural perspectives, the new mythologies emerging from the flames of the uprising suggest that Ukrainian culture is now breaking with the post-Soviet symbolic model, moving towards new forms of self-identification. Contemporary art’s enormous potential as a vehicle for representing and analysing these processes makes it a crucial point of reference for any consideration of current affairs in the region.

    The symposium addresses the following questions: How have contemporary artists in Ukraine reacted to the social critique that caused the unrest, prompting radical social transformations? To what extent have artists been critical in their engagement with recent political tensions? What visions of internal and international relations have they proposed? We explore how artists have negotiated the trauma of recent violence, and consider how the doubts and hopes played out in the protests are being expressed in contemporary Ukrainian artistic practices.

    Tickets are available online; for further information, email

  • Member News: Dr. Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci is the artistic director of the next Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale

    SHERA member Dr. Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History of Art at the University of Malta, is Artistic Director of the Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale in Malta. The Biennale, scheduled between 14 November 2015 and 7 January 2016, will establish a spiritual space celebrating creativity. It will create a stimulating modern environment in which different works of art by artists from diverse cultural backgrounds are displayed together under one theme. The theme for 2015 is ‘Christianity, Spirituality and the Other.’ The Other includes every aspect within the spectrum of spirituality, a spiritual identity that embraces the tension between doubt, belief, non-belief and the struggle to define the spiritual parameters of humankind.

    The Mdina Biennale traces its roots back to the previous Christian and Sacred Art Biennale of the 1990s, and the forthcoming 2015 event will radically widen its creative spectrum. The idea that all art is spiritual remains the central concept. This thematic approach is profoundly important for a complete appreciation and understanding of the event. It plays a central role in the Artistic Director’s concept and to establish the Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale as a spiritual space of and for creativity. Under the artistic directorship of Dr. Bonaci, himself an artist and art theorist, this cultural event has now been re-launched with new criteria and with a fresh, above all international, approach. Its main aim will be to show the prestige of recent and contemporary art, both locally and Europe-wide,through the choice of the very best works of art.

    The Biennale will be divided into four main sections:

    a) Four resident Maltese artists will be specially invited to participate

    b) Further artists from anywhere in Europe, including Malta, chosen by the artistic director, will be asked to exhibit one or two works each, specifically created for the Biennale

    c) Other artists may apply for the right to propose their works, and if chosen these too will be exhibited at the Biennale.

    d) A major twentieth-century artist will be selected, and a group of his or her works exhibited under the umbrella of the Biennale. The artistic director has underlined the importance of energetically launching the international aspects of this artistic event.

    For more on the Biennale, visit its site:

  • Exhibition: The Lenin Museum (The James Gallery, The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York; November 20, 2014 -- January 17, 2015)

    An exhibition of works by Yevgeniy Fiks

    The Lenin Museum reflects on the historical contradictions and complexities of intersections between Communism and anti-Communism as well as ideology and sexual identity. The project acknowledges the Lenin Museum as a site for memorialization not only of Lenin but of the fate of free expression of sexual identity in Russia in periods of criminalization between 1933 and 1993, after Lenin’s decriminalization in 1917. The show reflects on how Cold War forces of anti-Communism in the West instrumentalized homophobic sentiments as a weapon in the struggle against the Soviet Union, and how the anti-Communist discourse contributes today to the construction of political homophobia in the post-Soviet Russia. The Lenin Museum is curated by Katherine Carl, curator, the James Gallery, the Graduate Center, CUNY.

    Cosponsored by the CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies; Public Science Project.


  • Exhibition: Bolt (Grad Gallery, London; December 6, 2014 — February 28, 2015)

    Exhibition: Bolt (Grad Gallery, London; December 6, 2014 — February 28, 2015)


    Exhibition design by CALUM STORRIE and KATYA SIVERS

    The Bolt, written in 1931, was probably the last Constructivist ballet, closing an era of unparalleled innovation in Soviet dance and performance. Bold designs by Tatiana Bruni and Georgii Korshikov, experimental choreography by Fedor Lopukhov, a gripping story of industrial sabotage written by Victor Smirnov and a vivid musical score by Dmitri Shostakovich made this extraordinary production a threat to the Soviet authorities. Its first ever performance at the Leningrad Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in April 1931 met with a violent backlash from critics and The Bolt was promptly pulled off the programme. It was 74 years before it saw the stage again, reconstructed by the Bolshoi Ballet. The exhibition brings the neglected story of this tumultuous production to life through a selection of costume designs, period photographs and original costumes.

    The story of the ballet and its avant-garde creators can also be explored through a specially created iPad application, which features in-depth commentary from experts, clips from ballet performances and vivid illustrations. Imagined as a companion to the exhibition, this interactive guide can also be enjoyed independently, bringing The Bolt to life in captivating and colorful fashion.Currently available via the app store, the information is also available for non Apple devices to view at


  • Exhibition: LENIN: ICEBREAKER REVISITED (Austrian Cultural Forum, New York; December 11, 2014 - March 9, 2015)


    In 1957 the Soviet Union launched the icebreaker Lenin to international fanfare which included delegations from the United States and United Kingdom. As the world’s first nuclear-powered civilian vessel it epitomized the “Soviet Peaceful Atom” initiative, which promoted the application of atomic energy for purposes of civil engineering – a program bookended by the opening of the world’s first nuclear power plant in 1954 and the Chernobyl disaster some thirty years later. The Lenin would operate for 30 years before being decommissioned to serve as a floating museum, its hull worn too thin by decades’ worth of ice to continue operation.

    In its youth, the icebreaker Lenin served as an icon of the socialist utopian ideal: a classless society based on boundless technological progress through the lens of military advancement and limitless resources through the application of atomic power. In the world that has emerged in the ensuing years, in which a tiny portion of the world’s population receives limitless services in an automated, computerized, late-capitalist utopia amidst a steadily degrading ecology and decentralized global strife, the exhibition “Lenin: Icebreaker Revisited” posits the question: Does utopia still have a social function?

    Curated by Olga Kopenkina, “Lenin: Icebreaker Revisited” introduces works in a variety of media from nine artists hailing from Russia, Austria, and the United States.



    The Harriman Institute postdoctoral fellowships allow junior scholars to spend a specified term (usually an academic year, or in special cases a semester) in residence at Columbia University in New York. All fellows are assigned a faculty mentor. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to concentrate on their own research and writing; to give a brownbag seminar on their research, and post a related Working Paper on the Institute’s website; and to be active participants in the Institute’s scholarly community and events. All postdoctoral fellows receive university IDs that provide access to the full range of resources within the Columbia library system, and the Institute makes every effort to provide desk space for all postdoctoral fellows. The Institute provides funds to sponsor workshops, conferences, and special events planned by fellows around their particular interests.

    The Harriman Institute has three types of postdoctoral fellowships: general (four positions), the INTERACT Central Asia postdoc (one position), and the Ukrainian Studies postdoc (one semester-long position). Candidates should indicate which programs they are applying for in their cover letters.

    Eligibility for the 2015 competition is restricted to those who have received the Ph.D. between July 31, 2012 and June 30, 2015 and do not hold a tenure-track position. All fellows must have successfully defended and deposited their dissertations prior to the commencement of the fellowship.

    Information on each program and application details are posted here. All applications are due by January 15, 2015.

  • CFP: Converging Narratives (Chicago; April 10-11, 2015)

    Deadline: Jan 9, 2015

    The graduate students of the departments of Germanic Studies, Slavic and Baltic Languages and Literatures and Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago are pleased to announce their first interdisciplinary graduate student conference:

    Converging Narratives: The Personal Meets the National

    April 10 and 11, 2015
    Chicago, IL

    Keynote Speaker: Graphic Novelist Marzena Sowa
    2nd Keynote Speaker: TBA

    This interdisciplinary graduate student conference, titled “Converging Narratives: The Personal meets the National,” will focus on the theme of personal narratives in an age of transnationalism and globalization. We will explore how the complex cultural configurations germane to a globalizing world inform storytelling, and how contradictions arise between personal and national narratives. Furthermore, we are interested in how national and transnational identities are represented in literature, visual media and performance. The contributions at the conference will investigate the following questions: How does the national delimit or particularize the personal? Could the national be a source of personal identity crisis? What do we mean by “nation,” and does this cultural container hold lasting significance for the individual in a transnational age? How does a global setting influence the space between the Self and the Other? How do transnational perspectives change national (literary and filmic) canons? How do globalization and transnationalism transform “personal” and “national” narratives? Related topics of interest include borders and borderlands, mobility, new media and migration.

    Our keynote speaker is the author of, among other books, the celebrated graphic novel Marzi about life growing up in communist Poland. We therefore anticipate stimulating discussions about the graphic novel as narrative and visual medium and welcome papers and panels that focus on the graphic novel as medium for articulating personal narratives in contested spaces and times.


  • CFP: 53rd Annual Meeting, Southern Conference on Slavic Studies (Lexington, KY; March 5-7, 2015)

    CALL FOR PAPERS 53rd Annual Meeting Southern Conference on Slavic Studies DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS: January 15, 2015

    The Fifty-Third Annual Meeting of the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Lexington, KY, March 6-7, 2015. The meeting will be hosted by the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, and Eastern Kentucky University. The SCSS is the largest of the regional Slavic and Eurasian Studies associations and its programs attract national and international scholarly participation. The purpose of SCSS is to promote scholarship, education, and in all other ways to advance scholarly interest in Russian, Soviet, East European, and Eurasian studies in the Southern region of the United States and nationwide. Membership in SCSS is open to all persons interested in furthering these goals.

    Papers from all humanities and social science disciplines are welcome and encouraged, as is a focus on countries other than Russia/USSR. Papers and panels on all topics will be considered. The program committee is accepting panel and paper proposals until January 15, 2015. Whole panel proposals (chair, three papers, discussant) are preferred, but proposals for individual papers are also welcome. Whole panel proposals should include the titles of each individual paper as well as a title for the panel itself and identifying information (email addresses and institutional affiliations) for all participants. Proposals for individual papers should include paper title, email contact, institutional affiliation, and a brief (one paragraph) abstract to guide the program committee in the assembly of panels. If any AV equipment will be needed, the panel or paper proposals should indicate so when submitted. AV will be of limited availability and assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Email your proposals to Alice Pate at

    For local arrangements or conference information other than the program, please contact Dr. Karen Petrone, University of Kentucky, at The conference hotel can be booked online.

  • CFP: Shared Practices (Tallin; 22-24 Oct 15)

    Tallinn, auditorium of the Kumu Art Museum, October 22 - 24, 2015
    Deadline: Jan 30, 2015

    The Kumu Art Museum’s fall conference 2015
    In cooperation with the Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts

    Shared Practices: The Intertwinement of the Arts in the Culture of Socialist Eastern Europe

    Changes in the culture of socialist Eastern Europe, which started to take place in the late 1950s in relation to Khrushchev’s Thaw and its aftermath, brought about closer and more varied relationships between different forms of art. This process was encouraged by the idea of the synthesis of arts, which was promoted within the framework of the modernisation of official art, and by the emergence of innovative artistic practices, which would nowadays be referred to as interdisciplinary (different forms of conceptual art, installation and environmental art, happenings and performances, visual poetry, early sound art etc.).
    The objective of the conference is to analyse the changes that happened because of contacts between various art forms and the expansion of their borders in the culture of post-World War II Eastern Europe. We will cover both the processes guided and encouraged by official ideology and movements that tried to distance themselves from or oppose themselves to the established canon. The conference organisers invite scholars to examine the issues of how operating in intersecting areas of different forms of art (visual art, theatre, music, literature, film, design, architecture etc.) and cooperation between artists gave rise to practical strategies which shaped the ideas emerging in artistic processes (instead of expressing existing ideas). A focus on the performative and material aspects of artistic practices allows us to view art not only as a symptom but also as a shaper of the social environment.
    We are looking forward to theoretical presentations (dealing with the idea of the synthesis of arts in the official Soviet ideology, the manifestations of interdisciplinarity and the potential forms of its conceptualisation in the context of the socialist bloc etc.), as well as detailed examinations of specific artistic phenomena and presentations on changes in artists’ self-awareness and position resulting from innovative artistic practices. Keeping in mind the expansion of borders of the artistic disciplines in different cultural contexts of the second half of the 20th century, the conference poses the question: what were the specifics of this process in socialist Eastern Europe?

    Conference board: Anu Allas (Kumu Art Museum), Andres Kurg (Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts), Lolita Jablonskiene (National Art Gallery, Vilnius), Klara Kemp-Welch (Courtauld Institute of Art, London).

    Please send your paper proposals (up to 300 words) by 30 January 2015 to the e-mail address