• 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.


  • Exhibition: Monument to Cold War Victory (Cooper Union, New York; October 7 - November 7, 2014)

    Monument to Cold War Victory, a conceptual project and group exhibition organized by Stamatina Gregory and Yevgeniy Fiks
    Opening Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 7:00pm
    Exhibition on View October 7-November 7, 2014

    The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
    41 Cooper Gallery
    41 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003

    Monument to Cold War Victory is a conceptual project by the artist Yevgeniy Fiks, taking the form of an open-call, international competition for a public, commemorative work of art. For over two decades, public signifiers of the Cold War, such as the Berlin Wall, have been framed in terms of destruction and kitsch. A monument created at the moment of its own destruction, the Wall encapsulates the continuing geopolitical imagination of the conflict as linear, continuous, binary, and terminal: the culmination of a historicized narrative of competing empires. But while the impact of half a century of sustained ideological struggle still reverberates through all forms of public and private experience—from Middle Eastern geographies of containment to the narrative structures of Hollywood—its conclusion has yet to be acknowledged through a public and monumental work of art. The Cold War, the longest and most influential conflict of the 20th century, has no publicly commissioned commemoration in the United States.

    In November 2012, The Committee for Tacit History (Fiks and curator Stamatina Gregory) issued an international call for proposals for a monument to the Cold War to be built in the United States. Unrestrained by budget considerations, and untied to a specific place, the call implied an invitation to imagine socially based, utopic, dystopic, or ultimately unrealizable projects. In April 2013, a jury including Susan Buck-Morss, Boris Groys, Vitaly Komar, Viktor Misiano, and Nato Thompson considered nearly 200 submissions and selected 17 finalists, whose proposals comprise this exhibition. These artists, from the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics, and Latin America, are diverse in their formal and conceptual strategies, their approach to material and ideological history, and their take on monumentality. Collectively, they wield the conceptual form of the public commission as a potent form of political imaginary.


  • Exhibition: Neglected Architecture: Post-war architecture in Eastern and Central Europe (Frankfurt am Main; November 7 – December 7, 2014)

    Exhibition: Neglected Architecture: Post-war architecture in Eastern and Central Europe (Frankfurt am Main; November 7 – December 7, 2014)

    Photographs by Peter Sägesser

    Peter Sägesser (CH) studied at the ETH Zurich architecture and since 1988 has been documenting architecture in Eastern and Central Europe. He has written numerous articles on architecture of this region and operates the website

    Bar Neglected Grassland
    Neue Kräme 29 (Sandhofpassage)
    60311 Frankfurt am Main
    exhibition dates: November 7 – December 7, 2014

    Exhibition Opening: Thursday November 6, 2014, from 7 pm; DJ-Sets: Hans Romanov and Oliverse

    With a pan-European picnic on a field on the Hungarian-Austrian border in August 1989 fell the Iron Curtain. This was the end of a social, political, economic and cultural experiment. Architecture had been an important part of this experiment. It substantiated the social ideals, but often failed at the economic and political realities. Nevertheless, outstanding architecture was realized during the communist period. The Iron Curtain made it difficult to see this architecture and today it often faces a lack of interest and prejudice. With the political shift Central and Eastern Europe wanted to reorient. With the free market economy also came free (“wild”) building, but the level of contemporary architecture rarely achieves that which reached during the communist era.

  • Exhibition: In Other Worlds: The Art of the Russian Avant-Garde (Gallery Shchukin, New York; opening October 10, 2014)

    Exhibition: In Other Worlds: The Art of the Russian Avant-Garde (Gallery Shchukin, New York; opening October 10, 2014)

    New Exhibition of Rarely-Seen Russian Avant-Garde Artwork Opens at Gallery Shchukin in Chelsea, New York

    The opening reception for In Other Worlds will take place from 6:00pm-10:00pm on Thursday, October 9th, at Gallery Shchukin’s Chelsea space at 524 W. 19th St., New York, NY 10011.

    Begins Oct. 10, Features Works by Chagall, Larionov, Goncharova, Popova and Other Russian Avant-Garde Masters. Featuring works by some of the most prominent artists of the Avant-Garde period in Russia and drawn from the collection of Marina and Nikolay Shchukin, the exhibition will run from October 10th through the end of the year.

    Organized by Matthew Drutt, In Other Worlds looks at art in a time of social and political upheaval in turn-of-the-century Russia. In a mirror of Russia’s simultaneous fascination with and rejection of the West, artists explored, adopted and then discarded Western stylistic trends, including Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism and Futurism, often melding them with traditional Russian folklore to create a style that was uniquely Russian and inextricably linked to the period before the Second World War.