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  • EXH: A Vibrant Field: Nature and Landscape in Soviet Nonconformist Art, 1970s-1980s Exhibition Opening

    EXH: A Vibrant Field: Nature and Landscape in Soviet Nonconformist Art, 1970s-1980s Exhibition Opening

    A Vibrant Field: Nature and Landscape in Soviet Nonconformist Art, 1960s-1980s is the first exhibition at the Zimmerli Art Museum to explore the wide range of meanings that the natural world held for unofficial artists in the Soviet Union. Drawn from the strengths of the Dodge Collection, the exhibition brings together works produced in the period between thaw and perestroika that challenged the link between nature, optimism, and progress, which socialist realist aesthetics had promoted. Approximately fifty objects across media are featured, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and performance, by more than twenty-five artists and artist groups from the Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Ukraine. Despite the artists’ diverse backgrounds and creative approaches, together their works establish nature as a vibrant subject matter, push the boundaries of landscape as a genre, and limit the appropriation of landscape imagery in the name of socialist ideology. In turn, the status of nature in late socialism, and one’s individual or collective place within it, is explored as an open–and vital–question.

    A Vibrant Field assembles varied perspectives, vantage points, and orientations that underlie how one experiences nature, both in the physical sense of navigating nature as a real environment and in the conceptual sense of coming to know, describe, represent, or assign it with symbolic value. The exhibition is mapped along three principle zones of inquiry. The first, Visions, draws together work that takes to task the process of visualizing spaces in nature in order to elucidate, reimagine, or critique how humans relate to or inhabit them. In this section, particular attention is paid to works that highlight ecological concerns resulting from the exploitation of natural resources and rapid pursuit of industrialization in the Soviet Union. In Reflections, artists place less emphasis on the material landscapes in nature than on how they become a picture and the role of artistic convention, memory, and ideology in mediating this process. Finally, Encounters considers the emergence of land art and performance-based practices in nature in the 1970s and 1980s that provided a freer alternative to urban communality, ritual, and public space in the Soviet Union. Through their direct encounters with the land, artists in this section approach nature not only as a subject matter or a backdrop to their work, but in some cases as an actor or co-producer.

    Organized by Anna Rogulina, a Dodge-Lawrence Fellow at the Zimmerli and Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History at Rutgers

    The exhibition and brochure are made possible by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund, The Thickman Family Foundation, and the Dodge Charitable Trust – Nancy Ruyle Dodge, Trustee.

    Related Programs

    Wednesday, March 29 / Tour, Film, and Reception 4:30pm: Tour of A Vibrant Field by the exhibition curator, Anna Rogulina 5:30pm: Screening of the 2015 award-winning documentary film Babushkas of Chernobyl.

    Thursday, April 20 / Distinguished Lecture and Reception 4:30-6:30pm: Dr. Jane Costlow, Clark A. Griffith Professor of Environmental Studies at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, explores the subject of nature imaginaries in Soviet literature and visual culture.

  • ANN: 2017 Art Film Festival

    ANN: 2017 Art Film Festival

    2017 Art Film Festival

    Event Venue:
    Ida K. Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College
    695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065

    Event Date:
    Sunday, March 26, 2017 | 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    Russian American Cultural Center, in collaboration with the Russian and Slavic Studies Program, Hunter College, CUNY is pleased to announce:

    FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

    In the spirit of the Centennial of the Suffragist Movement in the U.S., the Russian Revolutions, and the historical Balfour Declaration, the Festival’s program explores the turmoil of the 20th century and is dedicated to women’s role in society, history and art.

    2:00 PM | Russian Avant-garde - A century on Revolution. New Art for a New World by Margy Kinmonth (USA Premiere)

    UK 2016 | 85 min | Feature Documentary | English | Foxtrot Films

    Drawing on the collections of major Russian institutions, contributions from contemporary artists, curators, and performers and personal testimony from the descendants of those involved, the film brings the artists of the Russian Avant-Garde to life. It tells the stories of artists like Chagall, Kandinsky, Malevich and others – pioneers who flourished in response to the Utopian challenge of building a New Art for a New World, only to be broken by implacable authority after 15 short years. Director MargyKinmonth, a creator of highly acclaimed documentary Hermitage Revealed, says: “I was inspired, as an artist, to discover how many of the descendants of Russian Avant-Garde artists are themselves working as artists today. Access to their intensely moving stories brings tolife this extraordinary period of artistic innovation, which continues to exert such a powerful legacy a hundred years on.”

    Q&A with Regina Khidekel, Festival’s Curator

    3:45 PM | Miss Bluwstein | Biography of Hebrew poet, known simply as Rachel the Poetess, by Sivan Arbel (USA Premiere)

    Israel 2015 | 55 min | Documentary | Hebrew with English subtitles

    The Bank of Israel recently announced that two Israeli banknotes, which are part of a new series highlighting renowned 20th century Israeli poets whose life and work parallel the birth of the State of Israel, will be dedicated to two women: Rachel Bluwstein and Leah Goldberg. Rachel Bluwstein (1890 – 1931), the matriarch of modern Hebrew poetry, will grace the new oft-used 20-Shekel bill that includes vistas of her beloved Sea of Galilee shoreline, palm trees, and verses from her signature poem “Kinneret”. The documentary marks the 125th birthday of Rachel, strengthens the image of the first Hebrew poet, the immigrant from Russia, who managed to express the emotional life of an entire generation in a language which lives and breathes to this day. Dana Olmert, Anat Weisman, Efrat Mishori, Muki Tsur, Uri Milstein, Yehudit Ravitz, Karni Postel and others, speak, and sing along with animations and previously unknown letters by Rachel re-paint her extraordinary character.

    Q&A with Eran Polishuk, Director of Film & Media, Consulate General of Israel in New York

    5:00 PM | The Babushkas of Chernobyl: A story of three unlikely heroines in the most toxic place on earth by Holly Morris

    USA 2015 | 70 min | Documentary | Russian, Ukrainian with English subtitles

    In the radioactive Dead Zone surrounding Chernobyl’s reactor, a community of old women cling to their ancestral homeland. While their neighbors have long since fled and their husbands gradually died off, this sisterhood of women labors to cultivate land deemed uninhabitable. Ignoring government orders and health warnings, the Babushkas of Chernobyl continue to forge an existence in one of the most toxic environments on earth.

    Q&A with Yasha Klots, Assistant Professor of Russian, Hunter College, CUNY

    6:20 PM | Mirrors by Marina Migunova (USA Premiere)

    Russia 2013 | 119 min | Feature film | Russian with English subtitles

    A feature Mirrors is the first historical-biographical feature film that focuses on the tragic fate of the poet Marina Tsvetaeva, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. The authors follow her in Russia, then in emigration in Prague and Paris, and then upon her return to Russia, where she committed suicide a few months after she came back.

    Q&A with Regina Khidekel, Festival’s Curator

    Tickets available through EventBrite | Hunter college students free of charge

    Please note: photo ID is required for entry into the college. Please allow additional time for check.

    Entrance on East 69th Street. Lang Hall is on the 4th Floor of the North Building, Room 424.

    If you go through the Visitors Center - it is located on the South West corner of East 68th St. & Lexington Ave. Below is a map of Hunter College, the West Building is orange and the North Building is teal/blue: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/abouthunter/maps/68th-street-main-campus

    RACC’s programs and events are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and Cojeco.

  • Announcing the 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Competition: Awards in the Fine Arts

    Announcing the 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Competition: Awards in the Fine Arts

    The 2018-19 Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program competition is now open. Opportunities are found in the newly redesigned Catalog of Awards. There are many awards in Fine Arts, including:

    · South and Central Asia Regional Research: South and Central Asia Regional Research Program
    · United Kingdom: Fulbright-University of Dundee (Art and Design)
    · Egypt: Visual and Performing Arts
    · Burkina Faso: All Disciplines
    · Indonesia: All Disciplines
    · Brazil: Postdoctoral Scholar Award in All Disciplines
    · Austria: Fulbright-Q21/MuseumsQuartier Artist-in-Residence

    Application Guidelines: including sample project statements
    Review Criteria: to inform the various components of your application
    Eligibility Requirements: to review program policies
    Outreach Events: a schedule of conferences, workshops, and webinars

    Applicants must be U.S. citizens and the current competition will close on August 1, 2017.

  • ANN: SHERA Supports European University at St. Petersburg

    SHERA Supports European University at St. Petersburg

    The European University at St. Petersburg https://eu.spb.ru/en/ is an important institution for research and higher education, respected in Russia and around the world. Its scholars participate in major international conferences alongside members of SHERA and publish their work in prestigious journals and with major presses. We have all benefitted from the scholarship produced by its faculty, associates, and alumni; their work makes a significant and lasting contribution to our field.

    For over 20 years, the EUSP has trained both Russian and non-Russian graduate students at the highest international level. Its educational ideal of promoting the best of Russian and Western scholarship promises to produce students who are fluent in the discourses that shape society and culture around the globe today. Foreign students who enroll in the EUSP’s programs such as its International MA in Russian Studies (IMARES) https://eu.spb.ru/en/international/academics/imares benefit from study in Russia and access to St. Petersburg’s immense cultural resources. More importantly, they gain a deep respect and appreciation for Russian history and culture in a way unparalleled by any other program.

    The EUSP’s proud history and record of success make it all the more concerning that on February 10th the Moscow Arbitration Court did not support the university’s evidence of compliance with areas (registering degrees with the VAK, employing faculty practicing in their field, and maintaining a gym) that had been disputed by the Ministry of Education’s inspectorate, Rosobrnadzor. The Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture (SHERA) supports the EUSP’s decision to appeal the court’s finding. We trust that further court hearings will remove the current obstacles and allow the university to continue its vital work of teaching and scholarly research.

  • ANN: Maya Semina Travel Grant

    We are pleased to announce that the Inaugural Maya Semina Travel Grant has been awarded to Maria Lanko, a graduate student from the University of Aberdeen and a presenter at one of SHERA panels for emerging scholars.

    Maria will present a paper entitled “Participation and Collectivity in Art of the Soviet and Post-Soviet Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine since the 1970s” at the panel Emerging Scholars: Politics and Collective in East European and Russian Art, Part One, which will take place on Wednesday, February 15, from 10:30-12:00, West Ballroom, 3rd Floor, New York Hilton Midtown, in the framework of the 105th Annual College Art Association Conference.

    We are also pleased to remind you that in the years to come one young scholar will be able to participate at a SHERA-sponsored session of CAA or ASEEES with the help of he Maya Semina Travel Grant.

    SHERA

  • ANN: Museum Studies in St. Petersburg, Russia, Summer 2017

    Museum Studies in St. Petersburg, Russia, Summer 2017

    Russia’s rich cultural heritage is complimented by a unique emphasis that Russians place on history and education. This has helped Russia produce one of the world’s most extensive museum systems, one well-known for not only for impressive collections but also thematic versatility, multiplicity of display modes, and sheer number of institutions. With private and public support, many of Russia’s museums are being modernized and new museums are being established. Russians have also supported this as some of the world’s most avid museum enthusiasts.

    Art and Museums in Russia seeks to understand the Russian museum phenomenon and covers wide subject matter. Topics include: the history of collecting, the “museumification” of historic and cultural sites, museum operations (including storage facilities, restoration labs, exhibition curation, education, and development), integration of technology and interactivity, and museum educational work.

    Art and Museums in Russia is for students looking to understand not only Russia’s cultural and historical heritage, but also how cultural and historical heritage can be best preserved and transmitted. Over an intensive three weeks in beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia, we will take a behind-the-scenes look at the Hermitage Museum, and explore a plethora of others including educational museums at schools of higher learning, scientific museums, museums of ethnography, memorial apartment museums, literary museums, political history museums, and more.

    Apply here: http://www.sras.org/study_art_museums_russia

    Program dates: June 18 - July 9, 2017

    Application deadline: April 1, 2017

  • ANN: Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960

    ANN: Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960

    Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960

    By Amy Bryzgel

    This volume presents the first comprehensive academic study of the history and development of performance art in the former communist countries of Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe since the 1960s. Covering 21 countries and more than 250 artists, this text demonstrates the manner in which performance art in the region developed concurrently with the genre in the West, highlighting the unique contributions of Eastern European artists. The discussions are based on primary source material-interviews with the artists themselves. It offers a comparative study of the genre of performance art in countries and cities across the region, examining the manner in which artists addressed issues such as the body, gender, politics and identity, and institutional critique.

    Publisher: Manchester University Press http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781784994228/

  • CFP: Groups, Coteries, Circles and Guilds. Modernist Aesthetics and the Utopian Lure of Community

    Groups, Coteries, Circles and Guilds. Modernist Aesthetics and the Utopian Lure of Community

    While Modernism, especially literary Modernism, has long been investigated in the wake of the primary role played by individual voices and authorship, critical studies increasingly pay attention to the roles played by group artistry in the elaboration of avant-garde and modernist aesthetics and ethics, and to collaborative efforts bringing together writers, artists and intellectuals, creating at times not just cosmopolitan, but actively transnational communities.

    Collective experiences (circles, little magazines, theatre companies, guilds) challenged the consolidated idea of authorship and creation and are crucial for understanding the writing practices in the first half of the twentieth century. They also very often operated internationally, by either forging allegiances between authors from different national and cultural backgrounds, or by creating connections between single authors across national boundaries.

    In many ways, the utopia of new and unfettered forms of expression seems to go hand in hand with the experimentation of unconventional modes of living. Whether institutionalised or informal, most of these groupings, which were housed both in urban and rural surroundings, involved artists, authors and thinkers from different countries and cultures, working together in a collective attempt to reassess/reformulate the fundamental questions about art, creativity and craft in the light of communal practices and choices.

    The editor is seeking for contributions addressing the following topics in Modernist literature:

    • international and transnational circles, guilds and groups actively promoting utopian programs through artistic experiments and/or unconventional living practices
    • collaborations uniting artists and writers and fostering dialogue between experiments in both the modernist centres and their “margins”
    • collective writing practices challenging institutional perceptions concerning artistic production, authorship with broader political or social agendas

    Please send proposals to: Laura Scuriatti, Bard College, Berlin: l.scuriatti@berlin.bard.edu

  • EXH: A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde

    EXH: A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde

    A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde; curated by Roxana Marcoci and Sarah Suzuki with Hillary Reder; Museum of Modern Art, NYC, through March 12

    Review by Roann Barris, Radford University

    One might be excused for thinking that the entry sign to the exhibition is one of the art works in the show. The assertive, sans serif lettering, which increases in scale, and the angled parallelogram with a circle at its end, speak to the dynamic sense of velocity created by the art of the Russian avant-garde. This economy of design is also seen in El Lissitzky’s cover of Wendingen: barely four forms, two lines, and the title angled between the lines and oriented in the same direction as the grey rectilinear slab. The thin lines continue from the front cover to the back. Indeed, one of the most exciting features of this exhibition is the ample inclusion of such print works, which also includes an array of LEF magazine covers, books designed by Lissitzky, and illustrations by Olga Rozanova. Of course, one cannot overlook the wall of marvelous movie posters by the Stenberg brothers or the room of movies where the films of Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, and others, are continuously projected.

    Upon entering the exhibition, two things are especially striking: first, the extent of MoMA’s holdings in Russian art is a veritable history of the avant-garde. Simply stunning in its depth and quality, much of it is never on view. We know that Alfred Barr began collecting Russian art on his trip to Russia in the late 1920s, but less widely known is the degree to which this collection continued to grow throughout the twentieth century. A second and equally strong impression is one of synergy. Regardless of medium and artist, there is a recognizable direction of development. There is nothing random or haphazard about the evolution of Constructivism and Suprematism. Yet, isn’t this how we tend to think of it: as an avant-garde that is not held together by style because the artists affirmed that they were against style? Perhaps this show teaches us that style in this case refers to an attitude about velocity, angularity, a sense of dynamism, and most important, about the communication of ideas through composition.

    The New York Times art critic, Roberta Smith, welcomed this show for another, but equally important, reason. In her December 9 assessment of the exhibition, she noted the role of this exhibition as marking a revolutionary change in how the Museum of Modern Art chooses to display its art. Thus, she concludes that a second revolutionary impulse can be observed–-one which, in this case, suggests an approach to exhibitions that is broad, pulls on the entire collection of the Museum, and enables visitors to see just how the synergy I described previously characterized this moment in Russian art.

    The graphic design media may be the most impressive works of all. Although they are not likely to look very different in real life, rarely do we have the opportunity to see so many copies of the radical LEF journal laid out in one place at the same time. Another high point is seeing so many works by one artist together on a single wall or filling a room – the Lissitzky Proun room, for example, and the wall of prints by Lyubov Popova. The individual works may not be newly surprising (although in Popova’s case, they are), but it increases their resonance when so many are seen together. Surely, the artists themselves were aware of this effect as they worked in series.

    A viewer unfamiliar with Russian art is in for an exciting surprise. The visitor who has devoted years to studying this period will also be surprised in a different way – namely by that feature of resonance and the almost dizzying profusion of seeing so many works of Russian art in one place.

    -

    A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde is on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 3, 2016-March 12, 2017.

    Roann Barris, a professor of art history and Art Department chair, has long been interested in Russian theater and graphic design. Not long ago, she returned to Moscow where she reexamined the materials she had used in her doctoral research on Russian constructivism, and revised much of what she had originally believed.

  • OPP: Cultural Fellowships in Russia

    Cultural Fellowships in Russia

    The Likhachev Foundation (St. Petersburg, Russia) and the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center (Moscow, Russia), with support of the Committee on External Relations of St. Petersburg, announce a competition for 2-week cultural fellowships in Russia (St. Petersburg) from 15 to 28 May 2017 for foreign professionals in the field of arts and culture who work on projects related to Russian culture and history and aimed at a broad foreign audience. Airfare (economy class) and accommodation in St. Petersburg will be covered by the organizers.

    Until February 15, 2017 the Likhachev Foundation will accept applications from professionals in the field of culture and arts from foreign countries who are currently working on creative projects related to Russian culture, arts, or history. Command of the Russian language is very helpful but not required.
    We accept applications from artists, scholars, writers, managers of museums, theatres, and festivals.
    Students are not eligible.
    Working languages of the program are English and Russian.

    The creative project could be a book (fiction or non-fiction), a museum exhibition project, a theatre production, a theatre or music festival, a film, a photo exhibition, etc. related to Russian culture or history. The creative project should ultimately take place in a country other than the Russian Federation, with the goal being to broaden the audiences’ perception of Russia. The two-week residency in Russia should serve as an important stage in the preparation and realization of the applicant’s cultural project.

    The Likhachev Foundation will prepare individual programs for the Fellows according to their projects’ specifics, to help them achieve maximum results during their fellowships. These programs will include meetings with Russian colleagues, opportunities to work at St. Petersburg museums, libraries, archives, and other organizations.

    The fellowships will be organized from 15 to 28 May 2017 in St. Petersburg (Russia).

    Deadline for submitted applications is February 15, 2017.
    All the recipients of the fellowships will be notified of the review panel decision by March 15, 2017.
    List of fellows will be published on the website of the program by 20 March 2017.

    Application should include:

    CV (including information on Russian language skills, previous creative projects related to Russia, and previous visits to Russia).
    Description of the creative project (up to 3 pages) a book (fiction or non-fiction), a museum exhibition project, a theatre production, a theatre or music festival, a film, a photo exhibition, etc. related to Russian culture or history. It should be clear from the project description why a residency in St. Petersburg is necessary for the applicant’s creative project and which cultural organizations in St. Petersburg the applicant would like to work with.

    Please, email your application in Russian or English to the competition coordinator Mrs. Elena Vitenberg at vitenberg@lfond.spb.ru and elenavitenberg@gmail.com with subject line «application for the fellowship».

    All the applicants will be notified about the receipt of their applications by e-mail.
    If you haven’t received such confirmation within three days after submitting your application, please resubmit your application.
    All the recipients of the fellowships will receive e-mail invitations by 15 March 2017.
    List of fellows will be published on the website of the program by 20 March 2017.

    The D. S. Likhachev International Charitable Foundation
    http://cf.lfond.spb.ru/ The name of the Academician D. S. Likhachev (1906-1999) is symbolic for the 20th century Russian culture. A Russian intellectual, survivor of the Soviet Gulag, a great scientist and thinker, a popular figure, he managed to preserve under the totalitarian regime his integrity, honor, and fealty to Russia. In the 90s he became a moral gold standard for many Russians. During his late years D. S. Likhachev conceived the idea of a humanitarian charitable foundation. The idea was implemented after his death.

    The D. S. Likhachev International Charitable Foundation was founded in St. Petersburg at the end of 2001. The mission for the Foundation had been stated by D. S. Likhachev himself as promotion of the Russian culture, education, humanities as well as affirmation of democratic and humanistic values in the society. The foundation supports both regional and international programs, awards grants, promotes seminars and conferences, publishes books, etc.

    The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center (Yeltsin Center)
    http://www.yeltsin.ru/ The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center is a new Russian noncommercial organization, directed at promoting the development of the Institute of Presidency in Russia. The mission of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center is to preserve, study, and present to the public the historical legacy of the first president of the Russian Federation. Presidential Center includes a museum, exhibition and discussion center, a branch of the Boris Yeltsin’s Presidential library and Center for information and education activities and expertise. The Yeltsin Center supports activities in the following areas: Education, Culture, Youth, International, Humanitarian Cooperation, Publishing, Literary Awards.

    Committee on External Relations of Saint Petersburg
    (http://www.kvs.spb.ru)[http://www.kvs.spb.ru] The executive authority - The City Administration is the superior executive body of St. Petersburg headed by the Governor of the city and other executive departments - the city committees and the administrative-territorial departments. The St. Petersburg Administration is formed of the Governor, the Government, The Governor’s Chancellery, the city committees and the administrative-territorial departments of the Administration subordinate to him. The Committee on External Relations is responsible for state policy of Saint Petersburg in external relations.