Conceptual works :

1979


Click on a fragment to see the whole picture
 

 

On Zoschenko's novels
2 out of 4 (?) sheets.
1979
     From the artist's notes:
     1979. A full newspaper page. Series of 4 (?) sheets on Mikhail Zoschenko’s satirical novels. As usual, my own version. Soviet life, as Zoschenko described it. The only changes are that the personages read Brezhnev’s books or spend their time on Party meetings. It’s incredible, but in 1976 I joined together Brezhnev and the heroes of “Sentimental Stories”. But it is not the most important. The most interesting is the another “newspaper approach”: to the newspaper text I added photos of our days. The heroes are ours, but their names are from Zoschenko’s works. It is not easy to do the illustrations by this unusual (non-drawn) way, but it turned out to be possible.
Context:
Mikhail Zoschenko (1894 - 1958), one of Russia's greatest writers. He is the master of short, ironical stories and novels describing Soviet Russia of the 1920s-1940s. He was often compared with Chekhov and Gogol.
He suffered a great deal in his lifetime and was persecuted for being opposed to the ideals of "true Soviet Literature."
 

   

Untitled
50*34 cm. 1979
     From the artist's notes:
    
It's amazing. The editorial board of "Country Youth" magazine. The chief editor - Oleg Poptsov. Among the EB members - Fazil Iskander. After he was caught on a "unsuitable" story (support of a Soviet dissident, signed letter, a book edited abroad or all of this together), in the next magazine his name was excluded from the list of EB members. That's all. Was it worth to be noticed? There were so many other problems! But I did notice that. Mr.Iskander even doesn't suspect, that somewhere his name became a subject of art.
Context:
Fazil Iskander (1929 - ), prominent Soviet Russian writer.

   

Ancestors
1976-1979

     From the artist's notes (1980s):
    
It's like a "family" picture. Here is both heroic and tragic. Black and white photos. It is better than "V.V.Mayakovsky".

     From the artist's oral comments:
    
Many families have a tradition: to put on walls the photos of their ancestors, parents, friends, alive or gone. So to say, a family history. These works represent a kind of such "family art", but in dimension of the whole country. On one of them, among the photos of "our glorious past", there are 3 photos of the Soviet astronauts who perished in 1971. The Soviets always tried to forget their defeats, that is why the names of Volkov, Patsaev and Dobrovolsky were destined to be erased from people's memory. This work is a tribute to their memory and their place in the USSR "family history".

Context:
In 1971, during the landing of piloted station "Salyut", 3 astronauts burned to death in the atmosphere: Vladislav Volkov, George Dobrovolsky and Viktor Patsaev. The official version of the accident is the decompression of the descent module. But there was another
version: the descent module parachute could have been non-operational because of overcharging. The USA had already sent in space the 3-persons teams, the USSR didn't want to be on late, that is why there were 3 persons in the descent module instead of only 2, as envisioned in the design of DM.

Untitled
1979
     From the artist's oral comments:
    
This work is interesting because of the fact that it is created without use of paint. Here the sheets of carbon copy paper of different colors is used, transmitted to the paper with help of an iron. So to say, "my own technique".
 

"Coffee"
50*51 cm. 1979
     From the artist's notes (1980s):
    
Sure, it's a joke, "find 2 identical coffee pots". Below are the old coffee packages with old prices. We were concerned by the fact that coffee rose in price, but others do not care about it: they need a picture. And here is a beautiful and funny picture for those who do not care about coffee prices.
Context:
In the USSR coffee makers didn't exist, people prepared coffee "a la turque", in special coffee pots.

Untitled
50*78 cm. 1979
  Context:
An enlarged drawn copy of a Soviet price tag. "Beef meat. Category 1, quality 1.
2 Rubles 00 kopecks"

Untitled.
1979
  Context:
On a background of LEE jeans there is a quotation from Joseph Stalin words: "In the USSR the growth of mass consumption always overruns the growth of production"

Popular poetry
570*42 cm. 1979
     From the artist's notes (1980s):
    
Popular poetry on Stalin and Lenin from the 1947's books. I wrote it down manually, with recognizable characters. By this method they learn songs in scout or prison camps, in the clubs and so. Certainly, this work is not to sing from, but to look at and read.
 
 
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