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Neuberger Museum Plans Display From Contemporary Russian Artists

Vassilev skiers is one of the pieces of art that will be on display at This Leads to Fire: Russian Art From Nonconformism to Global Capitalism, Selections from the Kolodzei Art Foundation Collection, which will be on display at the Neuberger Museum. Photo Credit: Contributed
"Antoshin Dolly" is another of the pieces that will be on display. Photo Credit: Contributed

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- As world attention is riveted on current events in Ukraine, an upcoming exhibition of works by contemporary Russian artists at the Neuberger Museum of Art takes on a new urgency.

In "This Leads to Fire: Russian Art From Nonconformism to Global Capitalism, Selections from the Kolodzei Art Foundation Collection," on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College from Sept. 14, 2014 to Jan. 11, 2015, the challenges that Russian contemporary artists pose to both Russian and Western culture are vividly portrayed.

The Museum is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, N.Y.

“In the Soviet period, it was the pluralism of the international art world that sustained and inspired these artists, as well as their collective relationships of mutual support, both material and creative,” said exhibition curator Sarah Warren, assistant professor of art history at Purchase College, the State University of New York. “Today’s artists are still burdened by the legacy of Soviet Realism and face an increasingly repressive environment.” She adds that though many of the artists have exhibited extensively in the West, this exhibition will reveal the deeper context of the Kolodzeis’ collecting practices, consider the challenges the artists still face, and familiarize viewers with an important yet underappreciated body of work.

"This Leads to Fire: Russian Art From Nonconformism to Global Capitalism, Selections from the Kolodzei Art Foundation Collection" is organized into five parts that explore the origins of Nonconformist art, the developments of Moscow Conceptualism and Sots Art, the influence of the Russian avant-garde in geometric abstraction and the coercive legacy of Socialist Realism.

It features about 100 works of art — from the 1950s through the period of Glasnost and into the present — from the Kolodzei Art Foundation, one of the most extensive collections of Nonconformist and contemporary Russian art in the world.

Among the artists represented are: conceptual artists Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid; Oleg Vassiliev and Erik Bulatov, painters whose works slyly challenged Soviet realities; Nonconformist artists Ernst Neizvestny, Oscar Rabin, Vladimir Nemukhin, and Vladimir Yakovlev; and contemporary artists Tatiana Antoshina, Irene Caesar, Alla Esipovich, Anton S. Kandinsky, Alexandra Dementieva, and Valery Yershov.

Founded in 1991 with the support of American sponsors, the Foundation comprises the joint collection of Tatiana Kolodzei, who organized exhibitions of works by Nonconformist artists in the former Soviet Union and her daughter Natalia Kolodzei.

Today, the collection contains approximately 7,000 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photography and video, by more than 300 artists, acquired during four decades of Russian and Soviet Nonconformist art, from the post-Stalinist era to the present.

Programs and events in conjunction with the exhibition will be announced shortly. Visit for more information.

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