Russian Culture

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Polina Barskova by Michael Juliani
Polina Barskova Bomb 1

“I’m interested in subterranean culture that says ‘I will trick you’ to official culture, ‘I will play you.’”

Auteur Gone Wild by Elina Alter
Sergei Eisenstein 01

On the risqué drawings of Sergei Eisenstein

Portfolio by Olga Chernysheva

New York, London, Berlin—all are familiar names on the global trade routes of contemporary art. Less so Moscow, which has only regained some of its avant-garde glory in the new century. In this short time, Olga Chernysheva has emerged as an acute observer of post-Soviet life.

Dmitry Krymov by John Freedman
464466559 06092016 Dmitry Krymov Bomb 4

“I asked my students for the image of the essence of tenderness. One girl brought in a small, silver plate with a bunch of grapes neatly laid out on it. When I noticed she had stripped the skin off the grapes, I got goose bumps.”

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin by Sabine Mirlesse
Broomberg Chanarin 1

When I arrived in London this past September to meet Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin at their studio, the first thing we discussed was the power play between interviewer and interviewee.

Revolting Russians by Chris Cumming
Palace Revolution

The revolutionary strategies of It’s No Good by poet Kirill Medvedev and the 2012 documentary Winter, Go Away

Drawing on Dovlatov by Kevin Kinsella
Florensky Ours Body

In 1993, Alexander Floresnky, founder of the infamous Russian underground art group Mitki, nearly turned down the opportunity to illustrate the collected works of the great Russian humorist Sergei Dovlatov—thankfully, he did not.

Progressive Political Pornography: Octobriana and the Russian Underground Turn 40 by Kevin Kinsella
Octobriana2Cstar Body
Un/Official: The Study of Kabakov at Edelman Arts by Kevin Kinsella
Kabakov Untitled 1984 Body

Kevin Kinsella on the dark tensions within Ilya Kabakov’s work—and the political implications of the artist’s apolitical approach.

Painted into a (Beautiful) Corner: Malevich at the Gagosian by Kevin Kinsella
Malevich2 Body

Kevin Kinsella takes issue with the Gagosian Gallery’s framing, both literal and figurative, of Russian Supremacist Kazimir Malevich.

Danzig Baldaev’s Drawings from the Gulag by John Reed
Danzig Baldaev 01

Danzig Baldaev, hired by the KGB to document tattoo symbolism within the Russian penal system, secretly sketched the atrocities inflicted on political prisoners. The drawings are now published in Drawings from the Gulag.

Untitled Painting by Oleg Kotelnikov
Oleg Kotelnikov
Leningrad by Jacki Ochs & Lyn Hejinian
Boris Smelov

We took a walk, bus ride, walk, bus ride, walk to an apartment in the middle of Leningrad, up many flights of stairs—no speaking, so the neighbors would not hear a foreign language as we passed their doors.

Three Photographs by Jacki Ochs
​Jacki Ochs 01
Two Poems by Dmitri Volchek
​Jacki Ochs 01

Love for Captain B.

twinkling firmament of the sunflowers

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