Soviet Emigrae Artists: Life and Work in the USSR and the United States

By Marilyn Rueschemeyer; Igor Golomshtok et al. | Go to book overview

Poverty in the United States is not an artist's badge of pride, it is a sign of not "making it," of the impoverishment of one's dreams and hopes. There have been a few suicides among the emigré artists, here and in other Western countries. Many emigrés find it very difficult to come to terms with their lack of success. Others are more realistic.

"Some artists are stupid. Last week L. committed suicide. He threw himself under the train. Artists think all America waits for them. I know that's not true. I'm Jewish. No one waits for Jews to come. Some think they are great geniuses and people will give them everything . . . I know I'll reach my goals and make it but I have to take it easy. I work."

A few of the artists have made quite successful adjustments to their new life, but the majority expressed feelings of isolation and were anxious about the future. As one artist put it: "You should write how alone Soviet artists are in America."


Notes
1
Students from the Rhode Island School of Design visited one such experimental school in Moscow, met and talked extensively with the teachers and looked at the students' work. They were most impressed by the high technical quality of the art. In this particular school, 700 students attend classes twice a week for three hours; included in this program is a theory course for students fourteen and older.
2
Martiros Sarian, the Armenian painter, is an example cited in the review of Sjeklocha and Mead's book, Unofficial Art in the Soviet Union, in C., "Art and Apparat," New York Review of Books, May 9, 1968, p. 5.
3
Information provided by an official of the Union House for Artists, Leningrad.
4
Alexander Glezer, "The Struggle to Exhibit," in Igor Golomshtok and Alexander Glezer, Soviet Art in Exile ( New York: Random House, 1977), p. 118.
5
Igor Golomshtok, "Unofficial Art in the Soviet Union," Golomshtok and Glezer, Soviet Art in Exile, p. 86.
6
C., "Art and Apparat," New York Review of Books, May 9, 1968.
7
Igor Golomshtok, "Contemporary Art: The Alternative Tradition," in Archie Brown, John Fennell, Michael Kaser, and H. T. Willetts, eds., The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), p. 182.
8
Betsy Gidwitz, "Problems of Adjustment of Soviet Emigrés," Soviet Jewish Affairs, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 27-42.

-117-

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Soviet Emigrae Artists: Life and Work in the USSR and the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction: Emigrating From the Soviet Union 1
  • Notes 13
  • The History and Organization Of Artistic Life in the Soviet Union 16
  • Notes 58
  • Soviet Emigré Artists in The American Art World 60
  • Notes 117
  • The Artistic Development Of Soviet Emigré Artists in New York 121
  • Notes 154
  • Afterword 156
  • Note 161
  • Selected Bibliography 162
  • Index 165
  • About the Authors 169
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