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

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

The Artistic Development of Soviet Emigré Artists in New York

Janet Kennedy

Soviet emigré artists in the United States, although they differ greatly in their view of art and in the type of work they do, may be divided roughly into two groups. The first, consisting of the younger, more avant-garde painters and performance artists, has received a warmer welcome from the Western art world than the second group, whose art is more traditional. Recognition from Western colleagues does not necessarily mean that the first group enjoys greater success in worldly terms, but it does have psychological benefits. By contrast, the more "traditional" emigré artists, whose art was highly esteemed in the Soviet Union, now find themselves dismissed by Western critics as dated or conservative. In the end, the artists of neither group retain the moral authority they enjoyed as unofficial artists in the Soviet Union. As they themselves point out, this would be impossible in an American context, where artistic free-thinking is the rule rather than the exception. Nonetheless, neither group has adapted in any noticeable way to the American market or to American tastes. Virtually all of the emigré artists have continued to pursue, with little change, artistic goals that were formed in the Soviet Union. Some work in isolation; others have discovered an artistic advantage in their anomalous situation

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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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