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

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

example, who came to the United States ten years ago, recently had a show of his work reviewed by John Russell in the New York Times ( 28 March 1984). Russell saw "an unreconstructed Russian painter" who had turned his attention to portraying American life; yet he concluded that Klionsky "is likely to become one of the best portrait painters around."

The favorable reception of some of the younger artists and the new attention to a few of the older ones give some relief to a generally bleak scene. Some of the emigrés find themselves yearning in certain ways for the security of the system they rejected and for the intimacy of their niche in it. They are distant from what they appreciate and even admire in the American art world. They are aware of its complexities and remain perplexed by its contradictions. Still, most of the emigré artists, impatient and insecure about their futures, show great determination and ingenuity in pursuing their work. And they arrived in the United States during a relatively favorable period. A large number of galleries and nonprofit institutions sprang up during the 1970s, encouraging a diversity of artistic activities and audience responses. The dominant role of the avant- garde has been modulated by a slightly greater tolerance of more traditional forms, and even some nostalgia.

Artistic and intellectual life in the United States has been enriched by many streams of immigration. The new arrivals from the Soviet Union have had to traverse a greater gulf than many others. They will need time to become established as artists in America, and it seems unlikely that in the process they will fully assimilate. Yet, whether they will add a lasting new dimension to American art is still an open question.


Note
1.
Jeffrey Goldfarb discusses these bases of artistic diversity in "Social Bases of Independent Public Expression in Communist Societies," American Journal of Sociology, 83, January 1978, pp. 920-39.

-161-

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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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