Georgy Kiesewalter

Kantor300pxGeorgy Kiesewalter is a conceptual artist and writer. He graduated from Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. In 1976-89 he was one of the original members of the Russian performance group Collective Actions. In the 1980s he actively participated in such unofficial artistic formations as AptArt, MANI, and the Avantgardists’ Club in Moscow. In 1990 he arranged a number of broadcasts on Radio Liberty in Munich. He is the author of several titles on contemporary art.

The Turning 1980-ies in the Soviet Nonconformist Art

The authors of this book, people of all shades of opinions, discuss the informal culture of the Soviet Union of the 1980s, when the visual arts were so closely tied up with literature and music. The contradictory and watershed decade brought the creative strata new opportunities along with new problems.
Both in the 1970s and most of the 1980s, those Soviet artists who had no official recognition and were thus forced to constantly maneuver between the Scylla of official servility and the Charybdis of a ban to earn their living by professional work, were solving important plastic and theoretical problems. A complex and lengthy formation of a new language and new artistic elite, which set the vectors of development for the future generations of artists, went on. The fall of the Iron Curtain played an important role in this process, which led to the emergence of artists with quite new views of life, oriented to the western art market. The activity of new youth formations in those years (like the groups Collective Actions, Fly Agaric, a.o.) stemmed from the previously unthinkable opportunities to communicate with Western Slavicists and art historians, to read catalogs and magazines in foreign languages, to correspond with Western artists and critics.
The book also considers the problem of the new wave of the artists’ emigration and the phantom triumph of the Soviet underground in the West, reviews the history of the decade that preceded the collapse of the USSR.

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