September 12, 2014

This Leads to Fire: From Nonconformism to Global Capitalism, Selections from the Kolodzei Art Foundation Collection

Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, SUNY
Tatiana Antoshina, Dolly, 2004. Staged
photograph, c-print, 41 1/4 x 29 1/2 inches.
Courtesy of The Kolodzei Art Foundation.

As world attention is riveted by current events in Ukraine, an upcoming exhibition of works by contemporary Russian artists at the Neuberger Museum of Art takes on a new urgency. In This Leads to Fire: Russian Art From Nonconformism to Global Capitalism, Selections from the Kolodzei Art Foundation Collection, the challenges that Russian contemporary artists pose to both Russian culture and the globalized art world are vividly portrayed. The 100 works on view from the Kolodzei Art Foundation, one of the most extensive collections of nonconformist and contemporary Russian art in the world, familiarize viewers with an important yet under-appreciated body of work. The exhibition explores the origins of Nonconformist art, the developments of Moscow Conceptualism and Sots Art, the influence of the Russian avant-garde in geometric abstraction, and the coercive legacy of Socialist Realism, from the 1950s through the period of Glasnost to the present day. This Leads to Fire is organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College, SUNY.

“In the Soviet period, it was the pluralism of the international art world that sustained and inspired these artists, as well as their collective relationships of mutual support, both material and creative,” says guest curator Sarah Warren, Assistant Professor of Art History at Purchase College, SUNY. “Today’s artists are still burdened by the legacy of Soviet Realism and face an increasingly repressive environment.” She adds that though many of the artists have exhibited extensively in the West, this exhibition will reveal the deeper context of the Kolodzeis’ collecting practices and considers the challenges the artists still face. Generous support for This Leads to Fire has been provided by the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art and the Purchase College Foundation.


Open house 
Sunday, September 14, 1–3pm
Free and open to the public

Neu First Wednesday lecture 
Wednesday, November 5, 6:30pm
“Masha Gessen: Russian Power, Russian Dissent”
Held at the Purchase College Music Conservatory Recital Hall.
Refreshments following the lecture at the Neuberger Museum of Art.
Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen, author of The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin and Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot, will discuss contemporary issues in Russia.

“Collecting Art in Russia”
Tuesday, November 18, 11am
Join Natalia Kolodzei in a conversation about collecting art in Russia. Kolodzei’s family daringly amassed one of the most extensive collections of Nonconformist and contemporary Russian art in the world, which is now part of the Kolodzei Art Foundation Collection.

Neu First Wednesdays
Media lecture: “Artists Speak–Vitaly Komar” 
Wednesday, December 3, 4:30pm
Free admission and refreshments will be served.
Vitaly Komar has spent much of his career reacting to what he calls “the overproduction of ideology and its propaganda,” most notably Soviet Socialist Realism. From 1967 to 2003, Komar and Alexander Melamid organized various conceptual projects, ranging from painting and performance to installation, public sculpture, photography, music, and poetry, that form a powerful response to contemporary political and social climates. This New Media lecture is presented by the Neuberger Museum of Art and the New Media Board of Study, School of Film and Media Studies, Purchase College.

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