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Odessa Museum Of Modern Art


В Музеї сучасного мистецтва Одеси відкривається виставка Іллі Чичкана “Психодарвінізм. Практичний гуманізм”

В Музеї сучасного мистецтва Одеси відбудеться виставка художника Іллі Чичкана. Новий цикл робіт присвячений шедеврам класичного реалістичного живопису. Художник іронізує... more ...

Вчора, сьогодні і завжди. Одеса в колекції Вадима Мороховського

18 червня 2021 року в Музеї сучасного мистецтва Одеси відкривається масштабна виставка «Вчора, сьогодні і завжди. Одеса в колекції Вадима... more ...
Hall 3. The second wave of Odessa avant-garde. Apartment exhibitions of nonconformists in the 1970s.

In the 1960s young artists whose views of the forms of painting were different from those professed by the Communist party art critics came into direct confrontation with Soviet officialdom. The dramatic circumstances of life and work of these artists allow to regard their activity as a triumph over the artificial existence in the cultural amnesia of an ideologically closed space.

«Photos of Odessa artists. 1980. Samizdat. Circulation 50 sets.»
«Photos of Odessa artists. 1980. Samizdat. Circulation 50 sets.»

«Photos of Odessa artists. 1980. Samizdat. Circulation 50 sets.»
«Apartment exhibition. Reconstruction. Detail of the hall.»
«Huts above the Water»
«Old woman near the house »
«Cypresses landscape»
«In memory of Lyudmila Yastreb»
«Yellow House»
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That’s when Ludmila Yastreb, Alexander Anufriev, Valery Basanets, Victor Mariniuk, Ruslan Makoev, Vladimir Naumets, Vladimir Strelnikov, Alexander Stovbur, Stanislav Sychev and Valentin Khrushch, united by common interests, knocked up a group of like-minded people.
Later, Oleg Voloshinov, Vladimir Tsiupko, Evgeny Rakhmanin and Nikolai Stepanov joined the already formed group of artists.
A considerable political indifference distinguished the Odessa underground, especially at its embryonic stage. The highest criterion in the evaluation of a work was the elegance of artistic language, the originality of composition, the expressiveness of colour and light.
Of course, a great deal of what the nonconformists in Odessa created had already been developed by their great predecessors – the modernists in the West and in Russia (including Odessa) in the beginning of the century. But the information vacuum prevented the Odessans from taking advantage of these discoveries, and made them follow their own way creating their own version of modernism; Odessa and their own talent determined their individuality. For them, and for the whole country cut off from the world artistic process their art was avant-garde. Thus the second wave of the Odessa avant-garde appeared.
Such artists had little, if any, access to official exhibition grounds. A way out of the situation was provided by “apartment exhibitions”.
The period of maximum activity fell on 1974-75. Simultaneous exhibitions were held in the apartments of the painters V.Mariniuk and L.Yastreb, V.Khrushch, O.Voloshinov, V.Risovich. Thanks to the artist Alexander Anufriev’s wife Rita, her charm and energy, their communal apartment at the corner of Osipov and Chicherin streets became an informal centre for the underground artists of Odessa, something of the kind of the Briks & Mayakovsky’s Moscow apartment.
The collectors V. Asriev, the Velikanovs, V.Salnikov, E.Suslov and others also provided their apartments for their artist friends to show their works. One of the most popular “exhibition halls” was the apartment of Vladimir Asriev, then a musician. The large room with its high walls (over 4.5metres) and bay-windows could house an enormous number of works. A peculiar savour was added to such exhibitions by the fact that Asriev’s house was located next to the KGB office in Bebel Street.
The apartment exhibitions involved virtually all the Odessa artists if there were among their works those that didn’t fit in the Soviet norms (unfittable for an honest and talented artist), irrespective of membership in the Union of Artists of the USSR. Everybody knew that Union member so and so participated in such an event (which was prohibited by the Union’s statutes) but turned a blind eye and went to visit Anufriev or Asriev as if nothing was the matter. That’s Odessa!
The main participants of the apartment exhibitions were artists from the nonconformist group (the name was given by Ludmila Yastreb). Ludmila herself demonstrated her experiments with light and with form transformation. The pictures of her husband V.Mariniuk combined a minimalism of themes and subjects with colour accents and dissonances. V.Strelnikov developed ideas of urban art. Among regular participants were the already popular and unpredictably versatile V.Krushch; S.Sychev, philosophical in his expressionism; the experimenting A.Anufriev; A.Stovbur, creator of emotional suprematic paintings; Vladimir Tsiupko who combined abstract and folk perception; Evgeny Rakhmanin, a maker of unfathomable worlds; the delicate and refined Valery Basanets. Also participated the fanciful colourist Ruslan Mekoev, the beautiful painter and sculptor Nikolai Stepanov, the clear and harmonious romantic Oleg Voloshinov. Vladimir Naumets demonstrated his designs of signs and symbols.
Among frequent participants of the apartment exhibitions were Andrei Antoniuk, Alexander Dmitriev, Valentin Matskevich. Unfortunately, Anna Zilberman was already ill and rarely exhibited her expressive works.
A special place in the apartment exhibitions belonged to Oleg Sokolov, the first Soviet-times abstractionist in Odessa; for many artists in Odessa he was a teacher and one who called the tune of attitude to art.
Exhibitions in studios and apartments weren’t clubby shows. They were real exhibitions with a “carpet” ( i.e. leaving no blank spaces on the wall) display of paintings, with numerous authors taking part; the doors were open and there were many visitors inside. There was always music, it sounded all the time, usually jazz. There were Western art magazines and albums provided by a miracle. Besides the exhibitions proper, raffles were held to support the artists. Every visitor contributed 10 roubles, then, when 500 roubles had been collected, 10 works were raffled.
These meetings became live cultural centres of their time, they gave rise to new artistic impulses and trends, they were at the origin of future collections and galleries.