Contemporary Russian art in focus

Since the breakup of the USSR, Russian art has moved away from socialist realism and has since been constantly on the move. A new book is set to help international audiences keep track of its modern trajectory.

­British publishers Thames Hudson are due to release the first comprehensive survey of Russian art in English. The book, entitled Frozen Dreams, combines profiles of the 80 most important figures on the Russian art scene, from artists and collectors to institutional leaders and patrons. The book’s extensive survey covers the period from the 1970s to the present day.

The author of the book, one of the world’s most respected Russian art experts, is Joanna Vickery, senior director of the Russian Art Department at Sotheby’s in London. Vickery devised the book for Western readers who she says have only just begun displaying an interest in contemporary Russian art. Yet she believes it might be just as interesting for a Russian audience.

The new book will also feature three comprehensive articles by art historians covering such themes as the history of modernism in Russia, the art boom at the dawn of Perestroika, State support versus private patronage, and the legacy of the avant-garde.

The vast variety of artwork featured in the book sheds light on the constant creative journey Russian art has been undergoing. Along with well-known names such as Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Eric Bulatov, and AES+F, the book introduces many newcomers.

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