In the kitchen at Grikova № 6

Why the artist does not need official and nonconformism. In search of the third Way

«… Petrov did not catch Dawn of the pre-revolutionary Russian culture, but it was with her that he Associated, constantly being present in the circle of those people who kept it Fragments from oblivion and testified to its continued existence The fact of his life. «

                                               Andrey Samokhotkin. «A passion for tears.» 

«The human imagination is always more Inventive than the human intellect: that art has the possibility, but Also courage, to the history. They show more of that- The vital function of imagination is not to escape man from reality, but Reducing the amorphous area of reality… Which makes it viable. »

                                     Herbert Reed. «Nihilism and Revival of the Art of our time»

Vitaly Grimakov. When my friend Kotrowski finished «Baumanku» (Mstu im. Bauman), then went to the library and stole from there books-«Prolegmenmens» Kant and Paul Valerie Edition 1936.  Paul Valerie He knew the rest of him was not needed. Our table book was «The Getaway to the end of the night» by Selina. And so we lived, as far as possible, with our intellectual life.  And so formed mentality formed in US opposition to all official.


Jean Bazen (1904-2001). Composition.

Then all the cultural people lived A double life. And our teachers knew how to maneuver and live a double Life. But at that time they did not, it was after all 62 year.

Valery Ismieva. Do you think yourself «Shestidesjatnikom»?

v.g. My buddies and I were late sixties.  And we were absolutely aware of the separateness from the officialism of our intellectual life-this was our almanac «tags», for which I answer and which I really appreciate-is a document of time.  We immediately arose this life outside the officialism, and I formed for myself-perhaps, under the influence of Andre Malro-his «imaginary Museum.»  


Cover of the Spanish edition of the novel by Louis Ferdinand Selina «Journey to the end of the night».

v.i. I love this book! Malro builds his «museum» systematically, but very Expressively, because it puts in it What excites him… But tell us more about what your An imaginary museum.

v.g. My imaginary museum is my choice, I like these great artists, and I want to be guided by them. In order to work, you need a super-task and connection with geniuses. But if you don't recognize, you'll drown! And when there's an imaginary museum, and I work for it, I don't care what they think of me, it's not an obstacle. And I still don't care!


Nicola de Stal (Nikolai Vladimirovich Steel von Holstein, 1914-1955). Bouquet.

And then I had already read that vanity—a extinguished feeling that «vexed, Nothing is meant to be a parable on everyone's lips. »

v.i. Parnaka hardly anyone Will challenge, and these words «the purpose of creativity-self-devotion», etc. But And he also played, I think, certain roles.

v.g. I do not want to throw a stone in Pasternak, I worship it, but it Adapted, wanted to talk with Stalin… But did Bulgakov not Adapted? Fadeev… Everyone who wanted to survive.

But sixties years is an era in which everyone lived with hopes, thought That everything will change… Hopes were not justified, but still sixties entered the History!

v.i. Is there any for you as an artist «Iconic» names in the generation of Sixties?

v.g.  Shestidesjatnichestvo very Different. I mean that

was an academic direction, it is understandable (socialist realism). Then appeared Many artists that are now called nonconformists. I'm with them vodka Drank… But: we did not belong to their number!

The whole point is that we wanted to  Continue the tradition of high culture. I emphasize that I am not an avant-garde. I'm generally a traditionalist. The other thing is that I want to introduce novations, And I can rely on the avant-garde. But that's not clear to anyone.

v.i. But the idea of your third way discussed now… Leningrad School, That lasted decades, though there was a path of gradual extinction, as I Seems… In the literature on the «Third Way» talking in connection with the publication Only in Zero! -The novel «Turdeskaya Manon Lesko «Student Punin art critic Vsevolod Petrov, who did not even Made attempts to publish this thing back then, in the middle of the twentieth century… I am To the «Third Way» and Vladimir Kovenatskyi with his poetry and graphics… And recently, one author read: I predict a return to traditionalism, but Enriched with innovations rather than care in a complete mind.

v.g. This is the prism of the continuation of the traditions of high culture and Watch my «tags». There is the text of Kotrovskiy «Jekstremmum», revealing Our position. We believed that the main thing was to work, and each stage should be better than the previous one.

v.i. Don't you have a cute nonconformist?  And all because they were from politics?

v.g. The fact is that this is still the second wave of avant-garde.  In scale as the second Renaissance. Another The thing is that the tradition at us has interrupted, and in sixties years everything began as though from zero. Although That there were still living representatives of the Silver Age.

v.i. Both the avant-garde and the great Culture you and your friends re-opened.

v.g. Yes, they did.  But Nonconformism-With all dissident tendencies-went on two directions. One of them is Sotsart, Bulatov…

v.i. But it is a later phenomenon.

v.g. I'm talking about trends. If we compare the dates of birth, Zverev is only two years older than me. Plvinsky-Younger than me for a year…

Another thing is that dissidents were also some sort of functionaries. The division into the underground culture was clearly working in their paradigm (although, as I note, there were two types) and officiation. And for the underground culture important were two events-festival of Youth and Students 1957, when the meeting of artists in Gorky Park was organized and there was an acquaintance with Abstronism. In that exhibition Plvinsky and Zverev were already participants! And I was still «crude» at that time…  57 Year for me-this is the second course of the Institute, I have not yet thought about creativity. Just lived. But this is the problem of personality, its process of maturation, the choice of ways-how to assert themselves, how to behave.


Hans Gartung (1904-1989). Composition.

v.i. And the second event? You said about Two.

v.g.  Exhibition of French Art. That is, it was essentially an exhibition of American art, and it did not Impressed us. Basin's article says it all. 

However, there were still magazines published in the countries of Eastern Europe… In 67, Czech events took place – it was already the sunset Sixties. But magazines on art continued to come from Poland. One of them was called «Vytvarni Uman», and it published what appeared only in the 90s-and there was already scrapped and, reading this magazine, it was possible to observe it all… We were interested. Articles in that magazine wrote, for example, the artist Jan Kotic-he immediately came from philosophical positions, and one of his picture even got into the now classic book Herbert Rida «Abstristionism.»


Jan Kotic. Composition. 1962

v.i. It turns out that you were leaving Articulated social position, but collected information and engaged in its Comprehension – on those particles which were leaking…

v.g. Life always finds its trajectory… It is necessary to live in a stream of culture, and this stream always existed, and we existed in it. Then we searched and tried to «seize» new, fresh – from what was available… Nicola de Stalem, Hans Gartungom, Jean Bazen, discovered and were fascinated by it.

v.i. You have rightly noticed how The personal Intentia is important. Now that the information sea is more important than ever choice Angle.

v.g. Unfortunately, the information on the surface is one-sided. Everything in Moscow Time bring exhibitions… Here is a gothic sculpture, for example, brought. But Does it relate to modernity?

 We all fresh grasped and absorbed greedily, and then, having come to the exhibition of the French art, began to look portraits of writers and-have seen a magnificent portrait of Selina: The floor of a person-black, a floor of a person-white… It was a photo portrait.  Show and video-Press the button and start viewing.


Nicola de Stal (Nikolai Vladimirovich Steel von Holstein, 1914-1955). Blue nude on a red background.

With my teacher komardjonkovym in Stroganovka I talked about Matisse. About Matissa, I knew.

v.i. And you all «Apollo» and «golden From then, in high school Purchased, thoroughly Perelopatili?

v.g. Yes. I've been shovil for a long time… But these magazines belonged To the «world of Art», though different directions reflected. and Paul Kuznetsov on the pages of these magazines was… He entered, by the way, in the encyclopedia Avant-garde. «

v.i. Although, as I understand, he – The artist of the Third Way?

v.g.  Let's see what they write About him in the «Encyclopedia of the Avant-garde»: «In the mid-1900s it was perceived Conservative critics as one of the leaders of the avant-garde, then departed from it… «. Further, he «experienced serious creative crisis in the salons of the Golden Fleece» His paintings, painted by contrived exalted mysticism, unprofitable Neighboring with works of French masters and painters-future masters of «Bubnew Valeta «».  Symbolism was dying, all this Got it…

«In conditions of stormy lifting of avant-garde his creativity begins to seem too traditional and for some time the artist assimilates stylistic techniques of postsezanizma, there are pictures, vaguely reminding pictures of Andre Derena, Pablo Picasso, Elements of a peculiar «bribery»…


Pablo Picasso. A woman lying under a pine tree. 1959, the

v.i. What energetic and Multi-word. It's probably from someone's statement?

v.g. Probably the speaker had in mind that Kuznetsov wanted to take something from Avant-garde and attach to its method… And then this: «in Russian Art of the 20th century Kuznetsov is one of the  Prolagatels of the so-called Third way – the way between the avant-garde and the Socialist realism». That's what I was talking about! But everyone laughed… Art critics do something about it Talked.

Avant-Garde then ended already in 1915, but then he moved from Building of the art to the building of life and everyday lives. Started constructivist Architecture-Tatlin, Popova with his Clothes…

v.i. What is now called «Design»…

v.g. Yes, building a life with the help of art. But it's nonsense. Life is Life, and art is art.

v.i. That is why the vanguard and the third Way «divided, in your opinion?

v.g. Yes, our avant-garde, with the ideas of life-building, has ended. But Interest in him as a central line of art development lasted until the publication here's This encyclopedia.

v.i. I wonder where you Expressionism «pushed»?

v.g. It's avant-garde.

v.i. But Expressionism is still Exists.

v.g. No, the vanguard died a long time ago.

v.i. So you think that The present manifestations of Expressionism already express very different tendencies?

v.g. It is believed that the second wave of avant-garde is nonconformist. But how much Are they interesting? Intellectually interesting? I have my own View. First, they Tendentious. Secondly, they communicated with foreigners and with the diplomatic corps (we NO). Thirdly-all of them are graphs, not a single painter.

v.i. Since we talking about the artists Beginning and middle of the century, how would you Characterize Marc Chagall?

v.g. It's symbolism. The drawback of Chagall is that he is a symbolist.

v.i. Yes, but the symbolism in painting is still And in the 1930s continued to exist…

v.g. No, of course, culture does not die, it continues to exist, Trapped in the underground or something else. Even with fascism!

But if you go back to Kuznetsov, it seems to me fair The statement of Sarabyanov that for seven to nine decades of the twentieth century creativity of Pavel Kuznetsov has always been involved in the highest achievements of Russian art, and I would like to  Russian painting.

v.i. For you fundamentally it Quality-pictures-ness?

v.g.  Yes. Our position then was Albeit often intuitive, but clear.

I can justify it. I would say that Zverev is a good drafer. He Academics. So he paints—even when he does it very conditionally, like Nadia Rusheva, fast-damned-fine. But it's not the vanguard!

Zverev makes such a realistic-expressionistic drawing, then Throws stains-just so, easily, bullies-and all. You ask what Is it valuable? The fact that he is absolutely  is free in relation to everything and spontaneous. His way is valuable. But this  -Not work on the painting.

And I come from another. Maybe it's nonsense. But the goal and the position are important. Picasso still wrote «Avignon Girls», and this is serious painting… Matisse -«Dance», and maybe he did nothing better and did not, although still on the «dance» Look like idiocy.

Interview conducted and presented Art critic, Ph.D. Valery Ismiyev