M. KELNER GALLERY
Having been brought up within an émigré community of Soviet artists, dissidents, writers and musicians, there is no separating my family's journey to America from the task of finding a common thread among the artists featured here. These are parallel narratives and whether working on a short story or screenplay or curating an exhibit of fine art, I am, above all, a storyteller. Much of my own creative work is fueled by growing up between two cultures; Russian was my first language, though I was born and raised in the United States. While the anecdotes are plenty, the duality remains the same, often as a doorway to new insights and observation.
Since 2001, sourcing and sharing Russian paintings has been a passion. In exploring why my parents immigrated to America and under what conditions, I looked to the art of the times for answers. What I discovered was a sense of urgency and controversy — visual protest and an emotional reaction to Soviet suppression and censorship over all artistic endeavors. In a period when any expression was a political act in and of itself, these artists gave voice to those who could not be heard. In turn, they made not only art history, but in their own way, helped give shape to world history. By investigating the subtext of these works — especially of those completed in the Soviet era — I have gained a better awareness of self.
I hope you enjoy viewing these Russian non-conformist paintings and sculptures, which showcase some of the country's more established and famed artists of the past 40 years. This is a rare opportunity to explore some of Russia's most idiosyncratic art and a chance to see new images created in the West, yet distinctively part of a larger, international body of work. Of late, artists represented here have been exhibited at Documenta, the Venice Biennale, the Saatchi Gallery, and the Louvre among other top institutional venues. Having developed relationships with museums, auction houses, corporate and private collections worldwide, I look forward to better serving both established collectors and those just starting out.
Vitaly Komar, Lenin with Crown, oil and tempera on canvas, 183x152 cm, 73x60 in, 2008
Arkady Petrov, Birth, oil on canvas, 135x150 cm, 54x60 in, 1989
Alexander Kosolapov, Red Venus, oil on canvas, 157x117 cm, 62x47 in, 1986
Komar & Melamid, Bear, oil on canvas, 92x122 cm, 37x49 in, 1982
Leonid Sokov, The Bear, bronze, 30x13x43 cm, 12x6x17 in, 1996
Alexander Kosolapov, Malevich Sold Here
acrylic on canvas, 132x203 cm, 52x80 in, 1989
Larissa Zvezdochetova, Anxious Citizen Committee oil on canvas 49x49 in, 1988
Leonid Lamm, Peace/Mir, acrylic on paper, 51x41 cm, 21x17 in, 1982
Oscar Rabin, Ambulance / Angels / My Apartment, oil on canvas, 79x61 cm, 32x25 in, 1968
Yefim Ladyzhensky, Still Life, ink on paper, 51x66 cm, 21x26 in, 1967
Boris Kozlov, Christmas, acryilic on paper, 44x60 cm, 18x24 in, 1993
Ilya Shenker, Brighton Beach Wedding, oil on canvas, 61x76 cm, 25x30 in, 1976