Department of Culture of the City of Moscow
Russian Academy of Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
- Nikolai KONSTANTINOV, artist
- Valery KOSHLYAKOV, artist
- Alexander SIGUTIN, artist
- Vasily SLEPCHENKO, artist
- Avdei TER-OGANYAN, artist
- Yuri SHABELNIKOV, artist
About the project:
The Art or Death Society of Artists came into being as a result of activities of the young artists’ group in Rostov-on-Don in 1986-1990. Three ill famed exhibitions were held during these years that crystallized the ideological direction of the group. The debut was a success against the background of the crisis of the late old-fashioned Soviet culture. In the country it drew a wider response.
The group included artists V. Koshlyakov, A. Ter-Oganyan, Y. Shabelnikov, N. Konstantinov, A. Kislyakov, V. Slepchenko, Y. Palaichev; poets M. Nemirov, I. Burenin; rock musician S. Timofeef; manager V. Lisovsky. The artists became friends in the Rostov Artistic College named after M.B. Grekov. They were united by perestroika, rock festivals, and underground life of outcasts.
The title of the association «Art or Death» (a reference of the known revolutionary motto «Patria or Morte») is their principal attitude to art. There is only art, neither potboiler, nor compromise. It has been a principle of life and is still urgent at present.
The retrospective show of the Art or Death Society of Artists is the first attempt to trace the early oeuvre of the artists, the most important figures of the contemporary Russian art V. Koshlyakov, A. Ter-Oganyan, Y. Shabelnikov. The late oeuvres of the masters are well known to the audience and art historians, their works are in the museum collections. So it is more interesting and important to show the preconditions, the start of their growth that has been no less significant and vivid than the following art careers of the participants.
The exposition presents more than 200 artworks of painting, print, installation and art objects that have never been exhibited before. Unique photo documentation and video materials accompany the exhibition.
With support of: Fondazione Volume!, Rome