(E-E) Ev.g.e.n.i.j ..K.o.z.l.o.v Berlin
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: exhibitions >> • Leningrad 80s >>
De Nya från Leningrad / The New from Leningrad,
Kulturhuset, Stockholm, 27 August – 25 September 1988
Text and research: Hannelore Fobo, January / February 2022
Pictures relating to the second (1987) phase of Kulturhuset project belong to three different “sections” or “lots”:
– Eighty-one pictures on black and white photocopies most probably constituting a selection of exhibits in late 1987 (Kulturhuset archive)
– Approx. eighty colour prints and sixty colour slides minus those taken later, in June 1988 (Kulturhuset archive)
– Approx. one hundred colour prints in Sara Åkerrén’s archive.
The colour pictures and slides at the Kulturhuset archive are partly congruent with each other, and the pictures from these three sections also partly overlap. This makes it rather difficult to remove the “doublets”. By “doublets” I refer not just to a duplicate of a specific picture, but also to different views of one and the same work taken on different occasions. Put differently, to understand which items were the basis for the selection – assuming that the Xerox copies do constitute the final selection for 1987 – I counted each work only once, but didn't count the number of its doublets.
Chapter 4. Photocopies with selected works (1987)
The photocopies of artworks Björn Lyrvall mentions in his letter from 20 July 1987, representing Sissi Nilsson’s first selection of pictures, very likely correspond to the undated black and white photocopies of colour prints in the Kulturhuset archive – or perhaps those in the Kulturhuset archive are copies of the copies Lyrvall sent back.
The copies display the pictures, each in a standard 15 x 10 cm format, inside plastic pockets for A4 ring binder albums, with four pockets on one page. There are a total of twenty-three pages with sixty-six pictures plus some other pictures that are crossed out and several others appearing twice (“doublets”). These plastic pocket pages were copied slightly larger their original A4 format on A3 paper, leaving enough blank space for the notes. Another fifteen pictures (plus a doublet and a portrait of Inal Savchenkov) were copied directly on eight pages of A4 and A3 paper.
New Artists Xerox copy selection, works by Timur Novikov
Each picture is completed with handwritten notes in Russian and Swedish. Swedish notes indicate artist, title, format and year of the respective work. The works are dated 1982 to 1987. Several Swedish notes contain some additional information such as the owner of a work. Magnus Dahnberg, then working at the Swedish consulate, confirmed (in a private message from January 2022) that he added the Swedish translations and notes. However, only some of the Russian notes are comprehensive. My guess is that Novikov wrote them.
New Artists Xerox copy selection, works by E-E Kozlov
Others, especially those written with a thick pen referring to Sergei Bugaev’s works, are rudimentary, sometimes stating only a title. In this case, Bugaev might have given Dahnberg the necessary information in a conversation, so that Dahnberg could translate it on the spot.
New Artists Xerox copy selection, works by Sergei Bugaev
I also noticed for Kozlov’s and some other works that titles and formats are approximate, and I think that Novikov and Bugaev wrote (or dictated) them without checking the works again. Likewise, I am not quite sure about some of their attributions. For instance, in my opinion, “Telemost / Satellite TV transmission” is Andrei Krisanov’s work, not Sergei Bugaev’s, while a collage attributed to Ovchinnikov is Kotelnikov’s in Sara Åkerrén’s archive, and one of Kotelnikov's works is actually a joint work with Yufit. But the notes are nevertheless quite useful.
New Artists Xerox copy selection, works by Oleg Kotelnikov
Most pictures were taken at Timur Novikov’s studio, where several New Artists stored their works before or after exhibitions, or even created them. In these pictures, we see Novikov, Bugaev and Lyrvall holding the paintings. Another one shows Swedish consul Dag Hartelius and his then wife Birgit next to
The picture with Evgeny Yufit’s painting “Buffalos and Men” was presumably taken at the Tenth TEII exhibition at Leningrad Youth Palace which the Swedish delegation also visited. A similar picture of Yufit’s work is in the TEII book on exhibitions on page 196.
New Artists Xerox copy selection, works by Evgeny Yufit
In 2014, I copied these photocopies for my own archive, which means that their quality is just good enough to recognise the works. So whose works are in the Xerox documentation? I decided to count the works by artist, not correcting the handwritten attributions but leaving out those works that were crossed out or appeared twice ("doublets"). The result was rather astonishing.
• Sergei Bugaev: 24, Sergei Bugaev and Oleg Kotelnikov: 3
• Inal Savchenkov: 13
• Vadim Ovchinnikov: 10
• Ivan Sotnikov: 9
• Timur Novikov: 8 (9 including "Stockholm”, corrected 2023)
• Oleg Kotelnikov: 7 (6, corrected 2023)
• Vladislav Gutsevich: 3
• Evgeny Yufit: 2
• Evgenij Kozlov: 2
The number of Sergei Bugaev’s paintings is massive: 24 works plus three collaborative works with Kotelnikov amount to one third of all works selected. If we add those thirteen works of the second best represented artist, Inal Savchenkov, we arrive at 40 of 81 works – almost 50% of all works. Interestingly, Bugaev and Savchenkov both came from Novorossiysk, where they had known each other since school time. Together, the “Novorossiysk” faction is just as well represented as the other seven artists taken together. Sotnikov, Novikov, Ovchinnikov and Kotelnikov rank in the middle of the scale, while Gutsevich, Yufit and Kozlov find themselves far behind the others.
Although there is no proof that these copies actually represent the original selection of works, yet several facts support my hypothesis.
First, the nine artists of the Xerox copy works correspond exactly to those from the invitation list to the Soviet Ministry of Culture in November 1987. It is therefore plausible that these copies display the exhibits selected by the time the project had reached the end of its second phase, with its official presentation to the Soviet side in late 1987.
Second, Sissi Nilsson asked for additional pictures twice: first for works by Ovchinnikov and Savchenkov, and then, in September 1987, by Kozlov, Savchenkov, Sotnikov, and Gutsevich. Three Xerox copies with Swedish translations typed instead of handwritten display works by Savchenkov and Sotnikov. It is possible that Sissi Nilsson completed her selection with those works.
New Artists Xerox copy selection, works by Inal Savchenkov
The third argument is based on the fact that the photocopies present only part of what was actually documented at that time. Put differently, they do constitute a selection of works, which is explained in the next chapter.