(E-E) Ev.g.e.n.i.j ..K.o.z.l.o.     Berlin                                                  


      (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Leningrad 80s • No.115 >>

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection • Harvard University

USA-CCCP. Points of Contact.
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov – Catherine Mannick
Correspondence 1979 – 1990

Text and Research: Hannelore Fobo, 2021/2024
Part 1: Introduction
Synopsis • Preliminary Remarks
1. From Leningrad to Boston and Back
2. Let’s Talk About Art. New Wave, New Artists, and B(L)ack art
3. Perestroika Emissaries
4. The End of Censorship
5. “It seems I need a manager.” The Impact of Getting Popular
6. Leningrad Artists and Musicians in E-E Kozlov's Pictures
— The River of Forgetfulness, 1988 —
Part 2: Letters
Letter A (1979) – Halloween
Letter B (1980) – To Be at Peace with Yourself
Letter C (1980) – Harlequin
Pictures 1981 – Flat Exhibitions / Letopis ("Chronicle”)
Letter D (1982) – The Sea and the Countryside
Letter E (1983) – Saigon
Letter F (1983) – Moscow
Letter G (1984) – New Wave
Letter H (1985) – New Composers
Letter I (1986) – Happy New Year at the Leningrad Rock Club
Letter J (1986) – CCCP-USA
Letter K (1986) – The Price of Art
Letter L (1986) – B (L)ack art • PoPs from the USSSR
Letter M (1986) – A Taste for Colours
Letter N (1987) – Part 1: Changes and Challenges
Letter N (1987) – Part 2: ASSA
Letter O (1988) – Joanna Stingray's Wedding
Letter P (1989) – Perestroika Hot News
Letter Q (1989) – Russkoee Polee • The Russian Field
Letter R (1990) – New Classicals
Epilogue: USA-CCCP. Points of Contact (Forthcoming)



see also
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, Catherine Mannick, and Hannelore Fobo papers, 1979-2022 (inclusive)
Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection Harvard University>>



Preserving and presenting these memories and archives from the 80's is so terribly important and needed in today's world of hatred and conflict. I am grateful to Evgenij and Catherine for their contribution to spreading this magical time in Leningrad to the World. Their friendship exemplifies the common bond we have as people, not as citizens from different countries.
Joanna Stingray, 8 October 2023.

USA-CCCP. Points of Contact

Synopsis

Research >>

Preliminary remarks >>

Sending art, pictures and other presents >>




Synopsis

In 2022, the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection at Harvard University received an outstanding donation related to the last decade of the Soviet Union: the correspondence (1979-1990) between Catherine Mannick, then a student from Boston, and artist (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, a leading member of the Leningrad avant-garde art group The New Artists. Artworks Kozlov sent his friend and other artefacts complete the donation.

 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov and Catherine Mannick, “Repetition for the Parade on Palace Square”. Vintage print 1984 Photo: Andrey Fitenko, Leningrad, October 1984. Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University E-E archival number: E-E-pho-FSx3-op

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov and Catherine Mannick,
“Repetition for the Parade on Palace Square”. Vintage print, 1984
Photo: Andrey Fitenko, Leningrad, October 1984.

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-FSx3-op

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University
See Letter G, 1984



The correspondence is now entitled “USA-CCCP. Points of Contact”. The title is a reference to one of Kozlov’s paintings from 1989, where the artist synthesised the polarity between the two superpowers, overcoming Cold War through art.

The letters, endowed by their authors together with the related gifts, have been contextualised by Hannelore Fobo, a German specialist on Leningrad’s alternative culture of the 1980s.

 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, 2018, with his painting Точки соприкосновения / Points of Contact Oil on jute, 237 x 112 cm, 1989,  E-E archival number: E-E-189031

Hannelore Fobo and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, 2018,
with E-E's painting
Точки соприкосновения / Points of Contact
Oil on jute, 237 x 112 cm, 1989 more>>

E-E archival number: E-E-189031




Catherine Mannick is a former international lawyer who spent 20 years of her career representing U.S. businesses in the countries of the former Soviet Union. She is currently a member of the Davis Center’s Advisory Board. Catherine has an undergraduate degree in Russian Studies from Yale University and a J.D from Harvard Law School. She also earned an M.A. in history from Harvard University, where she was a tutor in the History and Literature Department, focusing on Imperial Russian History. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Padua, Italy.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, born 1955 in Leningrad, lives and works in Berlin. He was a participant of the 55th Biennale di Venezia (2013). His works are in international collections and museums, among them Tate Modern, London, Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, The Berlin House of Representatives, and The Wende Museum, California.

Research

“USA-CCCP. Points of Contact” touches personal matters as well as that of Soviet underground artists and musicians exploring the new possibilities of perestroika. Numerous pictures Kozlov sent Mannick and other gifts from those years complement the letters  – most importantly, Kozlov’s works of art, some being an integral part of a letter. They offer a wide range of stylistic and technical approaches: pencil, gouache and watercolour drawings, monotype prints, objects, and collages, as well as elaborately painted photographs of his artist friends and of Mannick. Together with Kozlov’s diaries (1979-1983), also now at the Davis Center Special Collection, this unique contribution to the history of US-Russian relations can be accessed on-site at Fung Library, archived as “(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, Catherine Mannick, and Hannelore Fobo papers, 1979-2022 (inclusive)”.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  T-shirt "Napravlenie", front Mixed media on cotton, 1985  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University  E-E archival number: E-E-185030-f (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  T-shirt "Napravlenie", reverse Mixed media on cotton, 1985  Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University  E-E archival number: E-E-185030-r

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

T-shirt "Napravlenie", front
Mixed media on cotton, 1985

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

E-E archival number: E-E-185030-f
See Letter G, 1984 and Letter L, 1986
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

T-shirt "Napravlenie", reverse
Mixed media on cotton, 1985

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

E-E archival number: E-E-185030-r



The variety of questions discussed in the correspondence and the abundance of original artefacts offer multiple research topics for art-historians as well as for historians exploring different aspects of US-Soviet relations.

To facilitate research, Hannelore Fobo published Kozlov’s letters on his website at www.e-e.eu/USA-CCCP-Points-of-Contact-correspondence >>, setting them into their historical context. Each letter has been presented with a detailed introduction, the corresponding works of art and their history, a transcription of the handwritten text, and additional pictures, in the main from Kozlov’s and Fobo’s archives.

Researchers can retrieve further information by following the links to articles Fobo has published on Kozlov’s website under the heading Leningrad 80s >>. More than one hundred articles about private and public exhibitions, performances, artist groups and clubs, experimental music, unofficial recordings, and more make Leningrad 80s the largest available English language online resource on this extremely productive period of Leningrad’s independent art and music scene, to which Kozlov was intrinsically tied.




Preliminary remarks

Catherine Mannick and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov started exchanging letters immediately after they first met in Leningrad in the summer of 1979. The young American had studied Russian in college, and before taking up her law studies at Harvard, she visited the Soviet Union together with her friend Ann; the correspondence, written in Russian continued up to 1990. While Kozlov kept the vast majority of Mannick’s letters – fifty-seven all in all – his friend chiefly kept those related to his art, for instance double cards with a painted collage on the cover.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Letter H to Catherine Mannick, October 1985, double card, top page Painted vintage print with two dummies and New Composers Valery Alakhov and Igor Verichev. E-E archival number: E-E-pho-CP54-opc Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Letter H to Catherine Mannick, October 1985, double card, top page
Painted vintage print with two dummies and New Composers Valery Alakhov and Igor Verichev.

E-E archival number: E-E-pho-CP54-opc

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University
See Letter H, 1985



The total number of Kozlov’s letters preserved, some in a fragmentary way, amounts to eighteen. They also include a telegram and some notes, but for the sake of simplicity, in my nomenclature, all written documents go as “letters”, numbered alphabetically from A to R in chronological order. The nomenclature of Mannick’s letters, on the other hand, follows Kozlov’s own system of Arabic numerals from 1 to 48, with a sub-series to Letter 14 of seven letters sent from Moscow and a subseries of two documents to Letter 35. This makes it easy to assign a specific document or quote to either Kozlov (eg. “Letter G”) or Mannick (eg. “Letter 25”). In the letters, they both address each other by their short names, as this is common for private relationships in Russia – Женя, Zhenya for Евгений, Yevgueni or Evgenij, as Kozlov himself transliterates his name, and Катя, Katya or Katia, for Catherine. (In the 1990s, Kozlov started using his birth-name Evgenij). For the sake of variation, Kozlov occasionally used different forms or wrote the names in English, Catherine / Eugene (Letter B, 1980)

Mannick’s letters often display three different dates: the day she wrote them, the date stamped by the US post office on the envelope, and the date stamped by the post office the Leningrad borough where Kozlov lived (Petrodvorets / Peterhof), marking the letter’s arrival before it was delivered it to the addressee.

Catherine Mannick, Letter 10 from 31 March 1981 (fragment), stamped Boston April 3 1981

Catherine Mannick, Letter 10 from 31 March 1981 (fragment),
stamped Boston April 3 1981

Catherine Mannick, Letter 10 from 31 March 1981, reverse (fragment), stamped Петродворец (Petrodvorets) May 4, 1981 The old and present name of Petrodvorets is Peterhof. Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

Catherine Mannick, Letter 10 from 31 March 1981, reverse (fragment),
stamped Петродворец (Petrodvorets) May 4, 1981
The old and present name of Petrodvorets is Peterhof.

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University




These dates helped reconstruct the chronology of the correspondence, which I did in 2021, after Catherine Mannick sent me photographic reproductions of Kozlov’s documents, pictures, and art. Those of Kozlov’s letters missing a date – because the corresponding page is no longer available – could be dated approximately by their content. On average, letters from Boston to Peterhof and vice versa took three weeks, and messages sometimes crossed each other.

Statistically, the distribution of Kozlov’s archived letters per year is 1.5 – one and a half letters for each of the eleven years of the correspondence – twelve, if we fully count the first and the last years. Factually, there is a focus on 1986 with five letters, while many years are documented with a single letter and one (1981) with none, The factual distribution would change if one took into account those letters that have not been preserved; we know of their existence because they are mentioned in Catherine Mannick’s correspondence. I haven’t counted them, but noticed that in terms of Kozlov’s total number of messages, the first years outnumbered Mannick’s letters and the years up to 1986 were more prolific than the late 1980s. The frequency of Mannick’s  writing also somewhat decreases towards the later years. This corresponds to the fact that up to 1986, Kozlov and Mannick were able to occasionally meet. Then there was a break until 1990, which saw some last encounters in Moscow and Leningrad.

Numerous photographs in Mannick‘s archive – Kozlov’s and Mannick’s slides and Kozlov’ black and white vintage prints with short notes on the reverse – illustrate the correspondence. Some of the prints constitute at once pages of a letter, with texts on the reverse. Mannick kept most of Kozlov’s vintage prints in a box of their own and preserved the slides in a digital format on a hard disc, although some were also printed. In many cases, such “loose” pictures could be connected to specific letters.

In 2022, Mannick’s letters kept in Kozlov’s archive and Kozlov’s letters and notes kept in Mannick’s archive joined each other at Fung Library, where they are now part of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection. Kozlov’s gifts to Mannick – drawings, paintings, monotype prints, objects (a sculpture and a painted T-shirt), painted photographs, and collages, generously donated by his friend to the Davis Center – make another important contribution to the correspondence. 

Together with these gifts and other artefacts, the correspondence is now entitled “USA-CCCP. Points of Contact”. It is a reference to one of Kozlov’s paintings from 1989 which synthesises the polarity between the two superpowers. In this way, Kozlov overcame Cold War through art.

In 2023, to facilitate research, I published Kozlov’s letters online using the photographic and scan reproductions Mannick sent me. Each letter is presented on a separate web page with a transcription of the text, preceded by an introductory text setting it into its historical context and inspiring the chapter headings. Quotes from Kozlov’s and Mannick’s letters were translated into English by myself and by Catherine Mannick, respectively.

Kozlov’s art and photographs for Mannick illustrate the introductions. These images are also from Mannick’s archive. Letter N from 1987 offers a particularly rich context, as perestroika was now affecting the realm of culture, and is therefore discussed on two pages, Letter N Part 1 and Part 2.

Archival (inventory) numbers on the web pages refer to Kozlov’s archive. The registrars at Fung Library use a different nomenclature for all artefacts now in the Davis Center Collection, which will be added to the web pages later.

Additional pictures, in the main from Kozlov’s and my own archives, complete the information. Readers can retrieve further information by following the links to articles I have published on Kozlov’s website under the heading Leningrad 80s >>. More than one hundred articles about private and public exhibitions, performances, artist groups and clubs, experimental music, unofficial recordings, and more make the Leningrad 80s the largest available English language online resource on this extremely productive period of Leningrad’s independent art and music scene, of which Kozlov was a leading member.

A few “loose” photographs from Mannick’s collection are not included in the online letter pages, but the complete material – Catherine Mannick’s letters, all pictures and Kozlov’s gifts, as well as two documents explaining the chronology of the letters – can be accessed on-site at Fung Library. Together with Kozlov’s diaries (1979-1983), they have been archived as “(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, Catherine Mannick, and Hannelore Fobo papers, 1979-2022 (inclusive)” more >>.

With the variety of questions it touches and the abundance of original artefacts, “USA-CCCP. Points of Contact” offers interesting research topics not only to art-historians, but to historians exploring different aspects of US-Soviet relations. The following introduction, apart from describing the main features of the correspondence, suggests such topics.

Hannelore Fobo, Berlin, 11 February 2024

Sending art, pictures and other presents

Presents constituted an important aspect of Mannick’s and Kozlov’s friendship. The letters mention numerous (birthday) gifts and parcels, but with few exceptions, such as a Grieg record sent from Leningrad (Letter 5), or a Philip Glass record (Letter 27), and an encyclopaedia of rock (Letter 40) sent from Boston, these gifts were not detailed further. Instead, they are referred to as “a photograph” “drawings”, “the beautiful book”, “a record”, or simply as “the present”. There were also more exotic gifts, for instance Mannick’s Nike sneakers (Letter J) and Kozlov’s tubateika, a central Asian skull cap (Letter 19).

Gifts focusing on art were sent both ways, with Kozlov’s artworks and Mannick’s art-postcards and books. Most likely, Dore Ashton’s illustrated book “American Art Since 1945” from 1982, which is in a picture from Mannick’s 1986 Leningrad visit, was one of her gifts. In Letter H (1985) and Letter N (1987), Kozlov discussed a record sleeve for an album released in Liverpool (“Popular Mechanics. Insect Culture1987), and following that, Mannick decided to send her friend a “book of pictures from record covers” (Letter 43, 1988). Possibly, two books Kozlov translated from English into Russian were also Mannick’s gifts: a book on Marc Chagall[1] and Steve Hager’s

Art after Midnight: The East Village Scene from 1986.

Of these gifts, Kozlov’s artworks and Mannick’s art-postcards as well as the tubateika are at the Davis Center Special Collection.

Quite often, letters, and, especially, larger presents were given to friends or friends of friends traveling back and forth, e.g. “the parcel from David” (Letter 8). On those few occasions when Mannick and Kozlov were able to meet personally, they gave them over directly. Thus, Kozlov gave Mannick a hand-carved wooden statuette of a Halloween wizard in October 1982 in Moscow.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Волшебник Халувина / The Wizard of Halloween 20 cm (height), 8 cm (diameter), paint, bronze and aluminium powder on wood. E-E archival number: E-E-18205 see Diary III, page 3-41 more>>. Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Волшебник Халувина / The Wizard of Halloween
20 cm (height), 8 cm (diameter), paint, bronze and aluminium powder on wood.

E-E archival number: E-E-18205
see Diary III, page 3-41 more>>.

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University
See Letter D, 1982



However, the common way to send letters was via airmail. Although letters to international destinations could be sent from any post-office, Kozlov preferred Leningrad’s main post office (glavnyi pochtamt), located in a beautiful historic building near Saint Isaac's Cathedral. Whenever possible, he avoided the post-offices of Petrodvorets (Peterhof), where he lived. In this small town, a suburb of Leningrad, he was probably the only person maintaining a private correspondence with an American friend, and he didn’t want to draw additional attention to this fact. By contrast, at Leningrad’s main post office, he would go rather unnoticed. He often sent his letters as registered mail so as to be sure that they actually arrived at their destination.[2] This was particularly important when a letter included a small gift, like a drawing, (painted) photo, or collage – either as a loose insert or fixed to the top page of a folded card. He sometimes wrote the text of his letters directly on the reverse of his photos.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov E-E-Diary III, page 85, early 1983 more>> Размер конвертов, принимаем. на почте к пересылке Size of envelopes acceptеd at the post office for sending (letters) Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

E-E-Diary III, page 85, early 1983 more>>
Размер конвертов, принимаем. на почте к пересылке
Size of envelopes acceptеd at the post office for sending (letters)

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Special Collection, Harvard University more>>




In his Diary III, page 85 (from early 1983), Kozlov drew a table with dimensions of envelopes accepted by the post office, which allowed him to create such envelopes himself. The largest accepted size was 229 x 314 mm, just large enough for A4 sheets, which limited the dimension of artworks he could send via a letter. In fact, most paintings and drawings are rather small, with the longer side less than 20 cm.

“Self-made” envelopes have not been preserved, but there is a gouache drawing from October 1980 that Kozlov created directly on the envelope; this might be considered as mail art (Letter C, 1980). A larger drawing from 1983, his New Year gift in 1987, was probably sent with a friend.

As Kozlov printed his own black and white pictures in his photo-laboratory, he frequently sent pictures of himself or of those of his friends Mannick knew, mostly in a 10 x 15 cm format, and sometimes included photographic reproductions of his own art. Around 1985, however, the focus shifted to the Leningrad art-scene. The total number of his prints is sixty-two. Six colour prints on Agfa paper from 1989/1990 complete his black and white prints. In 1982, 1983, and 1984, about one hundred colour slides of Kozlov’s own works as well as those of his artist friends also found their way to the States. Like those pictures Mannick took in Leningrad, these slides now exist in a digitised format more>>.

The total number of Kozlov’s artworks in the Davis Center Special Collection – not counting the black and white prints – amounts to forty-six. Like those, these works can be divided into two categories, roughly by the same timeline.

With twenty-four works, the first category includes his drawings, monotype prints, and gouache and watercolour paintings from 1979 to 1983, for the most part sent as loose inserts. Additionally, there is the “Wizard” sculpture from 1982 mentioned above. From the later years, there are five painted postcards from 1984 (Letter G), a painted T-shirt (1985), a collage (Letter O, 1988), a drawing (Letter Q, 1989), and another painted postcard (Letter R, 1990).

With another twenty-two works, the second category includes – mainly as an integral part of a letter – Kozlov’s (collages of) painted vintage prints from 1984 to 1987. They represent his artist friends, Catherine Mannick, and the artist himself. Working with vintage prints corresponded to a new trend in Kozlov’s art, when, starting in 1984, he took inspiration from his own photography. The five painted postcards from 1984 (Letter G) connect these two periods.

Kozlov’s largest gift to his friend was “The River of Forgetfulness” from 1988, a work on paper in a 102 x 247 cm format. This painting was cleared for export in November 1989 and left the Soviet Union with an acquaintance. In 2023, Mannick donated it to the Wende Museum, California.

Hannelore Fobo, 8 March 2024



[1] In Letter 6, 1980, Mannick writes, “Something with drawings by Marc Chagall will also be easy to find.”

[2] Concerning telegrams see Letter F, 1983

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Published 18 February 2024

Last updated 9 July 2024