Club of Friends, a new exhibition of Timur Novikov’s New Artists and the New Academy just finished a successful run at London’s Calvert 22 Gallery. In the early 1980s, during the final decade of the Soviet regime, the New Artists Group was founded and began making artwork influenced by German Expressionism, Pop Art and Primitivism. The group operated out of a communal flat initially, where they held exhibitions, gigs, screenings, and parties. Novikov started a second moment in 1989, the New Academy, bringing about a return to ancient Greek ideals. Artists dressed as dandies with frock coats and velvet dresses and searched organized exhibitions during the 1990s while celebrating classical ideals of beauty and physical perfection. Openly gay artist and musician Georgy Guryanov created beautiful drawings and paintings of athletes, sailors and soldiers, while many of his contemporaries also integrated themes of gender and homoeroticism into their work. This exhibition maps the untold story of Russia in the 1980s and 1990s, revealing important artistic movements that pushed the boundaries of modern art in Russia. Calvert 22 collaborated with the Moscow Museum of Modern Art to bring the work as part of the official program of the UK-Russia Year of Culture including over 250 events throughout the year.
Images Courtesy of Calvert 22 Gallery