Russian Queer Art Celebrates Classical Ideals Of Physical Perfection

Georgy Gurjanov, Portrait of the artist Stanislav Makarov, 1997 Acrylic on canvas, 150x120 cm
Georgy Gurjanov, Portrait of the artist Stanislav Makarov

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.

12_Paquita Escofet Miro
Georgiy Guryanov, Evgeniy Kozlov, Timur Novikov, Igor Verichev in Evgeniy Kozlov’s flat


14_Kuznetsov_Landscape with Chariot - 180dpi
Viktor Kuznetsov, Landscape with a Chariot,
13_Kuznetsov_Maslov_Hommage à Alma Tadema - 96dpi
Oleg Maslov and Viktor Kuznetsov, Hommage à Alma Tadema
Bella Matveeva Dreaming Vladimir Dobrovolski photo by Andy Keate
Bella Matveeva Dreaming Vladimir Dobrovolski photo by Andy Keate

 Images Courtesy of Calvert 22 Gallery

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  • Mezaien

    Ivekovic, & Kuznetsove, are great Avant-garde, Russian artists. They are all over Europe. If you got the chance go and see their art.

  • Cam

    Won’t be more of that coming out of Russia for a while. Hopefully this will inspire some.

    Queerty, off topic, but the comments are not turned on in the Justing Vivianne Bond article.

  • barkomatic

    @Cam: True. Russia has basically fallen back to the medieval period. During the 80’s I always thought gay people would eventually be *more* accepted there. Boy was I wrong.

  • fagburn

    You Amerikkans are so stupid.

  • Cam


    Haven’t seen you on here in a while. you must have been spending a lot of time on the anti-gay boards.

Comments are closed.