Post-war art. The artists of the 60s.

The post-war art of the 1950s and 60s was marked by the heroic past of the country and the period of post-war rehabilitation. Peaceful life, people's mood, belief in tomorrow, optimism and enthusiasm - all this was reflected in the work of many talented and highly sought artists. Post-war reconstruction of the world, technical innovations existed next to the dream of harmony and unity of man with nature. New forms, new directions and a new artistic language were needed.

But, art was inseparable from politics and historical realities. The development of painting in the country, as before, was determined by the conditionalities of socialist realism, with politicized content. And, only the "thaw of the 60's", created the conditions for change, new infusions, artistic manifestations and protest movement.

The World Festival in 1957gave many reasons for changes in the artistic environment. In Moscow an exhibition was arranged where the works of Chagall, Picasso, Modigliani were shown for the first time. The creative community experienced a cultural shock, surprise and professional interest and, during the next few years, many young Soviet artists began to try new ways and forms of self-expression. The breakthrough happened, and the changes were unstoppable ...

The opposition “The informal artist and Authority” probably began from the memorable events at the Manezh in 1962. Everything happened quickly and spontaneously, but with the lasting consequences of a political nature.

Eurovision broadcasted a story about the "new reality" in the artistic life of Soviet artists and alternative artistic techniques. In response, just in one night, the exposition from the creative workshops of the city, was collected. The exhibition at the Manezh was opened in the morning. After the arrival of Khrushchev and his scandalous conversation with the artists, the exhibition was criticized and closed. It is no coincidence that about this exhibition was later said: "Manezh, that no one has seen."

The result of these events was the phenomenon of "artistic underground", "the second Russian avan-garde" and, finally, the direction of "non-conformism". The work of many legendary artists of the underground is connected with this direction in art. Quite quickly the new current began to gain strength, popularity and actively influenced the viewer. At the same time, some of the artists stayed away from politics and focused on creative experiments, without entering into confrontation with the authorities. But, simultaneously, active creative groups also appeared they expressed political protest and were categorized as "creative dissidents".

The wing of "political non-conformism" assert themselves, with the active participation of Oskar Rabin, Vladimir Nemukhin, Evgeniy Rukhine and others.

"Peaceful nonconformists" of this time are known by the names of Anatoly Zverev, Vladimir Yakovlev, Dmitry Krasnopevtsev, and others.

The next event, widely reported in the press, happened in 1974 and is called "bulldozer exhibition". The initiative group of Moscow artists, headed by O. Rabin and A. Glazer, decided to arrange an exhibition on the wasteland in Belyaevo. 

Formally, the event was not agreed with the authorities. The exhibition was disrupted, its participants were simply dispersed, and, the following day, the event had an incredible resonance in the Western press. The sensational photos appeared in all known publications. Under the pressure of foreign public authorities allowed to organize and hold an exhibition in Izmailovo. It was an obvious victory for nonconformists!

The underground of the 60-70s. In the capital changed significantly, was transformed and actively structured. There appeared a division into professional groups.

So, the "Lianozovo group" appeared. It was created "by the principle of kinship": a large family and friends of the family. It included Evgeny Kropivnitsky, Oscar Rabin, Lidia Masterkova, Vladimir Nemukhin.

The group "Sretensky Boulevard" (1969-70). Initially, the members of the group were creative neighbors. Workshops of group’s members were located nearby, in the same district. Further, conditions for the formation of a key group of emerging conceptualism were created. Co-creation paved the way to preconditions for a real school and artistic wing. The group was known for such famous names as Ilya Kabakov, Victor Pivovarov, Eric Bulatov.

The popular magazine «Znanie-sila» became another place attracting the public’s attention to the art works of the Moscow underground. The name of Yuri Nolev-Sobolev, who headed the artistic movement in the journal, is directly connected with Ernst Neizvestny, Viktor Pivovarov, and others. The magazine had the connection with science fiction, "conventionality", right up to surrealism and futurology fit this genre. And non-conformists felt a certain freedom for self-expression, working with this publication.  

There was such a phenomenon as "Dipart" In the 60-70s. Official exhibitions could be waited for years, but apartment meetings or “Kvartirnik” were arranged regularly. It was the place where intelligentsia of the capital, foreign diplomats and correspondents gathered. They also were the main connoisseurs and buyers of the Soviet underground. This phenomenon, called "Diparte", today receives a very mixed assessment. Foreign buyers, literally for pennies, bought the work of Russian "banned" artists, which they talked about and wrote in the West. These pictures could be easily, without problems at customs, taken out of the country. So, that’s why today many works of Russian nonconformists come up at auctions and exhibitions abroad and it is difficult to get to Russia’s modern spectators.

At present, it is quite obvious that the creative movement of non-conformists is a special phenomenon in the artistic environment. The period when art is in the process of developing, eagerly catching up lost time. There appears pop art, abstract expressionism, minimalism, social art. All directions develop simultaneously. It creates its own language and whole world reflection systems. This is the "time of freedom" of the sixties.

Incredibly interesting time of talents!