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Nikolaj Ivanovich Andronov
Mikhail S. Borisov
Grigory Davidovich Bruskin

Maxim Cantor
Evgeny Jurjewitsch Dybskij
Semyon Natanovich
Nikolai Vadimowitsch Filatov
Alexander Michajlowitsch Ivanov
Ivan Leonidowitsch Lubennikow

Lenina Dimitriewna Nikitina

Anatoly Nikitsch-Krilitschewskij

Leonid Anatolyevich Purygin
Gennady G. Subkov

Alexej Alexejewitsch Sundukow

Lev Ilyich Tabenkin
Vladimir Grigoryevich Weisberg
Oleg Alexandrovich Wukolov

From October 30, 2016 to February 26, 2017, Villa Schöningen will present around 50 works by Soviet artists critical of the system in its exhibition “Art from the Glasnost Period” - including works by Maxim Kantor, Lev Ilyich Tabenkin and Leonid Purygin. All works belong to the collection of the Kunsthalle Emden and will be shown for the first time in the Berlin area.

One of the first exhibitions in the Kunsthalle Emden, founded in 1986 by STERN founder Henri Nannen, was The New Freedom of Soviet Painters (1987/88). As one of the very first western museums, the Kunsthalle presented young, mostly critical artists, whose existence until the opening of the Soviet Union - during the times of glasnost and perestroika - the western art scene had no idea. The works shown at that time will now be shown on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Kunsthalle Emden at the gates of the capital in the Villa Schöningen. Including works by the artists Maxim Kantor, Leonid Purygin, Lev Iljitsch Tabenkin and Alexej Sundukow.

With this presentation, the exhibition center at Glienicke Bridge illustrates its fundamental freedom-based idea that runs through the entire exhibition program in a particularly impressive way.

Works by Maxim Kantor form the core of the exhibition. In his works he describes extreme situations in life, be it in a prison camp, in psychiatry or in general in an everyday life in the former Soviet Union that was characterized by deficiency. With his art he takes a stand and gives those affected a voice. To do this, the artist chooses artistic means related to Expressionism. Waiting, almost apathetic figures characterize Lev Ilyich Tabenkin's pictures; they stand in stark contrast to the dogmatically idealized depictions of peasants and workers in the painting of socialist realism. The collection also includes artists such as Leonid Purygin, whose colorful and small-format paintings refer to the tradition of Russian icon painting.

Exhibition concept:

Katharina Henkel, Kunsthalle Emden, with Nora Jaeger.

The history:

As a journalist, Henri Nannen traveled to the Soviet Union early on: as early as 1955, he accompanied the then Federal Chancellor and Foreign Minister Konrad Adenauer to a peace meeting with party leader Nikita Khrushchev in Russia. During these visits, visits to important state museums were part of the cultural framework program, but the art enthusiast Henri Nannen was hardly interested in the works on display from the Socialist Realism propagated by the government. This attitude towards contemporary works by Russian artists changed in the early 1980s when Nannen was invited to the residence of the then German ambassador in Moscow, where he saw a remarkably socially critical picture: with him, his enthusiasm for contemporary, nonconformist art was aroused. Thereupon he initiated an exhibition that traveled through West Germany and acquired the first works - the basis for a new collection subject that was still unknown in the FRG.

From 1986 Henri Nannen roamed studios in Moscow and Leningrad / St. Petersburg and discovered works of art that illustrate a critical examination of young artists with national changes and grievances. The result was that early exhibition at the Kunsthalle Emden with images of relentless directness.

Press release Villa Schöningen


Ausstellungsansicht Glasnost, 2016
Ausstellungsansicht Glasnost, 2016
Ausstellungsansicht Glasnost, 2016
Ausstellungsansicht Glasnost, 2016
Ausstellungsansicht Glasnost, 2016

© Villa Schöningen, photos: Noshe

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