“For myself and for them” exhibition views. Viktoria Gallery, Samara. 2019


“For myself and for them. The official and unofficial art of the Soviet nonconformists”

Viktoria Gallery, Samara

06.03.2019 — 28.04.2019

The exhibition “For myself and for them”, prepared by the curator of the Viktoria Gallery Sergei Balandin, revealed the phenomenon of the “double life” led by the leading unofficial artists of the 1960–1970s — Erik Bulatov, Oleg Vasiliev, Viktor Pivovarov, Yuri Sobolev and others. Ilya Kabakov wrote that all the works produced by the artists in his circle could be divided into two parts: “for themselves” and “for them” — one part representing the author’s own explorations and self expression, and the other comprising work that had to be done simply to earn a living and survive. At the same time, in their commissioned work — as seen for example in their book design and illustrations — traces can also be found of exploration and experimentation “for themselves”. The exhibition featured graphic and pictorial works, books and animated films, and was divided into thematic blocks to correspond with the specifics of the work of the individual authors. The exhibits were provided by major national collections — the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the V.I. Dahl State Museum of the History of Russian Literature, the Central State Museum of Cinema, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Samara Oblast Universal Science Library — as well as by private collectors.