(E-E) Ev.g.e.n.i.j ..K.o.z.l.o.     Berlin                                                  


      (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Leningrad 80s >>

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
“ART from the USSR / ART for the USA.”

Three objects on bus stop signs, 1988
Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: The logotype
Page 3: Leningrad bus stop signs
Page 4: Three objects on bus stop signs

Documentation: Hannelore Fobo, 2019




ART из СССР / ART для USA
ART from the USSR / ART for the USA.
Introduction


(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at the exhibition “Der Weg der Ockerfarbenen Elefanten”, Kampnagel, Hamburg, 1991. Among the exhibits: four objects painted on bus-stop signs, presented on supporting stands Left: “Lenin Boulevard” from the series “ART from the USSR / ART for the USA“ (1988). The other three objects are from the “New Classicals” cycle (1989/1990), see below Photo: Hannelore Fobo

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov at the exhibition “Der Weg der Ockerfarbenen Elefanten”, Kampnagel, Hamburg, 1991.
Among the exhibits: four objects painted on bus stop signs, presented on supporting stands
Left: “Lenin Boulevard” from the series “ART from the USSR / ART for the USA“ (1988).
The other three objects are from the “New Classicals” cycle (1989/1990), see below
Photo: Hannelore Fobo, 1991



(E-E) Evgeni Kozlov ART from the USSR / ART for the USA. ”Three objects on bus stop signs, two sided, mixed media on wood, 42.5 cm (height) x 59.9 cm (width) x 2 cm (depth), 1988 Top: ART и СССР • ART and USSR (Lenin Boulevard) Centre: ART из СССР / ART для USA • ART from the USSR / ART for the USA (Comintern Street) Bottom: ART из СССР / ART для USA • ART from the USSR / ART for the USA (Comintern Street / Lenin Boulevard)

(E-E) Evgeni Kozlov
ART из СССР / ART для USA
ART from the USSR / ART for the USA.

Three objects on bus stop signs, two-sided, mixed media on wood,
42.5 cm (height) x 59.9 cm (width) x 2 cm (depth), 1988

Top:
ART и СССР • ART and USSR
(Lenin Boulevard)
Centre:
ART из СССР / ART для USAART from the USSR / ART for the USA (Comintern Street)
Bottom:
ART из СССР / ART для USA • ART from the USSR / ART for the USA (Comintern Street / Lenin Boulevard)






Top left: ART из СССР / ART для USAART from the USSR / ART for the USA (Comintern Street) , two-sided, on bus-stop sign. Oil on wood, 42.5 x 59.9 x 2 cm, 1988

Bottom left:
ART и СССР • ART and USSR (Lenin Boulevard)
, 1989, two-sided, on bus-stop sign. Oil on wood, 42.5 x 59.9 x 2 cm, 1988

Centre, top and bottom: Two works from the series “New Classicals”, 1989
more >>
Top right: “Kino” collage, 1985
more >>
Russkoee Polee / The Russian Field, studio (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, Leningrad, 1990
Film frame from a documentary for “Aspekte” by German TV channel ZDF

filmed May 1990
more >>

USA-CCCP

Throughout the 20th century, the rivalry between Russia and America was a factor in world affairs affecting the spiritual state of the Earth – taking the Earth to be an organism, that is. In the 1980s, Evgenij Kozlov, at the time a leading member of the Leningrad-based group The New Artists, repeatedly turned his attention to this relationship. […]

Depending on how narrowly or broadly you define the content-related criteria in relation to USA-CCCP, between 1980 and 1989 you reach a figure of as many as 164 works, including the sketches. Of the roughly 850 works that have been documented from this period – excluding vintage prints – those that fit the USA-CCCP category constitute somewhat less than a fifth.

Kozlov did not treat these works as a unit. They can, however, be summarised under the title USA‑CCCP, with CCCP being the Russian equivalent of USSR. USA‑CCCP provided the title for a number of works from 1986 onwards in that it was actually graphically depicted in these works.

There were always rapprochements between the USA and the USSR, and the Apollo-Soyuz test project in 1975 even brought cooperation in space – which Kozlov satirized in Полет в космосе / Flying in the Cosmos (1986). However, it was only during the course of perestroika that the stereotypical enmity gradually petered out. […]

1988 saw production of the cycle Art из CCCP / Art для USA (Art from the USSR / Art for the USA) on bus-stop signs displaying typical Soviet street names such as Comintern Street and Lenin Boulevard that have been partly overpainted. This was the year some of the New Artists first travelled abroad to visit so-called capitalist countries; Evgenij Kozlov’s first trip abroad took place in 1990. It seemed the opening up of the Soviet Union was irreversible. (From the exhibition catalogue USA-CCCP-CHINA Berlin, 2018 more >> )




Stylistically, Kozlov‘s USA‑CCCP works from the 1987-1989 period show a clear influence of Russian and Soviet avant-garde, especially of Constructivism. Kozlov, however, combined such stencilled, abstract forms and letters with elements of pop art and even realistic figure painting, thereby creating his own, distinct style. “Objets trouvés” or “found objects“ played an important role – works of art made from objects originally serving another function. Art history considers Picasso‘s Still Life with Chair Caning (1912) as the prototype for this technique.


Pablo Picasso Still Life with Chair Caning (1912), displaying a piece of oil cloth with a printed pattern in the lower half.
The Dada and Surrealist movements subsequently used this technique to dignify or decontextualise otherwise banal objects. Marcel Duchamps’ “readymades” are classical examples.
In the works discussed here, Kozlov did not employ found objects in the same manner. Generally speaking, they had the same function to him as any media or material he used for his works, be it paint, canvas, or his own photographs: he chose them because of their visual and haptic – aesthetic – properties.
Yet it was just as important to him that these properties should allow him to create a new meaning – not in the sense of an unlikely combination (e.g. Salvador Dali‘s Lobster Telephone), but in the sense of a likely, if unexpected combination.



(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov.
Points of Contact
mixed media on wood
1988
Points of Contact (1988), made from a felt-lined cutlery tray, may serve as an example. It has four compartments for spoons, forks, and knives of different sizes. The two horizontal compartments now display the words “USA” and “CCCP”, respectively, and the two vertical ones the figures of a man and a
woman. Thus the object’s very design emphasises these double polarities, although in a second step, the artists reconnects them with the help of two red and two black dots, applied diametrically opposed inside the two figures. The viewer instinctively joins them to form two diagonally-crossing lines – a cross of St Andrew – creating an equilibrium in the dynamic force of the two poles.





Works from the 1980s at the exhibition USA-CCCP-CHINA

Left: Exhibition view at USA-CCCP-CHINA Egbert Baqué Contemporary, Berlin, 2018 more >> Points of Contact, 237 x 112 cm, 1989 Hannelore Fobo and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Right: Exhibition catalogue USA-CCCP-CHINA with related works from 1980 - 1989 more >>


Left: Exhibition view at USA-CCCP-CHINA
Egbert Baqué Contemporary, Berlin, 2018
more >>
Points of Contact, 237 x 112 cm, 1989
Hannelore Fobo and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Right: Exhibition catalogue
USA-CCCP-CHINA
with related works from 1980 - 1989
more >>

Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: The logotype
Page 3: Leningrad bus stop signs
Page 4: Three objects on bus stop signs



Uploaded 25 March 2019
Last updated 28 July 2019