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

Memorial Exhibition to Vladimir Mayakovsky

The New Artists aka Club of Friends of V. V. Mayakovsky

Leningrad, Kaleyeva street, club rooms of the NChVCh (НЧВЧ), 1988





Exhibition of the "Mayakovsky Friends Club” (aka the New Artists) at the NCh-VCh, Leningrad, summer of 1988. From left to right: Oleg Maslov, Ágnes F. Horváth, Timur Novikov, Sergei Bugaev, Ivan Sotnikov, and Inal Savchenkov. The picture displays paintings by Ivan Sotnikov (fragment on the left wall), (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov ("Star", centre), Igor Smirnov (Sten) (right, portrait of Mayakovsky) and Oleg Maslov (stencilled posters bottom right). Picture courtesy Ágnes F. Horváth.
Exhibition of the "Mayakovsky Friends Club” (aka the New Artists) at the NCh-VCh, Leningrad, summer of 1988.
From left to right: Oleg Maslov, Ágnes F. Horváth, Timur Novikov, Sergei Bugaev, Ivan Sotnikov, and Inal Savchenkov.
The picture displays paintings by Ivan Sotnikov (fragment on the left wall), (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov ("Star", centre), Igor Smirnov (Sten) (right, portrait of Mayakovsky) and Oleg Maslov (stencilled posters bottom right).
Picture courtesy Ágnes F. Horváth.




The Mayakovsky Friends Club or Club of Friends of V.V. Mayakovsky (Клуб друзей В.В.Маяковского / Klub druzey V. V. Maiakovskogo) was a somewhat formalised hypostasis of the New Artists and a name the New Artists sometimes used (until 1990) to promote their own exhibitions and parties.

Among those activities was a Mayakovsky Friends Club exhibition at the Leningrad NCh-VCh Club, organised on the occasion of Mayakovsky’s 95th birthday. Mayakovsky was born on the 19th of July 1893 (7 July Old Style); whether the exhibition opened exactly on the 19th of July 1988 is now difficult to say, but participating artist Igor Smirnov remembers that it took indeed place in the summer of 1988.

Concerning the relation between the New Artists and the Club of Friends of V.V. Mayakovsky see also:
Hannelore Fobo: The New Artists. Timur Novikov: Roots – E-E Kozlov: Cosmos
Chapter 2. Perestroika, the Mayakovsky Friends Club, and pop art (2002) more >>

The venue's name, the abbreviation NChVCh (НЧВЧ, also hyphenated: НЧ-ВЧ) stands for Nizkie Chastoty / Vysokie Chastoty (“Низкие Частоты / Высокие частоты”), or Low Frequency / High Frequency. According to Andrei Khlobystin, New artist Oleg Kotelnikov created NChVCh as a band name for his own band in 1983, by analogy with the band name of AC/DC, an abbreviation of “alternating current / direct current”. See: Khlobystin, Andrei. Shizorevolutsiia,(Schizorevolution) [Шизореволуция] Saint Petersburg: Borey Art, 2017, p. 257

Two pictures from the archive of Ágnes F. Horváth, a Hungarian friend of the artists, show us part of the exhibition, presumably the main wall. In the centre is (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov's painting "Star" from 1987 more >>. Next to it, on the right, is Igor Smirnov‘s portrait of Mayakovsky. Igor Smirnov (Sten) confirmed his authorship in a private correspondence with in September 2020.

Below Smirnov’s portrait are three stencilled (identical?) posters by Oleg Maslov paraphrasing Dmitry Moor's famous propaganda poster from 1920 Ты записался добровольцем? / Have You Volunteered? A picture in Shizorevolutsiia, p. 260, shows one of these posters. The caption to the picture identifies the poster's central figure as that of Oleg Sumarokov, director of the NCh-VCh.

On the adjacent left wall, a fragment of a work by Ivan Sotnikov appears. The other works have not yet been identified.

In the case of Smirnov and Maslov, it seems plausible that these artists created their works specifically for this exhibition, while this can obviously not have been the case with "Star", as Kozlov painted it the previous year, in 1987. In fact, "Star” was first exhibited at the New Artists exhibition at the Leningrad Sverdlov House of Culture in April 1988, where it "framed" the stage together with two other of Kozlov‘s large constructivist works from the "White on Red" series. more >>

Kozlov‘s adopted and further developed a constructivist style starting in 1987 (with sketches first appearing in 1986 more >>), applying it to a number of important works and cycles, such as "White on Red" (1987 more >>), "New Classicals" (1989/1990 more >>) and "Miniatures in Paradise” (1995 more >>).

However, references to the Russian avant-garde appear in Kozlov's work as early as 1980 more >>, while the specific stencil technique of ROSTA Windows commonly associated with Vladimir Mayakovsky – although Mayakovsky was by far not the only ROSTA artist more >> – can be seen in Kozlov‘s works starting in 1983 more >>.

Hannelore Fobo. 11 October 2020

Exhibition of the "Mayakovsky Friends Club” at the NCh-VCh, Leningrad, summer of 1988. Timur Novikov and Inal Savchenkov. Paintings by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov ("Star", centre), Igor Smirnov (Sten) (right, portrait of Mayakovsky) and Oleg Maslov (stencilled posters bottom right) Picture courtesy Ágnes F. Horváth.
Exhibition of the "Mayakovsky Friends Club” at the NCh-VCh, Leningrad, summer of 1988.
Timur Novikov and Inal Savchenkov.
Paintings by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov ("Star", centre), Igor Smirnov (Sten) (right, portrait of Mayakovsky) and Oleg Maslov (stencilled posters bottom right)
Picture courtesy Ágnes F. Horváth.




Uploaded 11 October 2020