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Frozen Dreams:
Contemporary Art from Russia

Hardback, 29 x 25 cm, 296 pp.

Frozen Dreams is the first comprehensive survey of contemporary art from Russia. Culturally and geographically thought of as part of Europe while at the same time a vast country stretching over nine time zones, Russia is a major world power with seemingly endless natural resources and undeniable political significance. How has Russia’s rapidly changing political and economic landscape shaped its art? And how does art affect social and cultural change within Russia?

Parsing the rich legacy of its past, when the country’s artists were counted among the world’s foremost avant-gardists, today’s practitioners draw on unique sources of creative inspiration as they engage in a critical dialogue with artists elsewhere. For example, the resurgence of Orthodox Christianity, with its great icon-painting tradition and its spiritual and cultural roots deep in Byzantium, can be seen as one of the vital forces shaping contemporary practice. In addition, the continuous recycling and reinvestigation of Suprematist geometry by several generations of artists have foregrounded distinctly Russian conceptual and stylistic concerns.

Frozen Dreams presents a selection of more than eighty Russian artists working from the 1970s into the present. Alongside well-established names such as Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Eric Bulatov, Boris Mikhailov and AES+F, many newcomers are introduced, including Alexei Kallima, Kerim Ragimov and Olga Chernysheva. The book features diverse media and styles ranging from traditional painting, drawing and sculpture to photography, film, installation, and photographic documentation of performance
art and new media.

Featuring more than 580 high-quality colour illustrations, insightful interviews with collectors, in-depth profiles and three essays by leading scholars, Frozen Dreams is an essential guide to a subject that has been under-researched. Through representatives of all the main movements, including the Moscow Conceptual school and Sots Art, Frozen Dreams brings together artists from the Soviet underground and those working today in the wake of perestroika, when the official/unofficial divide has given way to greater diversity and artistic freedom.

Hossein Amirsadeghi is a prolific writer, editor and publisher. His main area of interest in recent years has been creativity in the Middle East and the Muslim world. He has written, edited and published widely on Iran and its culture, including Twentieth-Century Iran, The Security of the Persian Gulf, The Arts of Persia and Peerless Images: Persian Painting and its Sources. He is also the author of Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art, Unleashed: Contemporary Art from Turkey, Art & Patronage: The Middle East and Istanbul Contrasts, all of which are published by Thames & Hudson. He is currently working on Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and their Studios, due for publication in spring 2012.

Ekaterina Bobrinskaia is research fellow at the State Institute of Art History in Moscow; she holds a PhD from Moscow State University. She is a prolific writer, essayist and critic, and has won numerous awards for her research on avant-garde and contemporary Russian art, including an Artlink grant for her study of performance art in Russia from 1970 to 1990. Bobrinskaia is author of Strangers? Unofficial Art: Myths, Strategies, Concepts (2011).

Alexandra Danilova is a senior curator of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. She writes widely on post-war Russian and Western European art and has led courses on contemporary art at Moscow State University. In 2009 she organised Interpretation of Object as part of the 3rd Moscow Biennale programme, and most recently she curated Field of Action at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, Moscow (2010).

Eleanor Heartney is a contributing editor to Art in America and Artpress. Her books include Postmodernism (2001), Defending Complexity: Art, Politics and the New World Order (2006) and Art and Today (2008). Heartney is a past president of AICA-USA, the American section of the International Art Critics Association. In 2008 she was honoured by the French government as a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Joanna Vickery holds a BA in Russian and German from the University of Durham and an MSc in Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Since 2004 she has been head of the Russian Art Department at Sotheby’s, where she has pioneered and developed her field with a particular interest in Russian post-war art. She organised the highly successful, first-ever auction of Russian contemporary art in London in 2007. Vickery lectures on a wide range of aspects relating to Russian art history, the Russian art market, and collecting and patronage in contemporary Russia.

Price: £48.00

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