5 films for a deeper deeper immersion in Russian and world art.

 5 films for a deeper deeper immersion in Russian and world art.

1. «Black Square» (1988) Documentary by Olga Sviblova

Artists Ilya Kabakov, Erik Bulatov, Anatoly Zverev, Vadim Sidur, Vladimir Yakovlev — today they’re the classics of modern art. Nevertheless then, during the Khrushchev thaw, they were just entering the arena of underground artistic life. The film covers the period of unofficial Russian art from 1957 to the loud premiere of the cult film "Assa", telling, among other things, about the Bulldozer Exhibition of 1974 with its «formalistic frills».

2. Picasso at Work (1949)

In an attempt to capture the nature of Picasso's creative process, the Belgian director Paul Hasarts asked the artist to work on large glass plates while he was filming the process from the other side. In 1951 the film was nominated for Best Documentary by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

3. Poor people. Kabakovs (2018)

The film was dedicated to the 85th birthday of Ilya Kabakov, a key figure of the Moscow conceptual school. Together with his wife and co-author Emilia, the artist discusses unofficial art in the USSR, the birth of Moscow conceptualism, his emigration to Europe and the United States, and how he gained worldwide recognition.

4. Kusama. Endless Worlds (2018)

An art critic who has studied Yayoi Kusama's art for a quarter of a century, Heather Lenz made a directing debut with a film about Yayoi. Has been suffering with hallucinations since childhood, Kusama sees the world as a repeating pattern consisting of dots and other elements. It’s reflected in most of her works. The artist also perceives her own self as a dot in an infinite universe, and sees the main goal of her life in reflexing personal experience and trying to make society better through art. «Endless Worlds» demonstrates exactly this connection between the biography of Kusama and the evolution of social consciousness in recent history.

5. USSaRt (1988)

In 1988 in Moscow Sotheby's held a large action of Russian art, Russian avant-garde and Soviet contemporary art. For the American film about this historic auction, the artists who exhibited their works at the first Moscow Sotheby's were interviewed by Jamie Gumbrell, who was a famous translator of Russian literature into English language. During a certain period of her life, Gumbrell translated Tsvetaeva, Brodsky, Rodchenko, Sorokin and many others’ works of art to English. Jamie passed away from cancer in January 2020.