Lomonosov Moscow State University; Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Russia
Art relations between Russia and Germany in the 20th century have a very rich history. Germany was one of the most favorite destinations among the Russian artists in the 19th and 20th centuries. International exhibitions in Berlin, Munich, Dresden and DÜsseldorf attracted the artists. In 1922 in Berlin the first exhibition of the Russian art was presented. The artists in exile are a very important part of German-Russian art relations as well.
Since the late 1980s after a period of long isolation between Russia and Germany a new wave of artistic interaction begins. In 1988 in Moscow the first international auction of paintings by artists of the Russian avant-garde and modern Soviet artists was held. The auction was a huge success among the foreign collectors. From this moment the young Russian artists attract the attention of the European art community. On the show IsKUNSTvo I. (West Berlin, Bahnhof Westend 1988) the artists of Moscow Conceptualism were shown together with the young German artists. It was the beginning of a new stage in the development of artistic connections in Germany and Russia.
Since 1988 the collective exhibitions of contemporary Russian art in various exhibition venues in Germany became regular. In this report the major art exhibitions held in different cities of Germany during the period will be considered, among them “The museum MANI — 40 Moscow Artists” (Frankfurt, exhibition hall Karmelitenkloster, 1991), “Soviet art circa 1990” (DÜsseldorf, Städtische Kunsthalle DÜsseldorf, 1991), “Fluchtpunkt Moskau” (Aachen, Ludwig Fonim, 1994) “Polet.Uhod.Ischeznovenie — Moscow Conceptual Art” (Berlin, 1995), “Kunst im verborgenen. Russian nonconformists 1957–1995” (Ludwigshafen, Wilhelm-Hack Museum, 1995).
On the basis of the exhibition catalogs, memories of the artists, press mentions the author analyzes the concept of the exhibitions. In conclusion the author analyzes the process of integration of the Russian contemporary art in the context of the German art scene and it’s perception abroad in the early ’90s.