Moscow Vanguard Art tells the story of how several generations of artists conceived and advanced counter-official culture without institutional or economic support. Margarita Tupitsyn will survey the final battles of the historical avant-garde and discuss the political function of abstraction and the critical thinking of the 1940s and 1950s. She will examine major movements such as sots art, apt art, anti-urban conceptualism, and the practice of studio installations. Special attention will be given to the theories of the Moscow conceptual circle and to the close analysis of this circle’s seminal works. The book will end with an evaluation of the Moscovites’ activities in the New York art world before and during perestroika.
Margarita Tupitsyn is an independent curator, critic, and art historian. Born in Moscow, she moved to the United States in 1975 and received her PhD in art history from the CUNY Graduate Center. In 1981, she curated Russian New Wave, the first exhibition of Moscow conceptual art in New York, and in 1986, she organized Sots Art for the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. During perestroika, Tupitsyn published Margins of Soviet Art: Socialist Realism to the Present (Giancarlo Politi Editore, 1992), organized several major exhibitions of Moscow conceptual art, including Between Spring and Summer: Soviet Conceptual Art in the Era of Late Communism (ICA, Boston, 1990), and The Green Show (Exit Art, New York, 1990), and co-curated Global Conceptualism at the Queens Museum (1999). Tupitsyn was the first to exhibit face-to-face Western and Moscow neo avant-gardes in such exhibitions as Malevich and Film (2004) and Against Kandinsky (2006). In 2009 she curated Rodchenko and Popova: Defining Constructivismfor Tate Modern. Her articles have appeared in many publications, including Art in America, Art Journal, and Artforum.