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Unofficial Art of the USSR in the years of 'Perestroika': Leningrad Art Underground

Student: Kristina Gavrilova

Supervisor: Jeanne Kormina

Faculty: School of Arts and Humanities

Educational Programme: History (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2019

Unofficial art (other art, underground art) in the Soviet Union have been always existed in a parallel to official art from the early 1950s to the beginning of perestroika in 1985. In recent years there has been a growing interest among scholars towards the phenomenon of unofficial art of the USSR. However, there is a lack of studies that examine official and unofficial art of Leningrad in the 1980s. The current study examines the phenomenon of the Leningrad unofficial art in the 1980s using the example of the art group “New Artists” (Novye hudozhniki). This paper focuses on the activities of the underground art group during perestroika and based on memories, lecturers and personal materials of the participants of the community as well as published interviews. Trough the analysis of these sources, the research will show the features of unofficial art in Leningrad in the late 1980s. Overall, the main aim of the study is to show how the line between official and unofficial was drawn in Leningrad during last years of the Soviet Union.

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