new-york

“Russian Samizdat Art 1960–1982”

Franklin Furnace

Samizdat means “self-published” in the Soviet Union, and Samizdat art consists mainly of books and magazines published and distributed by the same artists and/or poets who made them. This exhibition, showing over a hundred works by about thirty artists, was curated and designed by artists Rimma and Valery Gerlovin; it successfully revealed the strikingly intellectual, imaginative, and serious, but simultaneously playful, character of this important and vital expression of contemporary Russian art.

It is helpful to consider this material in the peculiar publishing context of the Soviet Union. The government, after all, is the official publisher there. And Samizdat art offers an excitingly free, individualistic, and, oh yes, elitist alternative to the mass-produced, uniform, government-sanctioned run of publications. Samizdat art has sources in the innovative books and magazines turned out

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 1982 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.