new-york

Komar and Melamid

Ronald Feldman Gallery

It’s all very Russian. The work for which Komar and Melamid became famous was about the frightening absurdity of the Soviet system, and was directed toward the dismantling of that system. Now that the system has been dismantled, Komar and Melamid are the kings of nostalgia, ardent for the very sorrows that once gave them a claim to tragedy. Like all victims of child abuse, Russians are paralyzed by the loss of the abusive parent—not simply because that abusive parent defined their lives, but also because (nature is perverse) they loved that parent with a depth of emotion obscure to nationals of more genial and less controlling lands. Komar and Melamid’s recent work is an attempt to articulate their grief; though it is presented in ironic, humorous, and often cynical language, it is in fact at least as tragic as the ironic, humorous, and often cynical work they made in protest against the

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