press release

Calvert 22, in collaboration with the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, Moscow, presents the UK's first major survey of the highly influential Moscow Conceptual School; a title used to define a group of 'unofficial' artists, united by a distinctive artistic discourse and operating within a significant and complex period of latter 20th century Russian history.

Field of Action. The Moscow Conceptual School in Context presents specially selected artworks across a range of media, drawn mainly from the 1970s and '80s, and framed within an exhibition context that aims to better illuminate the principles and practice of the movement. The works are drawn from an original exhibition (of the same title), presented at the Ekaterina Foundation in Moscow at the end of 2010 and selected for Calvert 22 by Elena Kuprina-Lyakhovich and Alexandra Danilova, curators of the Moscow presentation, along with UK independent curator, David Thorp.

The Moscow Conceptualists were most active during the 1970s and 1980s, the two decades on which this exhibition focuses. Operating in the spirit of a freely organised community, artists gathered informally in studios and homes. Their aesthetic developed organically, uniquely reflecting the broader social changes of the period. The result was a bold disassociation from state sponsored art: a form born out of the artistic experimentation and avant-garde activity already taking shape in unofficial Russian art where emphasis was placed on the intellectual rather than the aesthetic. Integral to the Moscow Conceptualists' practice was a shared ethos shaped by Moscow itself: a place where old and new, official and covert coexisted. Moreover, it offered them access to contraband western culture, which was an important influencing factor in the movement's development.

Field of Action comprises over 70 works and will feature painting, sculpture, work on paper, installation, video projection as well as archive material including photographic documentation of performance works. The exhibition includes seminal works from the period including Finger by Andrei Monastryski, Cans by Dmitry Prigov and documentation of Collective Actions group celebrated performances. The exhibition also features rarely exhibited work by Ilya Kabakov, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid as well as more recent works by Andrei Filippov, which convey the ongoing activity, legacy and influence of the school.

Calvert 22 Strategic Partner: VTB Capital

For details of accompanying talks and screenings, please visit

Venue Information:

CALVERT22 is the UK's only not-for-profit foundation dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art and Culture from Russia. With a rich programme of exhibitions featuring both emergent and established contemporary artists as well as a range of contextual events, performances and activities, Calvert 22 aims to interrogate existing preconceptions about the art and culture of these regions and propose new possibilities for cross-cultural understanding and exchange.

only in german

Field of Action
The Moscow Conceptual School in Context
A special adaptation for Calvert 22

Künstler: Ilya Kabakov, Erik Bulatov, Viktor Pivovarov, Andrei Monastyrsky, Dmitry Prigov, Vitaly Komar, Alexander Melamid, Lev Rubinstein, Maria Konstantinova, Yuri Albert, Vadim Zakharov, Maria Chuikova, Andrei Filippov ...