Reconstructing the Soviet Canon: Strategies for Collecting under Perestroika

Marina Maximova


In 1987 the Moscow art scene became preoccupied with the idea of establishing a museum of contemporary art. As Leonid Talochkin, an active member of Moscow alternative artistic life, collector and archivist mentioned in his letter to one of his émigré artist-friends “everyone seemed to have gone mad with all this museum business” and “various proposals were put forward almost daily”. The article investigates these debates by analysing four museum strategies developed by various art practitioners and different criteria on the basis of which a new canon for collecting contemporary art was to be established. It suggests regarding those proposals in the contexts of social and political restructuring and openness introduced by Gorbachev’s liberalisation.


Art collecting, perestroika, museum studies

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Copyright (c) 2019 Marina Maximova

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