Leonid Bazhanov Collection

The Archive

Leonid Bazhanov is a Russian art critic, artistic director of the National Center for Contemporary Arts (1994–2016). The archival collection, transferred to the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in 2022, includes documents from three organizations, created by Leonid Bazhanov in the 1980s and 1990s — the Hermitage Amateur Association, the Center for Artistic Culture and the Center for Contemporary Art on Yakimanka.

“Hermitage”, the first official amateur association of artists of the Soviet underground, was registered in 1986 and existed until the beginning of 1988. During this time, the association has held more than ten exhibitions. Among them are group shows “Modern Art Culture”, “Dwelling”, “Retrospection”, etc., personal displays of works by Ivan Chuikov, Eduard Steinberg, Pavel Saltzman, etc. The members of the association considered their activities as a practical laboratory that overcomes shop boundaries. The archive contains documents on the organizational activities of the association, materials for the exhibitions` preparation, correspondence with various official institutions, photographs, articles about exhibitions and about the association.

The Center of Artistic Culture (CAC) was founded on November 18, 1988 under the auspices of the Soviet Committee for the Protection of Peace and the club “Travels in Defense of Peace and Nature”. CAC continued and developed the creative activity of the amateur association “Hermitage”. The coordination council of the Center included such well‑known art historians as Evgeny Barabanov, Marina Bessonova, Dmitry Sarabyanov, etc. Initially, it was planned to open the CAC by the USSR Union of Cinematographers or the Correspondence People's University of Arts, as it could evidenced by the letters and regulations preserved in the archive. The archive also contains documents of a few exhibitions that were realized in the late 1980s.

The Yakimanka Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) was opened in 1990, its activities were led by a coordinating council, which included well‑known art historians, art critics, artists and architects. Alexander Chekmarev became the director of the association, and Leonid Bazhanov became the artistic director, and then he was replaced by Viktor Misiano in 1993. Several galleries were founded by the CCA and worked on its territory. According to the organizers, each gallery should have had its own specialization: photography (the “School” gallery), video art (the “TV” gallery), naive art (the “Gift"gallery), figurative painting (the “20” gallery), abstract painting (the “Hermitage” gallery), etc. Documents of this part of the archive can be divided into two large groups: materials on administrative issues and materials of creative projects of galleries that were part of the CCA. A significant part of the documents are newspaper and magazine reviews of exhibitions, performances and art events, photographs, catalogs, invitations, press releases, leaflets, postcards, posters, many of them with autographs of artists and curators.

About the author

Leonid Aleksandrovich Bazhanov (born 1945, Moscow) is an art critic and curator, a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), the Russian Academy of Arts, the Association of Art Critics (Russia), an Honored Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation, a laureate of the “Innovation” State Prize in the field of contemporary art for his contribution to the contemporary art development. He graduated from the Department of Art History of the Faculty of History of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and went on to work in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the Kremlin Museums, the board of the Union of Artists of the USSR, Moscow Central Exhibition Hall (the Manege), and the publisher Sovetskii khudozhnik (Soviet Artist). He made paintings and was a participant and organizer of unofficial exhibitions in Moscow, as well as filming documentaries. In the late 1980s he founded a number of art organizations: the amateur Hermitage Association, the Center for Artistic Culture, and the Center for Contemporary Art on Yakimanka. Bazhanov participated in the creation and work of other art institutions, headed the fine arts committee of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, and was artistic director of the National Center for Contemporary Arts. He is also the author of essays on the history, theory, and practice of contemporary art in Russia and abroad. He lives and works in Moscow.

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Smolensk Archive: A Different Local History, Russia

  • The Collection of Smolensk Archive: A Different Local History

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia

  • Nikolai Nasedkin archive
  • Documents of Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Projects
  • Documents of the Siberian branch of Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts projects
  • Leonid Bazhanov Collection

Tikhaya Studio, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

  • Tikhaya Studio Archive

Victoria Gallery, Samara, Russia

  • Victoria gallery archive

Yeltsin Center

  • Marina Sokolovskaya Archive

Centre for Culture CC19

  • Centre for Culture CC19 Archive

Nizhniy Tagil State Museum of Fine Arts

  • Nizhny Tagil Museum of Fine Arts Archive
  • Nizhny Tagil Artists’ Foundation

Togliatti Museum of Fine Art, Russia

  • Togliatti Museum of Fine Arts archive

Museum of contemporary art PERMM

  • Museum of contemporary art “PERMM” foundation

Archive of Contemporary Art in Krasnodar Krai

  • Archive of Contemporary Art in Krasnodar Krai
  • Sochi Art Scene Archive

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Russia

  • Alexander Kamensky archive
  • Alexei Shchusev archive (The Archive of the All‑Russia Agricultural and Artisanal Industrial Exhibition)
  • Andrei Erofeev archive
  • The archive of Artem Loskutov and the action Monstration
  • Georgy Kursanov Achive
  • Margarita Masterkova‑Tupitsynа and Viktor Agamov‑Tupitsyn archive
  • Muza Yegorova (Yegorova‑Troitskaya) archive
  • Serge Sédrac archive
  • Tatiana Volkova archive
  • Francisco Infante‑Arana Archive
  • Art Activism archive
  • Archive of the New Drama movement (1990–2010s)
  • Open Systems project
  • Archive of Prewar Soviet Periodical Literature About Japanese Contemporary Art
  • Garage Video Documentation
  • Garage Museum of Contemporary Art institutional archive
  • Garage Interviews
  • Sergei Gordeev Book Collection
  • L Gallery archive
  • Art Projects Foundation archive
  • Andrei Khlobystin archive
  • Vadim Zakharov archive
  • Viktor Pivovarov archive
  • Vladislav Mamyshev‑Monroe archive
  • Vyacheslav Kuristyn library
  • George Kiesewalter archive
  • Elena Kovylina archive
  • Igor Makarevich archive
  • Igor Palmin archive
  • Joseph Backstein archive
  • Irina Aktuganova and Sergey Busov archive
  • Leonid Talochkin archive
  • Mikhail Nazarov archive
  • Garage Museum of Contemporary Art archive
  • Nina Zaretskaya (TV Gallery) archive
  • Sergey Chubraev archive
  • Stanislav Savitski archive
  • Garage Center for Contemporary Culture
  • Moscow Pallete Gallery archive
  • Shkola Gallery archive
  • Street art archive
  • Trips Out of Town archive and MANI Buchgalterium Anthology
  • Moscow Art Magazine archive
  • Boris Sveshnikov Archive
  • Vasily Sitnikov archive
  • Vladimir Nemukhin Archive
  • Vladimir Supik Archive
  • Ivan Sotnikov Archive
  • Igor Mukhin Archive
  • Igor Pyatkin archive
  • Lena Popova Archive
  • Lyalya Kuznetsova Archive
  • Olga Danilkina archive
  • Archive of Sergey Borisov
  • Sofya Adlivankina Archive
  • Meyerhold Center Archive
  • Archive of Evgenii Garkusha’s project I Am Not An Artist
  • Andrei Monastyrski's video diary
  • Inclusive Practices in Culture
  • Artist's book. Thematic selection of the Garage Museum
  • Anthologies of the Moscow Archive of New Art (MANI)
  • XL Gallery archive
  • Galeev Gallery Archive
  • Vlad Chizhenkov archive
  • Gennady Prikhodko collection
  • Lyubov Gurevich Archive
  • Margarita Gromova archive
  • Natalia Ovsyannikova Archive
  • Natalia Samkova archive
  • Oleg Karavaichuk Archive
  • Navicula Artis Gallery Archive
  • Aidan Gallery archive
  • Factory of Found Clothes Group/FFC archive

The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, USA

  • Moscow Archive of New Art

The Research Centre for East European Studies (Forschungsstelle Osteuropa), Germany

  • Boris Groys and Natalya Nikitina archive
  • Igor Golomshtok archive

Contemporary Art of Yakutia Archive

  • Contemporary Art of Yakutia Archive
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