Victor Tupitsyn and Margarita Tupitsyn Archive

In 2018, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art acquired the archive of Victor Tupitsyn and Margarita Tupitsyn, curators, critics, and art theorists currently based in New York and Paris.

Victor Tupitsyn and Margarita Tupitsyn have published numerous books, articles, and catalogues examining various aspects of the Soviet avant-garde and unofficial art. They have curated large-scale exhibitions on these fields in major institutions, including Tate Modern (London), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), and the Reina Sofia Museum (Madrid). In 1989, they co-edited the Russian-language issue of Flash Art magazine. It was largely due to the Tupitsyns’ efforts that Soviet nonconformist art entered the academic curriculum and was covered in scholarly publications.

The archive contains documents on the history of Soviet nonofficial art and poetry, spanning the period from the late 1950s to the late 1990s. It includes extensive documentation of performance art by the group Collective Actions, of MANI (Moscow Archive of New Art), and the legendary co-op gallery APTART, run in Nikita Alexeev's Moscow apartment from 1982 to 1984. The archive also features photographic and documentary materials related to many conceptual and Sots artists, including Yuri Albert, Sergei Anufriev, Erik Bulatov, Elena Elagina, Ilya Kabakov, Komar and Melamid, Andrei Monastyrsky, Igor Makarevich, Irina Nakhova, Timur Novikov, Larisa Rezun-Zvezdochotova, Leonid Sokov, and many artists who emerged during perestroika. Records of oral and transcribed conversations, along with extensive correspondence with artists, form a unique historical record of Soviet unofficial art history that would otherwise be missing. Another important part of the archive is a visual record of Margarita Tupitsyn’s historical and contemporary art exhibitions, organized in Europe and the USA from the 1980s to the 2000s.

The archive also includes the Tupitsyns’ library of Soviet art books, catalogues, and magazines, including those by the Tupitsyns. As part of Garage Library, this collection is now publicly accessible.

Victor Tupitsyn (b.1945, Moscow) is a poet, philosopher, art critic, and cultural theorist living in Paris and New York. He graduated from the Mathematics Department of Moscow State University (1965). In 1975, Tupitsyn emigrated from the Soviet Union together with his wife, Maragrita Tupitsyn, following political complications caused by their participation in the 1974 Bulldozer Exhibition. He received his PhD in mathematics from the University of New York at Stony Brook in 1976. Tupitsyn’s publications include The Other of Art (1997), Communal (Post)Modernism (1998), Verbal Photography: Ilya Kabakov, Boris Mikhailov, and the Moscow Archive of New Art (co-authored with Margarita Tupitsyn, 2004), The Eyeball of Discord: Conversations with Ilya Kabakov (2006), Moscow – New York (co-authored with Margarita Tupitsyn, 2006), The Milieu (2013), Anti-Shows: APTART, 198284 (2017), The Critique of Systemic Reason (2018), and Dark Museum (2019). In 1989, Tupitsyn co-edited the Russian issue of Flash Art and in 2003 edited a special issue of Third Text. He has written art criticism for Flash Art, Arts Magazine, and Art Journal (USA); Parachute (Canada); Neue Bildende Kunst, Lettre International, and Texte zur Kunst (Germany); D'Ars and Tema Celeste (Italy); Parallax and Third Text (UK); A–YA (France); and Moscow Art Magazine and Logos (Russia).

Margarita Tupitsyn is an independent curator, scholar, and art critic living in Paris and New York. In 1975, she emigrated from the USSR together with husband Victor Tupitsyn following political complications caused by their involvement in the 1974 Bulldozer Exhibition. Tupitsyn received her PhD in the history of art from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. From 1981 to 1983 she was curator of the Contemporary Russian Art Center of America in New York, where she organized the first exhibitions of Moscow Conceptualism and Sots Art, including Russian New Wave. She was on the editorial board of the journal A-Ya (France). Her many exhibitions include: Sots Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1986); The Green Show, Exit Art, New York (1989); Between Spring and Summer: Soviet Conceptual Art in the Era of Late Communism, Tacoma Art Museum (1990); After Perestroika: Kitchenmaids or Stateswomen, Centre International d'Art Contemporain de Montreal (1993); Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s–1980s (co-curated), Queens Museum of Art, New York (1999); El Lissitzky: Beyond the Abstract Cabinet, Sprengel Museum, Hanover (1999); Verbal Photography: Ilya Kabakov, Boris Mikhailov, and the Moscow Archive of New Art (co-curated), Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Serralves, Porto (2004); Against Kandinsky, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich (2006); Rodchenko and Popova: Defining Constructivism, Tate Modern, London (2009); and Russian Dada, 1914–1924 at Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid. In 2015, Tupitsyn curated the Russian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. She is the author of numerous books and catalogues, including Margins of Soviet Art: Socialist Realism to the Present (Milan: Politi Editore, 1989), The Soviet Photograph (Yale University Press, 1996), Moscow Vanguard Art, 1922–1992 (Yale University Press, 2017), and Anti-Shows: APTART 1982–1984 (co-authored with Victor Tupitsyn, Afterall, 2017). She has written art criticism for Flash Art, Artforum, Art Journal, and Art in America.

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