Evgenij Kozlov

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Evgenij Kozlov.jpg
Evgenij Kozlov. Photo by Hannelore Fobo, 1998
Born Evgenij Kozlov
Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, Russia
Education Public high school No. 190 attached to The Saint Petersburg Art and Industry Academy (formerly Vera Mukhina Institute)
Known for Painting, drawing, printmaking
Movement Chaose Art

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov (Russian: (E-E) Евгений Козло́в, tr. (Ye-Ye) Yevgueni Kozlov, IPA: [jɪvˈɡʲenʲɪj) is a Russian artist living in Berlin. Known chiefly as a founder member of the influential art group "New Artists" (Leningrad, 1982—1989), he works under the artist’s name of E-E which has been his sole signature since 2005.


In 1978 Kozlov joined the art group "Letopis" and then, in 1982 became one of the first members of the "New Artists",[1] founded by Timur Novikov who, like Kozlov, had also been a member of "Letopis".[2] He was a regular participator in the "New Artists" exhibitions, firstly in Leningrad and then later, at the end of the 1980s, internationally (US,[3][4] Sweden,[5] England,[6] Finland, Hungary, etc.). He had his first solo exhibition at Timur Novikov’s studio / gallery “ASSA”.[7] The art critic and curator Ekaterina Andreeva points to the influence of his artistic approach on Timur Novikov: “He [Timur Novikov] departed from ‘wildness’ under the influence of Kozlov’s strict style“.[8]

In the 1980s he used to take pictures of his friends and close acquaintances as part of his artistic work. Many of them now represent the second Russian avant-garde in art and music: Georgy Gurianov, Oleg Kotelnikov, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, Timur Novikov, musicians Sergey Kuryokhin, Viktor Tsoi, the ‘New Composers’ Valery Alakhov and Igor Verichev among others. To an extent the camera was for Kozlov the same as a sketchbook for artists of the past in so much as it captured and preserved a moment of inner life for future interpretation.

These pictures, which the author used for paintings, graphic works and collages, are today not only of an intrinsic artistic value, but also, with their coverage of celebrities and events, a rich documentation of artistic life in Leningrad in the 1980s. They have appeared as catalogue covers[9] or in books, magazines[10] and been posters for various exhibitions.

Oleg Kotelnikov, Inal Savchenkov, Georgy Gurianov, Timur Novikov, Sergei Bugaev, Igor Verichev, Valerij Alakhov (from L-R). Photograph: Evgenij Kozlov, 1980th, coloured by Georgy Gurianov.

His studio “Russkoee Polee” (“The Russian Field”, 1989–1991) at No. 145 Fontanka River Embankment was a meeting place for artists, curators and gallerists.[11] In 1990 the Austrian performance artist Wolfgang Flatz teamed up with Evgenij Kozlov for a body- painting session.;[12] this was filmed for the public by ZDF, the German TV channel.[13] That same year he saw the Berlin curator Hannelore Fobo visiting his studio whereafter the artist settled in Berlin and later married her.[14]

One of Kozlov’s first exhibitions in Germany was “Der Weg der ockerfarbenen Elefanten“ (“The Path Of The Ocre Elephants“) at Kampnagel, Hamburg, in 1991. It was coproduced with the Centre Culturel, Cherbourg where it was shown the same year as “Le Passage des éléphants ocres“. Kozlov’s works included three large paintings from his series “New Classicism“ (“Новая классика”) which were characterized in an art journal as “self-contained and yet irritating to such a degree that they would hold their own in any exhibition.” [15]

In 1994, with support by the OTIS company, Hannelore Fobo and Evgenij Kozlov opened “RUSSKOEE POLEE 2” in Berlin; the studio, a 400 m2 factory space, ran until 2008. The generous dimensions of his studio allowed the artist to develop large projects, such as “Miniatures In Paradise”, 1995, an exhibition at the Siegessäule (Berlin Victory Column) with motives of angels as well as the cities of St. Petersburg and Berlin. Sixteen “miniatures”, original paintings on fabric in a 5 x 2 m format similar to gonfalons, were hoisted on flagpoles around the Großer Stern on June 15, 1995.[16][17] The exhibition had to be closed after four of the “miniatures” were stolen.[18] During its fourteen years of existence, “RUSSKOEE POLEE 2” played a prominent role on Berlin's cultural landscape. Not only were there solo exhibitions of which Kozlov was one of the artists but it was also a hub for a variety of concerts and fashion shows.[19][20] The focus of “RUSSKOEE POLEE 2” was on Russian artists but this was not an exclusive policy. In Berlin Kozlov has continued to enlarge his collection “2x3m” which focuses on works of contemporary Russian artists in this very format.

In 1998 the artist was commissioned by the Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin (state parliament of Berlin) to create a portrait of Mikhail Gorbachev for its Gallery of Honorary Citizens.[21] In 1999 he was the artistic director of a project dedicated to ten years of the Fall of the Berlin wall. ‘Chocolate Wall’ was organised by the Italian Festival Eurochocolate, Perugia and took place in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin where under Kozlov’s guidance school children painted freely on the chocolate wall. This wall had been built up by Italian pastry chefs; twelve metres long and eight tons in weight it was of course, like its inspiration, also destroyed.[22]

2003 saw the release of his book The Leningrad Album – a selection of 108 erotic drawings from the remaining 256 which had been executed in his youth.[23] A year later the book was given to the curators of the 4th Berlin Biennale Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick, which led them, in 2007, to publish several of the drawings in their book Charley 05, thus including Evgenij Kozlov into the list of 100 “great solitary masters”.[24]

The drawings made a profound impact on Massimiliano Gioni who selected 150 of them for the exhibition “Ostalgia” at the New Museum, New York in 2011 where they were considered to be “a cornerstone of the exhibition”.[25] After having been appointed curator of the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), he decided to make them part of the main exhibition entitled “The Encyclopedic Palace”.[26][27] The drawings roused intense interest from the public, and the entire stock was sold out in the gallery shop within the first two days.[28]

In 2008 Kozlov began his large cycle “Century XX”, which is a dedication to the last century.[29] To date, the series consists of more than 450 original graphic works and the same number of so-called “light boxes” which are also drawings but carried out on semi transparent paper.

Artistic views[edit]

In 2009 Evgenij Kozlov defined a main trend in contemporary art in the 20th century which has now become universal as “Chaose art” and to which he associates part of his own work. A work is considered “Chaose art” if it is generated through assemblage and montage, without a sketch or outline, without a prior meaning; the artist creates and introduces meaning in the process of creation, whilst simultaneously searching for a new harmony. Kozlov sees this tendency best represented by Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Joan Miró, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sigmar Polke, Neo Rauch. The term “chaose” is pronounced like “house”, as it combines “chaos” as “meaning before its emergence” with the “e” of “house” as in house music. The letter “e” therefore stands for the rhythm of this art, since "Chaose Art" evokes an inner movement for both the artist and the viewer. This inner movement leads to a perception of depth and freedom and ultimately on to an awareness of knowledge and confidence in chaos.[29][30]

Exhibitions (selected)[edit]

  • 1984: АССА-Е-Е, The ASSA Gallery, Leningrad
  • 1988: The New from Leningrad, Kulturhuset, Stockholm
  • 1991: Leninskaya Erotika, Raab Galerie, Berlin
  • 1991: Der Weg der ockerfarbenen Elefanten, Internationales Sommertheater Festival, Kampnagel, Hamburg / Le passage des éléphants ocres, Musée du Théâtre de Cherbourg
  • 1995: Miniatures in Paradise, Siegessäule, Berlin
  • 1995: Absolute carte blanche, Forum Kunst Rottweil
  • 2000: Е-Е (cult heroes of the 80s), Petersburg archive and library of independent art, Pushkin street 10, St. Petersburg
  • 2005: Transcontinental Nomadenoase, Art Basel Miami Beach
  • 2007: The Raw, The Cooked, the Packaged, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki
  • 2011: Ostalgia, New Museum, New York
  • 2012: No barriers. Russian Art 1985 - 2000, The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
  • 2013: Il Palazzo Enciclopedico, la Biennale di Venezia
  • 2013: ASSA. The Last Generation of the Leningrad Avant-garde., The Russian Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Saint-Petersburg
  • 2013: Blue Velvet – Works from the Matti Koivurinta Foundation Art Collection, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Turku, Finland
  • 2015: E-E=mc3, Hannah Barry Gallery, London
  • 2016: E-E WEIGHT. SLEEP, Egbert Baqué Contemporary, Berlin
  • 2016: Notes from the Underground, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland


External links[edit]


  1. ^ I. Potapov (Timur Novikov) (1986), "Novye xudožniki", in E. Anreeva and E. Kolovskaja, Novye xudožniki 1982–1987: Anthology (in Russian), St. Petersburg, 1996, p. 85 
  2. ^ Timur Novikov (March 2002), "Novye xudožniki. Lectures" (PDF), (in Russian), Lecture in PRO ARTE Institute, p. 2, retrieved 2014-02-28  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Zan Dubin (28 January 1988), "'Red Wave' Exhibit--From Rockers With Love: Joanna Stingray Hopes Art Will Show a Different Side of Soviets", Los Angeles Times, retrieved 2014-02-28 
  4. ^ Robyn Taylor (18 March 1989), "Leningrad Art to Show at Sawtelle Gallery", Los Angeles Times, retrieved 2014-02-28 
  5. ^ Sissi Nilsson; et al. (1988). De nya från Leningrad: Novye chudožniki : [konstutställning med nya konstnärer, Kulturhuset, Löpsedeln 27 augusti-15 september 1988] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Stockholm : Konstavd., Stockholms kulturförvaltning. 
  6. ^ Tate Liverpool (1989). "Centre of the Creative Universe: Liverpool and the Avant-Garde: Timeline. Bluecoat Arts Centre and ARK Records present Pop Mechanica: Perestroika in the Avant-Garde, bringing Soviet musicians and artists to Liverpool for a series of events". Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  7. ^ Ksenia Novikova, "Chronicle", in Moscow Museum of Modern Art, The New Artists. catalogue, Moscow, 2012: Maier, p. 272, ISBN 978-5-91611-049-4 
  8. ^ Ekaterina Andreeva, "A New Wave Classical Aesthetics: the Paintings and Graphic Art of the New Artists", in Moscow Museum of Modern Art, The New Artists. catalogue, Moscow, 2012: Maier, p. 44, ISBN 978-5-91611-049-4 
  9. ^ Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2012). The New Artists. catalogue. Moscow: Maier. ISBN 978-5-91611-049-4. 
  10. ^ Rolling Stone Russia, May 2010, p. 70
  11. ^ Yuris Lesnik (Director) (1989). FONTANKА 145 (Guests in Evgenij Kozlov’s studio "Russkoee Polee") (video). Leningrad. 
  12. ^ Victoria Belikova (4 August 2012). "Die schöpferische Welt verstehen" (in German). globe-M.de. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  13. ^ Aspekte (Fragment of a broadcast about Fontanka 145) (Television production). Leningrad: ZDF. 1989. 
  14. ^ Andrey Khlobystin (20 August 2013), "Еvgenij Kozlov. The Sensation of the Venice Biennalе", Sobaka.ru (in Russian), retrieved 2014-02-28 
  15. ^ Rainer Unruh (1991), "Der Weg der ockerfarbenen Elefanten", in KUNSTFORUM International, 115, Moscow, 2012: Maier, p. 335  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Ingrid Molnar (Director) (1995). Miniatures in Paradise (documentary, English subtitles). Berlin. 
  17. ^ Miniatures in Paradise [a paradigm]. A documentary film of the discussion about Russian-German symbols in Evgenij Kozlov's art (documentary, English subtitles). Berlin. 1995. 
  18. ^ "Flaggen gestohlen – Ausstellung beendet", Der Tagesspiegel, 30 June 1995 
  19. ^ "Russkoee Polee – studio Evgenij Kozlov". Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  20. ^ Stephen Kinzler, (17 January 1995), "Russian Artists flocking to Berlin", The New York Times, retrieved 2014-02-28 
  21. ^ Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin (1989). "Honorary citizens of BerlinBerlin. Michael Sergejewitsch Gorbatschow. 103rd honorary citizen" (in German). Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  22. ^ puz, (7 October 1999), "Eine Mauer zum Reinbeißen (Engl. A wall to bite at)", Berliner Zeitung (in German), retrieved 2014-02-28 
  23. ^ Evgenij Kozlov (2003). Das Leningrader Album. Tübingen: Konkursbuch Verlag Claudia Gehrke. ISBN 3887693159. 
  24. ^ Maurizio Cattelan; Massimiliano Gioni; Ali Subotnick (2005). Charley 05. Greece: Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art. ISBN 9781933045672. 
  25. ^ Massimiliano Gioni on Evgenij Kozlov’s Leningrad Album (2011). An interview during the exhibition "Ostalgia" (video). New York. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  26. ^ Biennale di Venezia (2013). "List of artists at the main exhibition of the 55th Venice Biennale "The Encyclopedic Palace"". Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  27. ^ Hannelore Fobo (curator of Evgenij Kozlov's participation) (2013). An interview at the 55th International Art Exhibition, "The Encyclopedic Palace" (video). Venice: Biennale di Venezia. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  28. ^ Anna Matveeva (10 June 2013), "Еvgenij Kozlov: The essential point of art is to express spiritual matters", ARTGUIDE (in Russian), retrieved 2014-02-28 
  29. ^ a b Olga Shtirkina (20 July 2012), "Viewpoint. An interview with artist Evgenij Kozlov", 007-berlin (in Russian), retrieved 2014-02-28 
  30. ^ Ekaterina Andreeva, "A New Wave Classical Aesthetics: the Paintings and Graphic Art of the New Artists", in Ekaterina Anreeva, Moscow Museum of Modern Art. The New Artists. catalogue, Moscow, 2012: Maier, pp. 40–41, ISBN 978-5-91611-049-4