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Benezit: Letter from the Editor

Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian, and Estonian Art

The Benezit Dictionary of Artists is pleased to present a group of 36 new and over 90 significantly updated articles on Russian artists as well as 39 new biographies of Ukrainian, Latvian, and Estonian artists. These individual essays survey a wide range of styles and movements and characterize the key features of each artist’s work. This update will be published to Oxford Art Online in two parts, with the second group of articles appearing in Spring 2016.

The extensive revisions cover Russian art of the 18th-20th centuries and contain a great deal of new scholarly information about such diverse Russian artists as Ivan Nikitin, Dmitry Levitsky, Semen Shchedrin, Konstantin Makovsky, Vassily Surikov, Isaak Levitan, and Leon Bakst. The most important additions are also updates to various Russian artists’ bibliographies and auction records.

The present update also includes well-deserved coverage of nonconformist art from the former Soviet Union, reflecting its complexity and diversity, and featuring biographies of such artists as Mikhail Shvartsman, Leonid Lamm, Igor Makarevich, Rimma Gerlovina, Valentyn Khrushch, Toomas Vint, Raul Meel, Ilmãrs Blumbergs, and Valdis Celms. With this update we are particularly pleased to introduce many post-Soviet contemporary artists, currently working in Russia, Ukraine and the Baltics. These artists include Alexander Brodsky, Dmitry Gutov, Irina Korina, and Andrei Molodkin (Russia); Oleg Golosiy, Oleg Tistol, and Mykola Matsenko (Ukraine); Miervaldis Polis and FranĨeska Kirke (Latvia).

The focus of Western art history has been overwhelmingly on Russian art while very few serious English-language studies were dedicated to the art of the former republics of the Soviet Union, including Ukraine, Latvia, and Estonia. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, these former republics became independent, sovereign states. Professor Mark Svede, Dr. Jeremy Canwell, and Olena Martynyuk took on the enormous task of compiling biographies of some significant, but lesser known to a western audience Latvian, Ukrainian, and Estonian artists. Representing the many facets of artistic production in Latvia, Estonia, and Ukraine during the 20th-21st centuries, these articles may also serve as a good introduction to the history and culture of these regions.

I would like to thank all the senior scholars and emerging young scholars who have contributed to this update and brought their specialized expertise to this immense project. All biographical essays published in this update combine readability with meticulous scholarship. I would like to express my special gratitude to Professor John E. Bowlt, generally recognized as the world’s leading expert in the field, for his valuable contribution to this project.

Alla Rosenfeld, Ph.D,
Adjunct Professor
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

John E. Bowlt (University of Southern California)
Jeremy Canwell (Rutgers University)
Aglaya Glebova (UC Irvine)
Louise Hardiman (University of Cambridge)
Nicky Kozicharow (University of Cambridge)
Galina Mardilovich (University of Cambridge)
Olena Martynyuk (Rutgers University)
Cristina Morandi (Rutgers University)
Ksenia Nouril (Rutgers University)
Anna Rogulina (Rutgers University)
Margaret Samu (Stern College for Women)

Read the previous letters from the editor:
August 2015
September 2014
December 2013
October 2012
October 2011

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