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M. N. Sokolov

(Iosifovich)

(b Dnepropetrovsk [now Dnipropetrivs’k], Sept 30, 1933).

Russian graphic, conceptual, and installation artist of Ukrainian birth. In 1957 he graduated from Surikov Art Institute in Moscow, where he specialized as an illustrator. Many years of producing artwork for children’s literature, for the Moscow Detskaya Literatura and Malysh publishing houses and the magazines Murzilka and Vesyolyye kartinki, partly shaped his slyly ironic graphic style; working as an illustrator was his only means of earning a living when avant-garde experimentation was officially banned. After experimenting with Abstract Expressionism and an absurd neo-Surrealist grotesque style, in 1970–78 he produced distinctive albums that, through a subtle interplay of visual and verbal elements, reveal disturbing existential contradictions. Best known is the album Okno (‘The window’), published in 1985 in Berne. Since 1978 Kabakov’s art has become more conceptual and he has created what he calls zhek picture displays (from the acronym ZhEK, referring to housing management), which parody wall newspapers and Soviet posters. These works are typical of ...

Article

Jasmina Tumbas

(b Sümeg, Hungary, Nov 5, 1937).

Hungarian painter, author of artist books, filmmaker, mail artist, conceptual and action artist, and participant in the Fluxus movement. Tót began his studies at the Hungarian Art Academy in 1958, but was forced out of the program because his artworks diverged from Socialist Realism, which was institutionalized in socialist Hungary at the time. He continued his studies at the Budapest College of Applied Arts from 1959–65, and soon distinguished himself with his informel and abstract expressionist painting style. In the late 1960s Tót began to exhibit with the Hungarian experimental group Iparterv (1968–69). By 1970, he abandoned painting and pronounced that his work had arrived at a ‘ZERO (0)’ point, a concept that signified his deliberate turn towards conceptualism, action, Fluxus, and Correspondence art. ‘Nothing ain’t nothing’, the use of 0s, and a declaration of ‘TÓTalJOYS’ became leitmotifs for his conceptual artworks, poster actions, telegrams, postcards, rubber stamps, T-shirts, and artist books. Tót frequently used a photograph of himself smiling or doing everyday things (standing, walking) in combination with proclamations of joy about such seemingly mundane actions, such as ...