The Story Doesn’t End There

Selected works by several of the most talented members of the generation that followed Soviet nonconformism: Leonid Lerman, Elena Sarni, Naum Medovoy and Vasily Kafanov.

November 13 through November 15, 2010
at the opening of the Museum of Russian Art.

The companion exhibition to “No Exit” Art, as MoRA opens its doors, was entitled The Story Doesn’t End There. For the history of Russian art did not end, as it may sometimes seem, with the Nonconformists. Also devoted to works on paper, “The Story Doesn’t End There” featured the art of four of the most talented members of the generation that followed Nonconformism: Leonid Lerman, Elena Sarni, Naym Medovoy and Vasily Kafanov. Many of the Nonconformists eventually found their “exit,” leaving the Soviet Union for Europe and the US. Born in the USSR, Lerman, Sarni, Medovoy and Kafanov left as young artists with the vast majority of their artistic careers still before them. They have lived for years in the West, mostly in New York, and they are as much a part of the local art world here in the West as they are of the continuing life of Russian art. For them, participation in the artistic progress of the outside world is not a forbidden paradise, but a creative life, one for which their background gives them a special appreciation. As a result, their art is more cosmopolitan than that of their predecessors; where Nonconformist aesthetics is always politically attuned, these artists are focused on artistic culture itself. But from the Nonconformists they have inherited a vision of art not primarily as entertainment, decoration or social commentary, but as a conceptual communicative act. Art must convey a kind of “message,” ineffable and intangible though that message may often be.