Reassessing Moscow Conceptualism: The View from the Nest
This essay argues for a radical reassessment of Moscow Conceptualism to incorporate the underappreciated Nest, the group of artists Gennady Donskoy, Mikhail Roshal, and Victor Skersis active in Moscow from 1974 to 1979. The Nest’s emphasis on models of shared artistic investigation, audience autonomy, and unconstructed aesthetic response helped reshape Moscow Conceptualism in the late 1970s and early 1980s, making their experience essential to understanding both the era and the works of particular artists they influenced, including Yuri Albert, Vadim Zakharov, Nadezhda Stolpovskaya, and others. The Nest’s focus on alternative media and new genres, particularly on unstructured performative works, helped transform Moscow’s unofficial art world, freeing it from lingering insularity and modernist conventions.
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