Komar and Melamid: A Lesson in History
Julia Tulovsky (Ed.)
Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers & Hirmer Verlag, 2023
Among the most compelling artists in the history of conceptual art, the Russian-Americans Komar and Melamid used humour and irony to lambaste Soviet officialdom. With new scholarship and full-color illustrations, the book explores their journey from working under an oppressive regime to finding new subjects in the US for their provocative critique.
From the invention of Sots Art, a conceptual movement that emerged in the early 1970s in the Soviet Union, to their sardonic Most Wanted Paintings project, based on market research, to the end of their joint career in the US, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid challenged viewers with provocative, witty and ironic art. Lavishly illustrated the book includes the latest scholarship on the duo and historically important texts, offering a renewed interpretation of the artists’ social and political concerns.