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Timur Petrovich Novikov (24.09.1958, Leningrad – 23.05.2002, Petersburg) is an outstanding artist, publicist, teacher, who in many ways determined the development of Russian art and culture of the end of the XX c. In 1977, he joined the avant-guard group “Letopis”. Following an ideological and esthetic conflict with the organizers of this non-conformism movement caused by “Object-Zero”, in 1982 he formed his own group, the “New Artists”, which united contemporary art with the youth culture. Stylistically one can draw parallels between the “NA” and such western art movements as Neue Wilde (Germany), East Village (USA), Figuration Libre (France), Transavanguardia (Italy) as well as such concepts as “new figurativeness”, “new wave”, “new romantism”. This group turned into a real movement with its own theatre (where in 1984-85 a number of productions was staged: performances “Idiot”, “Anna Karenina”, “A Shooting Skier”, “The Ballet of 3 Inseparable” etc.), and with its own cinematography (“parallel cinema”, “necrorealism”), literature, music, “new criticism”. Starting from mid 80-s, Novikov in his art shifts from expressive style of painting to some minimalistic stencils and collages on textile. At the same time he is studying the theory of perspective and creates the method or “re-composition”. He creates art studios in squats (“Cyril and Mefody” (1978), the gallery “Assa” (1983)). He was the artist of the rock group “Kino”, the orchestra “Pop-Mechanica”, he collaborated with the: ”New Composers”, invented some musical instruments (Utyugon, Dlinnye Struny etc.). In 1988 he stood at the foundation of the Free University Of Various Arts. He was holding potlatches and joint Acts with the most distinguished western artists: Warhol, Kage, Rauschenberg and others. In 1987 he is collaborating with Solovyev making the film “Assa” (it was the first in the history of Soviet Cinema award for design). He was practically first media-artist on the USSR, developing the concept of "Pirate Television" (1989), and later director of the films "The Golden Section" (1999) and "The Terror Of Modernism". He took part in developing club music and rave movement at Fontanka - 145 and was one of the organizers of Gagarin-Party (1991). Following his first trips to the West, in 1989 he founded the "Neoacademism" art movement, which was in opposition to modernism and promoted preservation and regeneration of classical art. Novikov continued to develop the principles and the methods which he discovered in the 80-s, making the decorative and texture-related affects more powerful and using the neo-classical imagery. In 1993 he opens the Museum of the New Academy of Fine Arts at the 10 Pushlinskaya street squat, which at the same time functioned as an art academy (The New Academy of Fine Arts). NAFA was reviving old photo techniques and was actively introducing new technology which uses methods of classical art. The ideas of Neoclacicism were spreading, reaching Moscow and other countries ("'The European Society on Preserving Classical Aesthetics"). Novikov was an initiator of the organization "Art Will", which was promoting the idea of preserving "cultural environment". In 1990-s, Novikov was acively involved in publishing: he became a member of the editing offices of " Kabinet", "Hydozhestvennaya Volya", "Susanin" (www.susanin.zarazum.ru). He had his radio show “The New Academy" on the techno music radio station Port-FM which was targeted at young people and where he was promoting classical music. In 1997, he went blind, but he continued to be the leader of St.Petersbug art. He was s collector and charitable person, and left part of his collection to the Hermitage and Russian Museum.

Andrey Khlobystin

 

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