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George Costakis - A Russian Life in Art

Roberts, Peter

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ISBN 10: 0886292077 / ISBN 13: 9780886292072
Published by Carleton University Press
New Condition: BRAND NEW Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: George Costakis - A Russian Life in Art

Publisher: Carleton University Press

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:BRAND NEW

About this title

Synopsis:

This splendid book paints a rich portrait of the Russian avant-garde and the intrigues which it saved for posterity. Roberts has written a fascinating history of the famous Costakis collection and its creator George Costakis who, for nearly thirty years, was an administrative clerk in the Canadian embassy in Moscow. Until his forced departure from Russia in 1978 he collected, continually and painstakingly, the abstract, constructivist and supremacist art of 1912 to 1930 which fell into official disrepute under Stalin. The author, a former Canadian ambassador to Moscow, is a first-hand authority on Costakis and his magnificent obsession.

From Publishers Weekly:

Born in Moscow of Greek parents, George Costakis (1912-1990) began collecting paintings of the condemned Russian avant-garde in the mid-1930s. He and his Russian wife Zinaida crammed their apartment with works by Chagall, Kandinsky, Kasimir Malevich, Liubov Popova and others, at great personal risk to themselves. Costakis's holdings, which today form the core of the Tretyakov Collection in Moscow, were instrumental in making the Russian avant-garde known to the West. In this delightful biographical study enlivened by 30 b & w photos and color reproductions, Roberts, former Canadian ambassador to the U.S.S.R. (1983-1985), extensively reproduces Costakis's own recollections from taped interviews made in 1987. Roberts refutes the theory, popular in the West, that Costakis was protected by the KGB; he shows that the KGB waged a campaign of personal terror in the 1970s against the art collector. We also learn of his mother's and brother's imprisonment in Stalin's gulag, and of his friendships with Chagall, Vladimir Tatlin and Aleksandr Rodchenko.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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