Necrorealism (necro = death; realism = life) is a radical art movement, which apeared in Soviet Leningrad in the begining of the 1970-s, when the majority of the leaders of the comunists party died. Members: Evgeny Yufit, Vladimir Kustov, Sergey Serp, Tupir (Leonid Konstantinov), Svirepyi (Anatolyi Mortukov), Andrey Mertvyi (Kurmayarcev), Debil (Evgeny Kondretiev), Valery Morozov, Igor Bezrukov, Uryi Zirkul (Krasaev). Only three of them are still working: Evgeny Yufit, Vladidmir Kustov and Sergey Serp. They work in differnet ganres: video, installation, photograph and oil.
As the Soviet age died, the memory of socialist realism also gradually vanished from the concept of Necrorealis. A more fundamental problematic came to the forefront: the project of representing the unrepresentable — death and the psychopathological processes associated with it.The movement’s name itself now witnessed more to a paradoxical combination of life and death — necro = death; realism = life — than to ideological connotations. Olesya Turkina
But some of the Soviet culture ideals were borrowed, such as manliness, heroism and readiness to give one's life to the Motherland, and their emotional pathos was trensformed into a black humor. In the early 1990s, it started to get the nternational recognition: they participated in such significant Perestroika- era shows as In the USSR and Beyond (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1990); Binationale: Sowjetische Kunst um 1990 (Kunsthalle Dьsseldorf; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Central House of the Artists, Moscow 1991–92); and Kunst Europa (Hannover, 1991). In 1990, Necrorealism was represented as a movement at the show Le Territoire de l’Art, in the State Russian Museum which was the first major exhibition of twentieth-century modernist art in Russia.
Necromethod was formulated by Vladimir Kustov and is based on a reinterpretation of existing cultural images of dying, the dialectic of human evolution was viewed as the development of the technology of death. The necromethod emerged in 1989 as an attempt to formulate new canons for the representation of death at a time when the collapse of Soviet ideology and the rejection of the dominant artistic idiom led to a disjuncture between ethics and aesthetics and the liberation of the figure of death. Necrorealists predominantly use black-and-white palette, where black is the colour of life, while white is the colour of death. The interval between life and death, Kustov has termed the “corridor of dying” or the “space of absolute dying.”
Evgeny Yufit was born in 1961 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In the early 1980s he began working as a painter and art photographer. In 1985 he set up the first independent film studio in Russia, MZHALALA FILM, which brought together artists, writers, directors and others sympathetic to radical aesthetic experimentation. At this studio Yufit made a number of films which have been shown at the world's major film festivals including Montreal, Locarno, Toronto, Rotterdam, and Moscow. His film Papa, Father Frost Is Dead was awarded the Grand Prix at the Rimini Film Festival in Italy. Yufit's paintings, films and photographs have been shown in major exhibitions of contemporary Russian art since 1985, at the State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf; Kunstverein, Hannover; The Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City; MOMA, New York. Works by Yufit are to be found in museums, galleries and private collections both in Russia and abroad.
- 1984 Werewolf Orderlies
- 1985 Woodcutter
- 1987 Spring
- 1988 Fortitude
- 1988 Suicide Monsters
- 1989 Knights of the Skies
- 1991 Papa, Father Frost is Dead
- 1994 Will
- 1995 The Wooden Room
- 1998 Silver Heads
- 2002 Killed by Lightning
- 2005 Bipedalism
- 1992 Grand Prix, The Rimini Film Festival, Italy
- 1994 George Soros Center for Contemporary Arts Grant, St. Petersburg, Russia
- 1999 Hubert Bals Fund Grant, International Film Festival of Rotterdam, the Netherlands
- 2000 The Foundation Montecinemaverita Grant, Locarno, Switzerland
- 2001 “Institute PRO ARTE” and The Ford Foundation Grant, St. Petersburg, Russia
- 2003 Hubert Bals Fund Grant, International Film Festival of Rotterdam, the Netherlands
He was born in 1959 in Leningrad. Now he lives and works in Saint-Petersburg.Vladimir has been working with contemporary art since 1984 – performance, cinema, paintings, photographs, literature and installations. Since 1984 has being working on the esthetics of the necrorealism together with Evgeniy Yufit. In 1999 Vladimir Kustov and Victor Mazin founded “Dreams Museum of S.Freud”.In 2002 together with professor E. Mishin he initiated the foundation of the “Thanatology Center” at the forensic medicine department of the St. Petersburg State Medical Academy named after I. I. Mechnikov. He organized and supervised artistic thanatological projects of the “Thanatology Center”. Now continues to develop necrorealistic artistic practice. Artist’s works are in following collections: The State Russian Museum, The Contemporary Art Department, (St. Petersburg), The Lenin Museum, (Tampere, Finland), Moscow Museum of Modern Art, (Moscow) and also in many private collections of the Russia, the Europe and the United States of America. [Sensus] [Gisich Gallery]
- 1990 «Territoire de L'Art. Laboratoire». The State Russian Museum. Leningrad.
- 1990 «In the USSR and Beyond». Stedelijk Museum. Amsterdam.
- 1991 «Binationale: Sowjetische Kunst um 1990». Kunsthalle Dusseldorf. Dusseldorf; Israel Museum. Weisbord Pavillion. Jerusalem.
- 1991 «Kunst, Europa. Sowjetunion». Kunstverein Hannover. Hannover.
- 1992 «Ex USSR». Groninger Museum. Groningen, Netherlands.
- 1992 «Binationale: Sowjetische Kunst um 1990». Central House of Artists. Moscow.
- 1993 «Russian Necrorealism: Shock Therapy for a New Cultrue». Fine Arts Center. Bowling Green State University. Bowling Green, Ohio, USA.
- 1994 «Necrorealism». Gallerie de Paris. Paris.
- 1994 «Self-Identification. Positions in St.Petersburg Art from 1970 until today». Stadtgalerie im Sophienhof. Kiel, Germany.
- 1995 «Self-Identification. Positions in St.Petersburg Art from 1970 until today». Haus Waldsee. Berlin;
- 1996 «Idylle & Katastrophe». Kulturhof Kronbacken. Erfurt, Germany.
- 1996 «Metaphern des Entrücktseins. Aktuelle Kunst aus St.Petersburg». Badischer Kunstverein. Karlsruhe, Germany.
- 1997 «Kabinet». Stedelijk Museum. Amsterdam.
- 1999 «The New Acquisitions of The Contemporary Art Department». The State Russian Museum. St.Petersburg.
- 2001 «TIRANA BIENNALE 1». National Gallery & Chinese Pavilion. Tirana.
- 2003 «Death in the Venice of the North». < ROTOR > association for contemporary art. Graz, Austria.
- 2003 «Plato’s Cave». Cultural Centre “Lamparna”. Labin, Croatia.
- 2003 «Kunst und Verbrechen». Hebbel -Theater Berlin. Berlin.
- 2004 «Kandinsky and the Russian Soul». Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Palazzo Forti. Verona, Italy.
- 2007 «Corpus Delicti». Offenes Haus Oberwart. Oberwart, Austria.
- 2007 «Adventures of the Black Square by Kazimir Malevich». The State Russian Museum. St. Petersburg.
- 2008 «Critique of colour». The Anna Ahmatova Museum St.Petersburg.
- 2008 «Red Army Studio». The Cultural Foundation «EKATERINA». Moscow.
- 2008 «The Young, Aggressive». Musashino Art University Museum & Library. Tokyo.
- 2008 «Kaliningrad-Koenigsberg 2008». The 9 th Baltic States Biennale of graphic art. Kaliningrad State Art Gallery.Kaliningrad.
- 2009 «Letter from the Island». Orel Art Uk Gallery.
- 2010 «Stroke with the brush. “New painters” and Necrorealists». Marble Palace. The State Russian Museum. St. Petersburg.
- 2010 «Doors open day. A mansion - a gymnasium - a clinic - a museum. Russian Art, 1989-2009, from the Museum Collection».Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Moscow.
- 2010 «Kandinsky Prize. Exhibition of the Nominees». Ce