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Alexander Kosolapov. Icons: West & East

Alexander Kosolapov was born in Moscow in 1943, and emigrated to the United States in 1975. At the height of the Cold War, he developed an approach to reappropriation and diversion, combining symbols from Soviet political propaganda with those of American commercial advertising. The idealization of the masses is at work in both of those domains […]

The flip side of pop art

After Warhol, pop art underwent a controversial revival in Russia and China. On the eve of a Saatchi show, Waldemar Januszczak looks at how the work cocked a snook at dictators, while Audrey Ward interviews the artists. […] Alexander Kosolapov Kosolapov’s Marlboro, Malevich series tackles the subjects of art history and our consumer culture. This […]

Appropriation: Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal

Whether it’s called parody, pastiche, copy, imitation, plagiarism, or even forgery, appropriation has existed as long as humans have created art. Since the turn of the 20th century, however, artists have appropriated imagery from well-known works of art (or popular culture objects like Campbell’s Soup cans) to make a statement about art’s relationship to, and […]

Sots Art: Kosolapov, Komar and Melamid, and Bulatov

While Kabakov rejected official art to create non-art, sots artists, including his friend and fellow illustrator Erik Bulatov, challenged official art from within. Sots Art, a name invented by Komar and Melamid from the elements of “Socialist Pop Art”, was based on the bold graphic style of state propaganda and the heroic figuration of Socialist […]

A Clash of Cultures in Alexander Kosolapov’s Art

Soviet-era artist Alexander Kosolapov shot to popularity after his move to New York in 1975, drawing ironic parallels between Soviet communism and American materialistic culture, combining the imagery from both in his work. He graced London’s Saatchi Gallery at the beginning of the year, lending his classics — including a Pop Art style arrangement of Russian caviar tins — to an exhibition of Moscow art from the 1960s to the 1980s. He […]