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A book about the art movement in Vitebsk and Minsk 1987–2000

We are pleased to announce a 2015 book by Alexandr Maley, whose generous archival material has become part of our encyclopedia.

© Alexandr Maley: cover of the book "Vitebsk Square: An Artistic Study of the Nonconformist Movement of Artists in Vitebsk and Minsk (1987–2000)", 2015

The artist granted us permission to publish in the book of his authorship "" . This edition, rich in valuable archival materials, is now fully integrated into our encyclopedia.

© Alexandr Maley in the workshop on Zhestkova-15, 1977

The author starts the book from 1978 and tells about in Vitebsk at Zhestkovа–15 and the artists who worked in them – , , , and others. Here he also recalls and defines the generation of the “sixties”, Beatlemania and proceeds to describe the era of perestroika (and at the end of the chapter he recalls his father and prints the story of Sergei Rublevsky “Kok-saghyz”).

The next part of the book is devoted to the group , which recalls the teacher Felix Gumen, the artist and many works, exhibitions, actions and plein airs. Alexandr Maley also describes the meeting with his wife and their daughter Una. Then he talks about the numerous conceptual performative actions of the Kvadrat group in nature.

Square: action Zone, 1989 / © photo: I. Barsukov

The next part of the book shows the connections of the Square group with the school . And then the chapter, which separately presents each of the group members: , , , , , and others. Documents-minutes of the meetings of the group from 1987 to 1994 are also given.

Then comes a chapter on Minsk and its artistic movement. The author gives an interview with , which recalls the constellation of names of the non-conformist movement in the Belarusian art of the period of the 80–90s. There is also a text-document and an interview with .

© Exposition of Vasily Vasiliev, In-formation-97, Art School No. 1

Then there is a chapter about the Vitebsk art movement of the 1990s: about the open air and the festival . The entire book contains many valuable archival materials about the names, works and events of that period.

We thank the author of the book, Alexandr Malei, for providing the pdf version of the publication, which you can read and download .


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    Vitebsk Square: an artistic study of the nonconformist movement of artists in Vitebsk and Minsk (1987–2000) / A. V. Maley. - Minsk: Ekonompress, 2015. - 332 p.

    ISBN 978-985-7051-20-5.

    The author in the historical and biographical genre explores the historical events of the 80s and 90s of the last century, which changed the world, society and art. For decades, the conflict of ideology and art that had been brewing in the bowels of a totalitarian state broke out in the “perestroika” years. The non-conformist struggle of artists emerged from the underground and took the form of a movement. Artists created unofficial (informal) associations and collectively defended their rights and the rights of art. The book explores the unofficial movement of artists in Vitebsk and Minsk. The protagonist of the story is the Vitebsk creative association Kvadrat (Square), the spiritual successor of UNOVIS, an association created by K. Malevich in 1920 in Vitebsk.


  • Alexandr Maley
    dedication, thanks
  • Kvadrat (Square)
  • Alexander Solovyov
  • Sergey Kukhto
  • Ivan Veremiev
  • Nikolai Dundin
  • Alexander Dosuzhev
  • Valery Schastny
  • Alexander Slepov
  • Victor Shilko
  • Andrey Plesanov
  • Ludmila Rusova
  • Kazimir Malevich
  • Valery Chukin
  • Alexey Zhdanov
  • UNOVIS (Hardeners of the New Art)
  • In Formation (festival)
  • Workshops on Zhestkov