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The suitcase with memories. St. Petersburg opens exhibition about 1960’s


The creativity of the 1960’s artists, tucked in the narrow spaces of communal apartments. The nostalgia about that epoch was reflected in the exhibition, which has a suitcase as its main theme – the symbol of discoveries and hopes. Everyone had their own, but there were still a lot of common notions. Alexandra Lee went through old newspaper clippings and inhaled the long-forgotten odors of “Shipra” and “Krasnaya Moskva” fragrances.


Alexandra Lee, reporter: “The “suitcase with memories” exhibition offers a dive into the 1960s – the atmosphere of a communal apartment in Leningrad, where square meters roughly matched the number of residents. The display is dedicated to the unjustly unknown artist Vasiliy Ivanov-Kudryavtsev. And everyone brought their own suitcases with memories of him”

The main items of the display appeared from the biggest suitcase – paintings by the artist. Self-portraits, portraits and scenic paintings – all well-preserved and unified in a single collection. And, certainly, the suitcases’ most important contents – warm memories.

Olga Gavrilova, the artist’s stepdaughter: “I asked to call him dad, even though they were not yet together. He couldn’t resist. Mom was 32, he was 45. My mom was the 13th child in her family, he was the 13th child his. And they were never apart since then”

Shortly before his death, Vasiliy Ivanov-Kudryavtsev said – “I know you’ll organize an exhibition in my name some day!” She just couldn’t deny him his last wish, even in a few decades.

Tatyana Kovsha, president of the international masters guild, event organizer: “As it turned out, Vasiliy Ivanovich sent a letter to the Artists Union asking them to come to his workshop, pick paintings and donate them to the Peace Foundation”

Its unclear now which paintings he wanted to offer. Maybe this one – as if made in the Leningrad’s Kuindzhi style. Or this one – drawn by someone who clearly loved the Russian household.

Organizers point to the painter’s technique – only romantic masters from the 1960’s drew this way, inspired by Gagarin’s flight, dominoes in the backyard, vinyl from their war-torn childhood.

By the way, organizers offer to collect a universal suitcase of memories – by everyone brining something, taken from a typical Leningrad communal apartment.