Yalta 1945, Ben Uri Gallery, London

Yalta 1945, Ben Uri Gallery, London

Having previously exhibited at Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1990, Yalta 1945 has not since been presented to the public until the launch of an international tour starting at Ben Uri Gallery, London.

The 31 panel installation combines the work of Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, who, perceived as two of the most important non-conformist artists rising from the Soviet Union, have made a name for themselves based on their radical amalgamation of Socialist Realism, Politicised Pop and Conceptual art.

In this ground-breaking practice that the artists forged for themselves grew a movement of multistylistic works which defied boundaries and began to be described as “conceptual eclecticism” – covering a wide range of topics and different media to convey socio-economic and liberating concepts.

Named after the 1945 conference of the same name, the exhibition takes its inspiration from Europe’s post-war reorganisation wherein government officials from the UK, USA and the Soviet Union joined forces to discuss the state of the emotional and physical landscape post-devastation and through the eyes of reformation.

Seen as the beginnings of early post-modernism, the artists caused much controversy through their shows and displayed pieces. Most notably, in 1974 they were arrested during an outdoor exhibition in Moscow that become known as “The Bulldozer Exhibition” because the government used bulldozers to destroy the artworks involved.

This unique show sheds light on two seminal artists who, as a collaborative team, tore down political and artistic oppression through a collage of interests and visions for how the future might take form and how the past still exists within today’s societal constructions.

Yalta 1945, Ben Uri Gallery, London, 16 September – 18 December.

Find out more about the exhibition here: www.benuri.org.uk

1. Komar and Melamid, Yalta 1945, (1986-1987) Detail 1A. Courtesy of the artists and Ben Uri Gallery.