The Soviet Underground Outcrops: Artistic Recognition and Transitional Field of Contemporary Art in Post-Soviet Russia
This article explores the ways of evaluating artistic recogni- tion by analyzing critical writings. Focusing on the post-war unofficial contemporary art scene in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia, we put an emphasis on the mechanisms of legitimation and the dynamics of artistic prestige in the restricted field of underground art. The research reveals major patterns not only in the process of recognition of unofficial Soviet art, but also discusses the role of criticism in the transitional period in a post-Soviet republic. Political turbulence caused by the dissolution of the Soviet Union facilitated radical changes in the conditions for artistic production and transformation. By employing methods of social network analysis (SNA), we reconstruct and evaluate interconnections between unofficial post-war artists and critics, working on the case study of the three most signifi- cant newspaper media from the 1990s.