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Article

The Soviet Underground Outcrops: a Transitional Field of Contemporary Art in Post-Soviet Russia

Kuleva M., Masalova A.

This article explores the way of evaluation of artistic recognition by analysing the materials of critics writings. Focusing on the post-war unofficial contemporary art scene in Soviet Union and Post-soviet Russia, we put an emphasis on mechanisms of legitimation and dynamics of artistic prestige in the restricted field of underground art. The research reveals major patterns for not only the recognitional process of unofficial Soviet art, but also discuss the role of criticism in the transitional period in a Post-Soviet republic.  Politics turbulence caused by the dissolution of Soviet Union, facilitated radical changes in 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 in three the most significant paper media in the 1990s.