Komar & Melamid, ‘Skyscraper’, 1986-1987, Robert Fontaine Gallery

Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid were born in Moscow in 1943 and 1945, respectively. They graduated from the Stroganov School of Art and Design in 1967. Their first joint show, Retrospectivism, appeared at Moscow’s Blue Bird in 1967. During the late 1960s and early 70s, Komar & Melamid founded the movement that they call Sots Art, a unique version of Soviet Pop and Conceptual Art, which combines the principles of Dadaism and Socialist Realism. They collaborate on various conceptual projects, ranging from painting and performance to installation, public sculpture, photography, music, and poetry. Their work can be found in the permanent collection of Guggenheim Museum in New York, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and Museum Ludwig in Cologne.

Signature: Unique Signed

About Komar & Melamid

Once dubbed “exasperating expatriates” for their relentless, wry mockery of the social, political, and artistic systems of the former Soviet Union, Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid met as art students in Moscow, and teamed up in 1965. They worked together until 2004, creating an outpouring of paintings, sculptures, installations, performances, public projects, photographs, music, and poetry, charged with keen criticisms of Communism, consumerism, the art market, and other human excesses. In 1967, they founded the SOTS Art Movement, a mash-up of Socialist Realism, Dada, Conceptualism, and Pop Art. “If pop-art was born by the overproduction of things and their advertising, then Sots Art was born of the overproduction of ideology and its propaganda, including visual propaganda,” Komar once explained. In 1978, they defected from the USSR and moved to America, where they could freely pursue their subversive vision.

Russian-American , 1943 and 1945, Moscow, Russia, based in New York, New York