"The market day" by Ilya Kagan



Newly emigrated Russian painters had slightly overestimated their noteriety in the West. It was not merely a matter of success or lack of it on the art markets of Paris and New York. In reality they were emerging from a world with no freedom in which they were linked to one another in a sort of brotherhood, in which they were heroes for some and targets for persecution for others. They emerged from into a new world where indifference was the general rule and where they were considered simply artists, no more, no less. But they had at last emigrated and, as writes Nabokov, "Emigration is freedom". Liberation from the persecution, constraints and constant surveillance which hounded Soviet artists and intellectuals until the 80's was worth the inconveniences of their new existence.


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