A Museum at home

The Lili Brochetain Collection in Paris has long been known among specialists to be one of the world's largest collections of Russian "non-conformist art" from the period between the 1960's and the 1980's. Yet each visit to this collection reveals a new treasure. By its size and thanks to the systematic and all-encompassing method in which the collection was assembled, it can realistically be compared to a museum. Not only are the more important pieces superbly framed but the collection also disposes of reserves and a thorough documentary section for research. Altogether there are more than a thousand works - paintings, drawings, sculptures and autographs.

The pastime of assembling an art collection quickly monopolised the life led by the Brochetains. The period of non-conformism in Russian art which was so assiduously collected at the time is now over. Since the beginning of the 1980's the political changes in Russia have brought about a profound transformation in the conditions in which art can be created. The pressure and constraints in which propelled these artists into the formation of an underground movement are now inexistent. The works of these non-conformist artists, hitherto qualified as being "degenerate" by the instances of power, have now become integrated into the sphere of the international art market.

These days there are few additions made to the Lili Brochetain Collection but there are a few exceptions. One such exception is the recent acquisition of a canvas by Anatoli Zverev - perhaps one of the final additions. While numerous references to the Collection appear in publications in Europe, the United States and in Russia, this online exhibition represents the first time the Lili Brochetain Collection has been widely available for public viewing. We hope you enjoy it. Comments can be referred to Michel Brochetain in Paris by sending e-mail to: 100703.2663@compuserve.com.

Olga Medvedkova
(translated by Kate Viggers)