Komar and Melamid /   Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid

Russian Federation 1943

Installation, Sculpture, Photography, Painting

Komar and Melamid
Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid
Russian Federation
December 27, 2014
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Komar and Melamid is an tandem team of Russian conceptualist artists Vitaly Komar, born in 1943 and Alexander Melamid, born in 1945. They attended and graduated from the Stroganov School of Art and Design in 1967. Both artists were born in Moscow, but emigrated to Israel in 1977 and subsequently to New York in 1978.
In an artists’ statement they said that “even if only one of us creates some of the projects and works, we usually sign them together. We are not just an artist, we are a movement.”

Their first joint show, Retrospectivism, appeared in the Blue Bird Cafe, Moscow, in 1967.
During the late 60’s and early 70’s, Komar and Melamid found the movement that they called Sots Art, a unique version of Soviet Pop and Conceptual Art, which combines the principles of Dadaism and Socialist Realism. During these years, they also worked on Post-Art, pioneering multi-stylistical images prescient of post-modernism, which would become popular in the 80’s. They collaborated on various conceptual projects, ranging from painting and performance to installation, public sculpture, photography, music, and poetry. They also collaborated with other artists, for example, Douglas Davis, Fluxus member Charlotte Moorman, Andy Warhol, among others.

In 1973, they were expelled from the Youth section of the Soviet Artist Union. In 1974, duo was arrested during a performance in a Moscow apartment show and later their works, along with the works of other nonconformist artists, were destroyed by Soviet authorities at the open-door “Bulldozer Show.” In 1978, they moved to New York. Their first show in the West was at the Feldman Gallery, NY, in 1976, and first individual museum show was at the Hartford Athenaeum, Harford, USA, in 1978.

In the 80’s, they continued developing their Sots Art in works such as Nostalgic Socialist Realism Series, May 1st Installation at the Palladium Disco, and also Post-Art in works such as Diary Series, Anarchistic Synthesis Series, Bayonne, N.J. Series. They were the first Russian artists to receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, and also the first Russian artists to be invited to the Documenta 8, in Kassel, Germany, in 1987.

They devoted their projects in the 90’s to iconoclasm, democracy and elitism by statistics and ecology. Komar and Melamid’s most recent projects are devoted to art as a religion and to the synthesis of irony and spirituality.

They can be found in Oxford’s Dictionary of 20th Century Art, The Penguin Concise Dictionary of Art History, Art Since the 40’s, Bildende Kunst im 20 Jahrhundert, and Phaidon’s The 20th–Century Art Book.

Their works are included in the collections of Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and  Museum of Modern Art in New York, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Albertina, Vienna, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and San Francisco Museum of Art.

In 2004 the creative union of Komar and Melamid disbanded.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2015Grammar Of Freedom - Five Lessons: Works From Arteast 2000+ CollectionGarage Museum of Contemporary Art, MoscowGroup
2014Russian Performance: A Cartography Of Its HistoryGarage Museum of Contemporary Art,MoscowGroup
2014In __ We Trust: Art and MoneyColumbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OHGroup
2014Russian Contemporary ArtHavremagasinet Art Center, BodenGroup
2014Labor IntensiveRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
2013Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making 1789–2013Tate Liverpool, LiverpoolGroup
2013Beyond Human: Artist–Animal CollaborationsPeabody Essex Museum, Salem, MAGroup
2013A Spectator on the Stands of History(ART) AMALGAMATED, New York City, NYGroup
2013Sounding the Body ElectricCalvert22, LondonGroup
2012Decoration Of The Beautiful. Elitism And Kitsch In Contemporary ArtThe State Tretyakov Gallery, MoscowGroup
2012Sounding the Body Electric. Experiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1957-1984Muzeum Sztuki Lodz, LodzGroup
2012You Call This ArtFlorida Gulf Coast University Art Gallery, Fort Myers, FLGroup
2011ArtisartisartMoscow museum of modern art - MMOMA, MoscowGroup
2011Pop Patriotism 2002Carriage Trade, New York City, NYGroup
2011Points of View: Selections from Seven Colorado CollectionsCU Art Museum, Boulder, COGroup
2011Identity and Community in the Contemporary World: An Installation for KU’s National Resource CentersSpencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KSGroup
2011Museo de las narrativas paralelas. En el marco de La InternacionalMuseu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, BarcelonaGroup
2011Concerning the Spiritual Tradition in Russian Art: Selections from the Kolodzei Art FoundationCAM - Chelsea Art Museum, New York City, NYGroup
2011Rare WorksMimi Fertz Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Field of Action. The Moscow Conceptualist School in Context 1970s-1980sEkaterina Foundation, MoscowGroup
2010Contrepoint, l’art contemporain russeDe l’icône à l’avant-garde en passant par le musée -Musée du Louvre, ParisGroup
2010Things evoke feelingsCentre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, WarsawGroup
2010GlasnostHaunch of Venison, LondonGroup
2010Quartet–Four Biennials Reflected in PrintsInternational Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC), LjubljanaGroup
20091989. Ende der Geschichte oder Beginn der Zukunft?Kunsthalle Wien (Museumsquartier),ViennaGroup
2009BLACK&WHITEWORKS Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
2009The Making of ArtSchirn Kunsthalle, FrankfurtGroup
2009Great Impressions IIDean Jensen Gallery, Milwaukee, WIGroup
2009Tier-Werden, Mensch-WerdenNeue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK), BerlinGroup
2009Contemporary Russian ArtEgon Schiele Art Centrum Cesky Krumlov, Ceský KrumlovGroup
2009Tauwetter und die Zeit danach. Moskauer Künstler 1958-2008Teil II - Sandmann,Berlin Group
2009History of Russian Video Art. Volume 2Moscow museum of modern art - MMOMA, MoscowGroup
2009La SombraMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza, MadridGroup
2009Tauwetter und die Zeit danachTeil I - Moskauer Maler 1958-1986 - Sandmann,BerlinGroup
2008Komar & Melamid - Super Objects-Super Comfort for Super PeopleNeuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NYSolo
2008Drawing Review: 37 Years of Works on PaperRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
2008OURS: Democracy in the Age of BrandingSheila C. Johnson Design Center, New York City, NYGroup
2008La Ilustracion total - Rte Conceptual de Moscu 1960-1990Fundación Juan March, MadridGroup
2008Contemporary Russian Art - Russian soc-artMODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts, DebrecenGroup
2008Die totale AufklärungMoskauer Konzeptkunst - Schirn Kunsthalle, FrankfurtGroup
2008Moscow – New York = Parallel PlayCAM - Chelsea Art Museum, New York City, NYGroup
2007Sots Art. Art politique en Russie de 1972 à aujourd'huiLa Maison Rouge, ParisGroup
2007Consumption JunctionCanzani Center Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design,Columbus, OHGroup
2007Prophets of DeceitCanzani Center Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OHGroup
2007Movement. Evolution. ArtEkaterina Foundation, MoscowGroup
2007ThawThe State Russian Museum - Marble Palace, St. PetersburgGroup
2007Mr. PresidentUniversity Art Museum University at Albany, State University of New York,Albany, NYGroup
2006Territories of Terror: Mythologies and Memories of the Gulag in Contemporary Russian-American ArtBoston University Art Gallery - BUAG, Boston, MAGroup
2006Prophets of DeceitCCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CAGroup
2006Going Ape - Confronting Animals in Contemporary ArtDeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MAGroup
2006Artists Against The State: Perestroika RevisitedRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
2006¡Rusia!Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, BilbaoGroup
2006Interrupted HistoriesModerna galerija Ljubljana, LjubljanaGroup
2006Natural ReactionTastes Like Chicken Art Space, New York City, NYGroup
2005Angels of History - Moscow Conceptualism and its influenceMuHKA Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, AntwerpGroup
2005Russia!Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NYGroup
2005Moscow GrafikaInternational Print Center New York, New York City, NYGroup
2005East Art MuseumKarl-Ernst-Osthaus-Museum, HagenGroup
2005AtomicaLombard Freid Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005The Theatre of Art - Masterpieces from the Collection of the Ludwig Museum, ColoVilla Manin. Centro d'arte contemporanea, Codroipo, UDGroup
2005Bellum - Bellum: Gedächtnis dreier GenerationenSandmann, Berlin Group
2005The Corcoran 2005 Print Portfolio - Drawn to RepresentationThe Corcoran Gallery of Art,Washington, DCGroup
2005Interessi ZeroGalleria Civica di Trento, TrentoGroup
2004The Seven SinsModerna galerija Ljubljana, LjubljanaGroup
20042004 Summer Print SaleIKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2004The International Jewish Artist of the Year finalists showBen Uri Gallery - The London Jewish Museum of Art, LondonGroup
2004Arthaus Cape CodEthan Cohen Fine Arts, New York City, NYGroup
2004A Painting for Over the Sofa (that’s not necessarily a painting)Spencer Museum of Art,Lawrence, KSGroup
2004Under $2,000 Albers < ZauggBrooke Alexander Editions, New York City, NYGroup
2003Komar & Melamid - Desperately Seeking A MasterpieceKawamura Memorial Museum of Art, ChibaSolo
2003Marat Gelman's Gift The State Russian Museum - Marble Palace, St. PetersburgGroup
2003Ortstermin Moskau - 1970 und die Zeit danach Sandmann, Berlin Group
2003Berlin-Moskau Moskau-Berlin 1950-2000Martin-Gropius-Bau, BerlinGroup
2003Traumfabrik KommunismusSchirn Kunsthalle, FrankfurtGroup
2003LA InternationalIKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2003Ameri©an Dre@m: A SurveyRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
2002Komar and Melamid - Asian Elephant Art And Conservation ProjectBerkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive BAM - PFA, Berkeley, CASolo
2002Pop PatriotismMomenta Art, New York City, NYGroup
2002International Arteast Collection 2000+ - Nacionalna GalerijaCifte Amam, SkopjeGroup
2002Iconoclash - Jenseits der Bilderkriege in Wissenschaft, Religion und KunstZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, KarlsruheGroup
2002ARTEAST 2000+ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, KarlsruheGroup
2002Das rote HausStädtische Galerie Villa Zanders, Bergisch GladbachGroup
2002Moscow TimeContemporary Art Centre (CAC), VilniusGroup
2001The People's ChoiceUniversity Art Museum University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NYSolo
2001Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid: The People's choice - PaintingCentre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, WarsawSolo
2001Komar & Melamid’s American DreamsPhiladelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PASolo
2001A Work in Progress - Selections from the New Museum CollectionNew Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NYGroup
2001Summer Exhibition 2001Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
2001Democratic Art?Sprovieri, LondonGroup
2001Body and the EastExit Art, New York City, NYGroup
2000Komar and Melamid’s: Asian Elephant Art and Conservation ProjectGalleries at Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, PASolo
2000Fugitive Sites - New Contemporary ArtInSite, San Diego, CAGroup
2000Lebt und arbeitet in WienKunsthalle wien project space karlsplatz, ViennaGroup
2000Forbidden Art: The Postwar Russian Avant-GardeMcMullen Museum of Art, Boston College,Chestnut Hill, MAGroup
2000Critic as GristWhitebox Art Center, New York City, NYGroup
2000The Art of Eastern Europe in Dialogue with the WestModerna galerija Ljubljana, LjubljanaGroup
2000Beaver TalesOakville Galleries, Oakville, ONGroup
2000Dein Wille geschehe …Der Ort internationaler Gegenwartskunst in Berlin,Berlin Group
2000L´autre moitie de l´EuropeJeu de Paume, ParisGroup
2000The End: An Independent Vision of Contemporary Culture, 1982-2000Exit Art, New York City, NYGroup
1999Empires without States SI Swiss Institute, New York City, NYGroup
1999Modernism & Postmodernism - Rusian Art of the Ending MilleniumPlattsburg State Art Museum, Plattsburgh, NYGroup
199948th International Art Exhibition Venice BiennaleLa Biennale di Venezia,VeniceGroup
1999SEEditionsGreg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
1998Komar & MelamidGalerie Karenina, ViennaSolo
1998Sarajevo 2000Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , ViennaGroup
1998René Magritte en de hedendaagse kunstMu.ZEE, OostendGroup
1998The Social ClubExit Art, New York City, NYGroup
1997Komar & MelamidRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYSolo
1997Komar& Melamid - The most wanted - the most unwanted pictureMuseum Ludwig, CologneSolo
1997The People's Choice: het meest gewenste en het minst gewenste schilderij van NederlandKunsthal Rotterdam, RotterdamSolo
1997Heroic PaintingUniversity Museum of Contemporary Art - UMass Amherst, Amherst, MAGroup
199747th International Art Exhibition Venice BiennaleLa Biennale di Venezia,VeniceGroup
1996Monumental PropagandaKemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MOSolo
1996Quartos Duplos (Chambres Doubles)Centro de Arte Moderna - CAM - Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon Group
1996WithdrawingRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
1995Le Gout Des Francais En PeinturePassage de Retz, ParisSolo
1995Komar and Melamid's - The People's Choice and Art for the People: A Response from SeattleHenry Art Gallery, Seattle, WASolo
19954. International İstanbul BiennialInternational Istanbul Biennial, IstanbulGroup
1995TrustTramway, Glasgow, ScotlandGroup
1994TransformersHessel Museum of Art & Center for Curatorial Studies Galleries at Bard College,Annandale-on-Hudson, NYGroup
1994Altered EgosSanta Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CAGroup
1994Europa, EuropaBundeskunsthalle,BonnGroup
1993Summer '93Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
1992Slow Art - Painting in New York NowMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
1991Illegal AmericanBen Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1991EditionsRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
1991Out of Site: Part IIMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
1990Komar and Melamid: Yalta 1945 & Winter in Moscow 1977Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, NYSolo
1990The Decade Show: Frameworks of Identity in the 1980sNew Museum of Contemporary Art,New York City, NYGroup
1990Illegal AmericaExit Art, New York City, NYGroup
1989Russians in AmericaUniversity of North Texas Art Gallery, Denton, TXSolo
1989Komar & MelamidRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYSolo
198918th International Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, LjubljanaGroup
1989Don't Bungle in the Jungle! - A Benefit Exhibition for the RainforestTony Shafrazi Gallery,New York City, NYGroup
1987Komar And Melamid: Painting HistoryACCA - Australian Centre for Contemporary Art,Melbourne, VICSolo
1987Komar & MelamidRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYSolo
1987Painting HistoryIMA Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLDSolo
1987Documenta 8Documenta, KasselGroup
1987Immigrants and Refugees - Heroes or VillainsExit Art, New York City, NYGroup
1986Komar and MelamidNew Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NYSolo
1986Komar & Melamid - Temple ContemporaryTyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PASolo
1986Prospect '86Schirn Kunsthalle, FrankfurtGroup
1986Sots ArtNew Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NYGroup
1985Komar and MelamidFruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, ScotlandSolo
1985Komar & Melamid - Solo ExhibitRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYSolo
198518° Bienal de Sao PauloBienal de Sao Paulo, São PauloGroup
1985Synesthetics: Writers and ArtistsMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
1984Komar & Melamid's Version of Russian HistoryUniversity of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IASolo
1984Révolutions par minuteMusée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QCGroup
1984International Survey of Recent Painting and SculptureMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
1984The New PortraitVilla Manin. Centro d'arte contemporanea, Codroipo, UDGroup
19831984 – A PreviewRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
1982Komar & Melamid - Solo ExhibitionRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYSolo
1982Beast: Animal Imagery in Recent PaintingMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
1982The Atomic SalonRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
1982Illegal AmericaExit Art, New York City, NYGroup
1982Revolutions Per MinuteRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
1982Ébauches : dix ans de dessins d'installationsMusée d´art contemporain de Montréal,Montreal, QCGroup
1982The Ronald Reagan ShowMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
1982War GamesRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
1982OCTOPUS: An Act of Sculpture by Papo ColoExit Art, New York City, NYGroup
1978CouplesMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup