By Peter Roberts
This just right booklet paints a wealthy portrait of the Russian avant-garde and the intrigues which it kept for posterity. Roberts has written a desirable historical past of the recognized Costakis assortment and its writer George Costakis who, for almost thirty years, used to be an administrative clerk within the Canadian embassy in Moscow. until eventually his pressured departure from Russia in 1978 he amassed, always and painstakingly, the summary, constructivist and supremacist artwork of 1912 to 1930 which fell into professional disrepute below Stalin. the writer, a former Canadian ambassador to Moscow, is a first-hand authority on Costakis and his great obsession.
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Extra info for George Costakis: A Russian Life in Art
Andronov started to build a car. I remember that he made the wheels out of Venetian chairs. In every such chair there's a round panel. And, you see, he ordered each of us to steal one Venetian chair. So he made a car, powered by pedals, and it went very smoothly on the pavement. 20 AN ORDINARY RUSSIAN But we understood that there was no way we could go to the Caucasus in this car. So we started to think about the train, and we knew we would need money. And the most independent one of us, if I may put it that way, the one from the most affluent family, was me.
And, well, to avoid making a second trip, these Russian muzhiks started packing down with their feet the very objects that they might have kissed with their lips a few years before, when they went to church. And this was a terrible thing to see. But it came to an end, the truck went away, and the church was left with its black icons with no adornments. There were a great many incidents, if not of vandalism, then of hooliganism, especially on the great holidays, like Easter, when the procession of the Stations of the Cross went outside the church.
So we started to think about the train, and we knew we would need money. And the most independent one of us, if I may put it that way, the one from the most affluent family, was me. So it fell to me to deliver the money. But how to do it? My sister had some money. She lived with the family, but she had her own room, and she a ways kept lots of money in a box, to buy things for her son. Well, my friends said, "You take it. " So I took the money. I stole it, stole money from my sister. We went to the market, we bought daggers, hunting knives, we bought shovels, we bought all kinds of things, and still there was plenty of money left.