This album of Modern Russian Painters, with its unique content and range of post-Soviet pictorial art and its trends, is the first attempt on either the Russian or western book markets to design an edition liberated from tendencies or engagements of whatever kind.
It is unprecedented for a book on modern Russian artistic culture to represent in one edition artists with such differing, almost antagonistic views and incompatible aesthetic concepts; leaving political ambitions or claims of the fleeting fashion out of consideration. Quite a few masters presented in this album are renowned in the West but some are still awaiting to be recognized by foreign cognoscenti. An attractive feature of this book is that the paintings and sculptures it contains have been hand-picked by their authors. Every one of them provided personal and other information which they considered relevant. A hundred names and five hundred reproductions are by no means sufficient to give a comprehensive idea of the Russian art of today. However, the unbiased selection of artists and their works, and the variety of trends and aesthetic orientation presented will help to form a fairly objective and soundly-based opinion on the status and professional level of Russian pictorial art at the turn of the second millennium. As the vast majority of works presented in our album has never been published before, the editors have been given permission to reproduce them here. Also, the editors have discarded the traditional method of compiling editions of this sort. We have rejected the principle of alphabetical order and of conventional systematisation by trends or by demographic parameters to avoid the sterility and scholasticism that in our view hinder the immediate perception of art by authoritatively imposing the method of selection and presentation accepted in the book. The album is intended for a wide audience and also for galleries of modern art, museums, art dealers, collectors and patrons of the art - for all of which it is strongly hoped it will be of great interest. It is hoped that the democratic approach towards selection and radical technique of compilation will stir particular interest for this edition by attempting to show modern art from an angle quite unexpected for the western and Russian audiences.