Preservation of Russian Abstract Art of the Second Part of the Twentieth Century

  • Anastasia V. Yurovetskaya
  • Maria S. Churakova
  • Irina Kadikova


During the past few years, Russian museum professionals turned their attention to the abstract paintings of the second part of the twentieth century, especially to theoretical and artistic works of The New Reality, a group organized in 1958 by Soviet artist Ely Bielutin, based on Theory of Universal Contact. Since self-expression was the one and only value of the group, artists were not concerned with the preservation of their works. At the present time, as paintings and installations, created by members of The New Reality group, are entering state museum and private collections, conservators face serious challenges treating them.

This study focuses on painting materials and techniques related to Composition by Lucian Gribkov (1962), which came to the State Research Institute for Restoration in a poor state condition with large areas of flaking paint. The paper also describes the choices that were made for structural conservation and the soil removal approach that involved a range of cleaning methods and materials.


Abstract art Ely Bielutin Contemporary paintings The New Reality studio Cleaning oil paintings Painting surface Lucian Gribkov 



The authors thank Marina Voronina and Elena Iurovetskaia from the State Research Institute for Restoration and Anna Karganova from Russian Abstract Art Foundation for help and support in practical and research stages of working on the project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anastasia V. Yurovetskaya
    • 1
  • Maria S. Churakova
    • 1
  • Irina Kadikova
    • 1
  1. 1.The State Research Institute for Restoration (GOSNIIR)MoscowRussian Federation

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