2019 Art Film Festival

Paying tribute to Valentina Kropivnitsky and Oskar Rabin, the pioneers of Soviet nonconformism | Ida K. Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College | Sunday, Oct 6, 2019

Event Venue:

Ida K. Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College
695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065

Event Date:

Sunday, October 6, 2019 | 3:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Russian American Cultural Center, in collaboration with the Russian and Slavic Studies Program, Hunter College, CUNY is pleased to announce:

2019 Art Film Festival

Paying tribute to Valentina Kropivnitsky and Oskar Rabin.

The central part of the 2019 Art Film Festival is Tribute to Valentina Kropivnitsky (1924-2008) and Oskar Rabin (1928-2018), the pioneers of nonconformist movement in Soviet Russia, soon before the first anniversary of the death of Oscar Rabin on November 7th. We are also especially pleased to show film about Valentina Kropivnitsky, who as a calm contemplative person, wife and mother, and like many women artists of her generation, seemed to be in the shadow of her famous husband. Both artists made a great contribution to art and equally demonstrate the courage peacefully and relentlessly uphold what they believe in - the universal values of humanity, the right to freedom of artistic expression, personal dignity and the power of truth.

The Festival presents a documentary about the myth and historical figure - Natalia Golitsyna, who is believed to have inspired the poem The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin and the most frequently performed opera by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

We also continue to show new media projects: this year we present an animation by Maria and Natalia Petschatnikov, which in a very personal way reveal the theme of childhood, memory, loss and change.


3:30 PM | Natalia Golitsyna. The Queen of Spades by Manas Sirakanyan

Russia 2018 | 50 min | Documentary | Russian with English subtitles | USA Premiere

Documentary film explores the life of Natalia Petrovna Golitsyna (1744-1837), who served as Pushkin’s model for The Queen of Spades. During her long life Natalia Golitsyna witnessed – and participated in – some of the most fascinating historical events of her time, and the film sets out to show that her legacy is not limited purely to the legend of ‘the three winning cards’ which surrounds her. It reveals unique works of art and artifacts associated with Natalia Golitsyna, and explains how she became the embodiment of The Queen of Spades in literature and in theatre.

Many experts who made the research of Natalia Golitsyna and The Queen of Spades a part of their lives took part in the creation of the documentary, including art critic Viktor Faibisovich and mezzo-soprano Larisa Dyadkova. Filming locations include St. Petersburg, Moscow, Paris, Versailles, Malmö and the whole concept was inspired by the exhibition ‘Silver and Gold of the Queen of Spades’, mounted in the Sheremetev Palace during the International Diaghilev Festival of 2015.

4:20 PM | Pabaltys by Maria and Natalia Petschatnikov

Germany 2019 | 20 min | Animation

Experimental film at the festival will be represented by visual artists Maria and Natalia Petschatnikov, identical twins, who work together on each project. Originally from St. Petersburg, Maria and Natalia graduated from Rhode Island College, received masters' degrees from Hunter College, and currently live in Berlin, Germany. They actively participate in the international art scene.

The hand drawn animation is based on family photos and a 16 mm film, which was shot in a small village - Pabaltys in Lithuania in the mid-70s. A journey from Berlin to Pabaltys, in which memories and new impressions meet, captured in more than 3000 animated drawings and watercolors, became the subject of their story. The artists say: “In this project we try to recreate the world of our childhood. Although the drawings are autobiographical and very personal, this project is about the universal nature of childhood memories. By using fluid material on a semitransparent surface, we want to evoke associations with celluloid film and old slides. The project evolved into a 20-minute animation: PABALTYS."


Watch Maria and Natalia Petschatnikovs' interview with Maria Pritsker / "Kontakt" (in Russian, aired Oct 4, 2019) via Vimeo

Tribute to Oskar Rabin and Valentina Kropivnitsky

4:50 PM | A Happy Road by Tatyana Pinskaya and Alexander Shatalov

France-Russia 2008 | 60 min | Documentary | Russian with English subtitles | USA Premier

The film about Oscar Rabin, shot during the life of his wife, artist Valentina Kropivnitsky, and stories about them told by artists: Vladimir Nemukhin, Eric Bulatov, Kira Sapgir, photographer Vladimir Sychov, writer Arkady Nedel, who made a book about Rabin; Evgeny Barabanov, Alexander Avdeev, Tomaz Manasherov and Michael Ivasilievich, film producer.

Oscar Rabin was born in Moscow in 1928 in a family of doctors. After being orphaned at the age of 13, he found solace in art. He became part of the Kropivnitsky family of artists who lived in the village of Lianozovo, where Rabin developed his style using a dance mix of artistic techniques, combining painting, collage elements and surrealistic assembly. “I draw what I see. I lived in the barracks, like many Soviet citizens, and some still live, ” said Oscar Rabin, whose barrack studio in Lianozovo became the center of the artistic and intellectual life of the Moscow underground movement - the Lianozovo school. The official newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets mocked the artists by calling them Priests of the Rubbish Dump No. 8. In the late 1970s, the artist was expelled from the country and deprived of Soviet citizenship.


5:50 PM | In Search of a Lost Paradise by Evgeni Tzimbal and Alexander Smoljianski

France-Russia-Germany 2016 | 52 min | Documentary | Russian with English subtitles

The film is dedicated to Valentina Kropivnitsky, who, along with her husband Oscar Rabin, has been a pioneer and leading force in the non-conformist movement in Soviet Russia since the early 1960s. The history of the second Russian avant-garde begins with the Lianozovo group, which is part of the history of the Kropivnitsky-Rabin family.

Valentina Kropivnitsky (1924-2008) was born in the village of Tuchkovo, Moscow Region, in the family of artists Yevgeny Kropivnitsky and Olga Potapova. The young artist, who early showed her subtle imaginative style, studied at both an art school and under the guidance of her father. In 1950, she married Oscar Rabin, who was also guided by Yevgeny Kropivnitsky. At the end of the 50s, home of Valentina and Oskar in Lianozovo, and later in Moscow, became a meeting place of nonconformist artists, a center of Moscow underground artistic movement. In 1974, Oscar, Valentina and their son, Alexander, were among initiators of the landmark “Bulldozer Exhibition” of nonconformist artists, which got its name because it was crushed by the authorities with the help of bulldozers.

In 1978, traveling in France, Oskar Rabin learn that he is deprived of Soviet citizenship and is forbidden to return to the Soviet Union. The family remained in Paris. In the same year, Valentina Kropivnitsky's exhibition was held at the Parkway Focus Gallery in London. Her imaginary kingdom, which is inhabited by fantastic creatures and plants, surreal in nature, is contemplative, meditative and full of amazing human warmth.

The work of Kropivnitsky was shown at numerous group and personal exhibitions. In 1993, her personal exhibition was held at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. In 2007, a retrospective "Oscar Rabin, Valentina Kropivnitsky, Alexander Rabin. Paintings and Drawings from Private Collections” was held at the State Pushkin Museum in Moscow.

6:45 PM | The members of Kropivnitsky - Rabin family and artists will share their memories and participate in discussion.


Tickets: $10 general admission, $5 seniors (via EventBrite and at the door).

Hunter College, Lang Recital Hall - Room 424 North Building.  Entrance: south side of East 69th St. between Park Ave. & Lexington Ave.  Photo ID required for entry.  
Here is map and directions to Hunter College: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/abouthunter/maps/68th-street-main-campus

RACC’s programs and events are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Cojeco.