Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Anatoly Zverev as a Cultural Phenomenon: Remembering the Artist
Reserve Your Seat (CUID Only) Register for Zoom Webinar Watch on YouTube


Location Note

1219 International Affairs Building
420 W 118th St, 12th floor

This event is in-person for CUID card holders only. In-person attendees must be in compliance with Columbia University’s health protocols for returning to campus. Pre-registration, valid CUID card, valid green pass, and face covering are required for admittance. All other attendees may participate virtually on Zoom or YouTube.


Please join the Harriman Institute and the Kolodzei Art Foundation for a presentation in conjunction with our exhibit Anatoly Zverev: Selections from the Kolodzei Art Foundation.

Natalia Kolodzei of the Kolodzei Art Foundation will discuss the artist Anatoly Zverev and his legacy. Introduction by Mark Lipovetsky (Columbia Slavic Department/Harriman Institute), with recorded remarks by Tatiana Kolodzei, art historian/curator Maria Plavinsky and artist/art collector Natalia Kostaki.

Special thank you to CYLAND MediaArtLab for technical support.

The Kolodzei Art Foundation, a US-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public foundation founded in 1991, organizes exhibitions and cultural exchanges in museums and cultural centers in the United States, Russia and other countries, often utilizing the considerable resources of the Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art, and publishes books on Russian art.


Recorded Remarks

The English versions of these videos are incorporated in the event recording. Click the preferred language to open the video on YouTube.

Tatiana Kolodzei [English] [Russian]

Natalia Kostaki [English] [Russian]

Maria Plavinsky [English] [Russian]



Natalia Kolodzei, an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts, is a curator and art historian specializing on the art of Russia and Eastern Europe. She is also Executive Director of the Kolodzei Art Foundation, and, along with Tatiana Kolodzei, owner of the Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art, containing over 7,000 artworks (paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photography, kinetic and digital art) by over 300 artists from Russia, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since 1991, she has curated over eighty shows in the US, Europe and Russia, including: Oleg Vassiliev: Memory Speaks (Themes and Variations), the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow and the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; Moscow-New York =Parallel Play, Concerning the Spiritual Tradition in Russian Art, From Non-Conformism to Feminisms: Russian Women Artists, and From Leningrad to St. Petersburg, Chelsea Art Museum, New York. She is an author and editor of multiple publications and organized and contributed to symposiums and panel discussions (including co-hosting The Leonardo / LASER CYLAND Talks in St. Petersburg) for universities and exhibitions worldwide. In 2010 she was a member of Culture Sub-Working Group under the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission.

Tatiana Kolodzei is an art collector, curator and art historian. She started collecting Russian and Soviet Non-Conformist Art in the 1960s during the height of the Cold War in Moscow. Kolodzei was only 17 when she met George Costakis, saw his collection, and “caught the collecting bug” for life. The Costakis Collection, and those of several other private collectors (e.g., Yakov Rubinstein and Abram Chudnovsky), contained works by artists that could not be seen anywhere else in Russia: Popova, Klucis, Chagall, Malevich, Kandinsky, and others. Their works were not displayed in any official museum, and were kept in storage facilities, which were closed to the public. In 1969-1971, Kolodzei organized several exhibitions of non-conformist artists Mikhail Kulakov, Dmitri Plavinsky, Otari Kandaurov in Dubna, a closed city of nuclear scientists. In 1975, artists approached her and Leonid Talochkin to help organize an exhibition and work with an installation at the VDNKh, Moscow, dedicated to the anniversary of the Bulldozer exhibition. In 1989, Kolodzei organized the exhibition 100 Artists from the Collection of Tatiana and Natasha Kolodzei at The State Museum of Fine Arts, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Natalia Kostaki is an artist and art collector. As an artist, she is submerged in an inner world built on the values of her childhood. Her art peels back life’s curtain to reveal its hidden secrets and ways. Kostaki was educated at the Stroganov Faculty of Art and Industrial Design in Moscow. Her father was George Costakis, also an artist, as well as a famous collector of Russian avant-garde art. Growing up, Kostaki absorbed the antique Russian icons and works of Russian revolutionary avant-garde artists in her parents’ home. After her father’s death, Kostaki was attracted to the art of easel painting and graphic drawing. Her compositions depict her worldview with moving particles and energetic fields and substances, which exist under their own astrological laws. Her work draws on contrast and a polyrhythmic use of colors, and a ciphered symbolism of objects. Her free plotting of dots and ovals creates islands and eyes within her works: even those that do not depict faces obtain a kind of sight—every abstract drawing becoming home to unusual, exotic creatures.

Maria Plavinsky is an art historian, artist, and curator. She was born into a family of academic art historians, geologists, chemists, historians and theologians, but devoted her life to contemporary art. In 1980, Plavinsky defended her diploma in contemporary and non-conformist art at the Moscow State University—the first such degree conferred in the USSR—on the art of Vladimir Weisberg, thus laying a cornerstone of the study of contemporary art in Russian-language art history. For many years, Plavinsky worked at the Central House of Artists, and in the 1990s, she took part in the work of the Hermitage association, which prepared the first retrospective exhibitions of non-conformists and their young followers. A major influence in her life was her union with the non-conformist artist Dmitri Plavinsky (1937–2012) as wife and interpreter of his art for many decades. The art historical work of Maria Plavinsky bears little resemblance to ordinary practice: she writes about the complex and even mysterious in a simple and beautiful classical Russian language, drawing on her thorough knowledge not only of art history, but also the technical, artistic component of art. The amazing world of Dmitri Plavinsky’s etchings, for example, turns not only into a mysterious journey through the depths of European history, philosophy and theology, but also, in Maria Plavinsky’s analysis, reveals itself as a mysterious workshop of complex technical tricks required to create engraving on metal.


Event Video