George Costakis: A Russian Life in Art by Peter Roberts

By Peter Roberts

This correct ebook paints a wealthy portrait of the Russian avant-garde and the intrigues which it stored for posterity. Roberts has written a desirable historical past of the recognized Costakis assortment and its author 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, regularly and painstakingly, the summary, constructivist and supremacist artwork of 1912 to 1930 which fell into legitimate disrepute lower than Stalin. the writer, a former Canadian ambassador to Moscow, is a first-hand authority on Costakis and his awesome obsession.

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His hands were shaking, his teeth chattering, his head shook. There was no hope of speaking. I said to him, "Pull yourself together. We have to talk about things. " Then we talked. He said, "It's very bad. And the worst is that we have no money. Because there's a good shop, with almost everything. You can buy bread, and butter, and jam, and candy, cigarettes - everything you need. And you know," he said, "there are a lot of Greeks here, and they're dying from hunger. " Well, I had brought what was left of the food and money, and I left him everything, and we went on talking.

So I happily gave more than half the food and more than half the money, hoping that he would deliver it. I didn't have much choice. I waited a day, another day. Nothing. He let me down. From there, from the gulag headquarters, to the camp was eight kilometres. You had to take the train. The camp stretched out on the right side of the railway. It was colossal, vast, with four towers. Machine-gunners in the towers. And there, when you arrive at five or six in the morning, you see the gates opening, and out of the camp comes a black mass, like some kind of intestine, of people, and they weave to the right and the left and back to the right.

You will receive nothing from him, and there will be no package. " I said yes. " I said I would try if I had to. He turned around and went out, and I thought, What have I done to myself? They can arrest me. So for a few days I hid. But I had to eat, and very quietly I went up to the railway station in Kotlas. The station had a restaurant, better than the Metropole, better than any restaurant in Moscow. They made supper you wouldn't believe. Borshch, Kiev cutlets, and anything you like. I found out that the cook there was a convict, formerly the chef from some big Moscow or Leningrad restaurant.

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