and Melamid's Soul of Norton Dodge 1978-79 (a
construction of wood, metals, white string, and certificate on
red paper, 16.9 х 25.6 х 12.9 cm,
Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European
Art, Kolodzei Art Foundation, Inc)
from the project Souls
(a corporation was created by Komar and Melamid for
buying and selling of human souls).
Auction of American Souls in Moscow was one
of the first private art auctions in Russia. It took place in
Mikhail Odnoralov's studio in Moscow in 1979 and was organized
by the Gnezdo group (Skersis, Donskoi, Roshal) .
Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid were born in
Moscow, Komar on September 11, 1943 and Melamid on July 14,
1945. Both artists attended the Moscow Art School from 1958 to
1960, and the Stroganov Institute of Art & Design, Moscow,
from 1962 to 1967. Their collaborative work started in 1965,
and in 1967, they initiated the SOTS Art movement (the Soviet
version of Western Pop Art). Their first international
exhibition was at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, in 1976.
Since then, they have had numerous public
commissions and exhibitions throughout the world. In 1978,
Komar & Melamid became United States residents. In 1981,
they were the first Russian artists to receive a National
Endowment for the Arts grant. Notorious dissidents before they
left the Soviet Union, the artists have since been called
"exasperating expatriates" for their travesties of
to the Kolodzei Collection
Tatiana Kolodzei buying the soul.