Yelena Kalinsky

I am a doctoral candidate in art history at Rutgers University, studying 20th century art, performance, and photography. My dissertation focuses on conceptual art and performance in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s, and my Fulbright year will be spent conducting research for this project.

I first became seriously interested in Russian art as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, where as an art history major I was able to take courses in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. This work culminated in an undergraduate thesis about notions of style and Soviet Socialist Realism.

As a Dodge Graduate Fellow at Rutgers, I have been extremely fortunate to work with the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union, one of the largest collections of unofficial Soviet art anywhere in the world. Rutgers also happens to have been a hotbed for performance in the 1950s, and my interest in performance studies was sparked through coursework and this remarkable history.

During my stay in Russia, I will be affiliated with the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Moscow, an organization that supports exhibitions and research on contemporary Russian art. I will be researching in archives, conducting interviews, and visiting the sites where key performances took place. I am excited to work with living artists whose activities in the 1970s and 1980s have had a profound effect on the course of Russian art in the last two decades, and I am grateful to the Fulbright Program for this rare opportunity.

The Fulbright Program in Russia. Institute of International Education.
Strastnoy Bulvar 8A, 4th floor, Moscow, Russia 107031
Tel: +7.495.966.9353 Contact: