Mikhail Koulakov, born in Moscow in 1933, is a representative of the Soviet avant-garde of the 1960s; he graduated in set design under Nikolai Akimov, artist and director, at Leningrad’s Institute for Theatrical Arts in 1962, and started his career in Moscow and Leningrad where his works were displayed in alternative spaces to Socialist realism. In 1976 he came to live in Italy.
His anthological exhibitions include: Auditorium of San Domenico (Narni 1988), 1989: The Soviet Union Foundation of Culture, ex-riding school of the Czars in Leningrad and Riga Arsenal; architectural complex “San Michele a Ripa” in Rome (1991), 1993: Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, State Ethnographic Museum, St. Petersburg, and Palazzo Ruspoli in Rome; “Bibliomediateca” (Terni 1996), CERP “Centro Espositivo Rocca Paolina” (Perugia 2003).
Mikhail Koulakov has had also numerous one-man shows in private galleries in many countries.
Personal exhibitions planned for 2005/06 include: Palazzo Venezia in Rome, State Tretjakov Gallery in Moscow, and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
Some of the collective exhibitions he has taken part: 1977: “Salon d'Art Sacre” in Paris; “X Quadriennale” in Rome; Venice Biennial “La nuova arte sovietica. Una prospettiva non ufficiale”; 1979: “20 Jahre unabhaengiger Kunst aus der Sovjetunion”, Museum Bochum, Bochumkunstsammlung, Bochum; 1994: “IV Biennale di Arte Sacra”, San Gabriele, Teramo; 1995: “From Gulag to glasnost” Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection, Jane Vorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, USA; 1996: “Non konformisty-Seconda avanguardia russa”, Collezione Bar-Ger: The Russian State Museum, St. Petersburg - State Tretjakov Gallery, Moscow - Staedel Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main - Kunsthaus, Leverkusen and 1997: Josef Albers Museum, Quadrat Bottrop; “Arte Metro Roma” project, mosaic at Anagnina metro station, Rome; 1998: “Anatomia Sovremennogo iskusstva” St. Petersburg, 1999: “Die Suche nach der Freiheit. Moskauer Kuenstler der 50er und 70er Jahre”, Berlin-Hamburg; “Un colore in più”, Spazio Krizia, Milan; 2000: “Un angelo per la città”, Rocca Paolina, Perugia; 2001: “Abstrakzia v Rossii”, Russian State Museum, St. Petersburg, 2003: “Moskovskaja abstrakzia, 2. polovina XX veka”, State Tretjakov Gallery, Moscow.
In 1993 he was elected senior academician of the Fine Arts Academy “Pietro Vannucci” in Perugia.
His works are on permanent display in the following museums:
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; State Tretjakov Gallery, Moscow; State Gallery of Fine Arts, Penza; Musée d’Art Contemporain du Montreal, Canada; Jane Vorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Jersey, USA; Municipal Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rome; Museum “Stauros” of Contemporary Sacred Art, San Gabriele, Teramo; Museum of “Arte delle Generazioni Italiane del Novecento G. Bargellini”, Pieve di Cento, Bologna; Anagnina Metro Station, Rome.
Works in public collections:
Bank of Italy, Rome; Fond Russkoi kultury, Moscow; Kolodzei Art Foundation
Moscow/USA; Cartiere Miliani, Fabriano; Fine Arts Academy “P.Vannucci”, Perugia; Province of Aquila; Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Rome
His works are also present in several private collections in Russia, Italy, Europe, USA and Canada.
Authors who have reviewed his works include:
M. Apa, V. Apuleo, A. Bagnato, L. Bartolon, L. Bazanov, L. Beatrice, M. Bessonova, E. Bilardello, A. Borovsky, J.E. Bowlt, M. Branzis, M. Chiesa, D. Konecny, K. Bushkin, F. Calzavacca, C. Costantini, J. Crawford, E. Crispolti, F. D'Amico, U. degli Innocenti, M. di Candia, G. Di Genova, P. Dorazio, M. Doria de Zulian , M. Duranti, N. Fallaci, V. Goriainov, D. Likhaciov, P. Matiuhin, M. Meilakh, D. Micacchi, F. Miele, G. Moncada, F.R. Morelli, L. Nekrasova, A. Nizamudtinova, T. Panchina, L. Pratesi, E. Preuss, F. Pullia, J. Recupero, B. Schisa ,V. Sergheiv, L. Strozzieri , M. Valsecchi, E. Torelli Landini, A. Vattese, C. Zavattini
Mikhail Koulakov lives and works in Umbria, Italy.