Galina
KAKOVKINA
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   In 1987 group of artists from Nizhniy Novgorod (mostly representatives of informal art) found an art association called "Cherniy Prud". This association was unique alternative to the "Union of artists", the official organization which had an exclusive right to allow artists to participate in exhibitions and strictly selected works for these exhibitions.
    At first in group there were eight artists: Aleksey Sakharov, Galina Kakovkina, Nikolay Smetanin, Aleksey Akilov, Yakov Vasilchenko, Gennadiy Urlin, Nikolay Opykhtin and Sergey Suvorov. Later two more artists were accepted: Natalia Pankova and Sergey Sorokin.
    Artists of the group achieved the right to exhibit their works in the foyer of the "Record" cinema, which was located near a park called Cherniy Prud (Black pond), that was the reason for choosing such a name. Exhibitions ran without interruption, general exhibitions were replaced by personal and group ones. Citizens who could only see the art of socialistic realism, have shown unknown interest to the exhibitions of Cherniy Prud. Cherniy Prud stirred the city. Meetings of artists with spectators were organized after every exhibition, and lots of heated discussions about art took place there.
    Soon artists became known and other exhibition centers in different cities started to invite them.
The Chuvash state art museum became the first museum which has invited the Cherniy prud. Nowadays, there exist the largest collection of their art.
    Since 1992 exhibition activity of association was sharply reduced. Spiritual searches of its some members, decided to be engaged in an iconography became the reason of it. However exhibitions pass till now, arousing usuac interest of public.