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Lev Nusberg — founder of the «Movement» group, one of the first artists who began to work in the direction of geometric abstraction, by his art and organizational activities he contributed to the development of kinetic art in the USSR, the creation of prototypes of spatial installations and even performative activities in nature. He participated in the exhibition Documenta and shortly after emigration brought domestic geometric and kinetic art into the international orbit. Nusberg deserves more fame, but lives almost a hermit in the United States. The current 80-year anniversary of the artist is not really mentioned in Russia.
The work from 1961 under the conditional name «Composition» (Nusberg did not use to give names to small works then) — a very rich work for the artist, striving for the purity of forms, sometimes to minimalism. Its image is a superposition of a white vertical, a black horizontal in the oval in the center and diagonals inside another oval of horizontal orientation. The composition turns out to be complex, built on sharp contrasts of directions and colors. A bright red background with a symmetrical tonal stretching from the center to the edges plays a symbolic role. It is complemented by soft blue and lilac lines in the central ovals. The work is based on the principle of superimposing visual layers and almost creates a collage, at least an expressive, spatial impression. It feels like transmitted radiation or a feeling of a strained string. It looks quite monumental in its small format. Not without reason, the ideas embedded in it are developed in Nusberg's subsequent program work: «Piercing as an idea» (1962) from the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery and the «Movement» (1962), origaniting from the collection of Alexander Reznikov. It is the central white line, stitched together with dark stripes — the horizontal one in the «Piercing as an idea» painting and the vertical one here — can be called one of the memorable motives of the domestic geometric abstraction.
It was from the early 1960’s, in spite of all prohibitions and persecutions, that the ideas of geometry in painting began to develop actively in the USSR. Students and like-minded Nusberg, colleagues from the «Movement» group changed the artistic environment of those years in many ways. The «Composition» from Reznikov collection — one of the starting points of this innovative line. We should not forget that in the year of its appearance humanity overcame the seemingly impossible boundary – the launch of a spacecraft with an astronaut on board. Today it seems that Nusberg's images resonate best with this event. V