The Desert of Forbidden Art

Trailer (2:39)
Clip 1 (2:31)
Clip 2 (1:44)
Clip 3 (3:18)
  • 2010 CINE Golden Eagle Award
  • About the Film

    A young Igor Savitsky is pictured wearing a cloth hat which is blowing in the desert wind.

    The work of Soviet-era avant-garde artists almost disappeared under Stalin, but survived thanks to the passion and daring of one man in Uzbekistan.

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  • Gallery

    The 1932 painting “Constructing a Road” by Nikolay Karakhan depicts several, shirtless Muslim men in an Islamic urban construction site, as a detatchment of Young Pioneers march in uniform behind them.

    Explore a gallery of art works by such masters of the underground Russian avant-garde as Yevgeny Lyssenko, Max Penson, Lyubov Popov, Elena Korovay, Alexander Volkov, Alexey Rybnikov, and Ural Tansykbaev.

    Tour the gallery >>

  • From the Blog

    A detail from a painting entitled “The Bull” by Vladimir Lysenko depicts a wild looking beast staring out at the viewer with void-black eyes and one horn patterned enigmatically with Mondrian-like, colored rectangles.

    Desert of Forbidden Art Museum Threatened in Uzbekistan

    The remarkable collection of Soviet-era banned art at the Nukus Museum in has come under a grave new threat by the Uzbek government.


  • Talkback

    Photo of tractor: Black and white photo taken in 1930s Soviet Uzbekistan of farmers standing on a tractor mounted with a portrait of Joseph Stalin.

    Art and artists often suffer under autocratic or extremist systems. Do you think there is ever a valid reason to suppress art (writing, painting, film, digital art) in the interest of national security?

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