Ernst Neizvestny, Sculptor Who Confronted Khrushchev, Dies At 91

Ernst Neizvestny, sculptor who confronted Khrushchev, dies at 91

MOSCOW, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 10th August, 2016) - Ernst Neizvestny, a Russian-born sculptor who publicly debated modern art with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and went on to create his final memorial, died in the United States Tuesday. Neizvestny, known for his dynamic monumental works, died in New York, US-based journalist Oleg Sulkin announced on Facebook early Wednesday morning. Neizvestny, who was forced to leave the Soviet Union in the 1970s, famously confronted Khrushchev in 1962 at "The New Reality" contemporary art show in central Moscow.

Khrushchev came to view the exhibition and, encouraged by his entourage, launched a tirade against the artists, calling them "degenerates" and condemning their work as "shit". But Neizvestny, a burly decorated war hero, was not cowed and spoke back to the Soviet leader, insisting that he show his work while attempting to explain it. "I'm not afraid of your threats," the artist told Khrushchev, he recalled in a 1979 interview. Khrushchev accused him of wasting metal that could be used in industry and advised him to go and live abroad, sparking a purge of artists. Afterwards Neizvestny was expelled from the Union of Artists.