Preserving art, freedom and human dignity in the age of the totalitarian state was one of the great challenges of the 20th century. In this text, Slavic scholar Albert Leong chronicles the life and work of Ernst Neizvestny, the great Russian sculptor and philosopher of art who survived the Soviet police state to become a folk hero to his people. Based on research in the formerly closed Soviet archives, exclusive interviews with Neizvestny, his family and friends, the volume tells the story of a visionary artist and World War II commando officer who narrowly escaped death on the battlefield, successfully defied Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and the KGB to create acclaimed works of monumental art. Forced into exile to the West in 1976, Neizvestny returned in triumph to the Soviet Union in 1989 to design the first monuments in Russia to the countless victims of Stalinist political repression.
Albert Leong received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is professor emeritus of Slavic languages at the University of Oregon. A specialist on modern Russian culture and the leading Western authority on Ernst Neizvestny, he compiled and translated Neizvestny's Space, Time, and Synthesis In Art: Essays on Art, Literature, and Philosophy.