From the Moskow diaries

December 13,1963, Friday 
I stopped at Volodka Yakovlev's. He was drawing. His mother arrived, brought some eggs and boiled kasha. She put the eggs in a stringbag on his bed. Volodka threw a tat book right on the eggs and they cracked. His mother began scolding him and crying. Volodka was taken aback at first, but then started persuading her that not all the eggs were broken and that he will go buy some new ones. It was so comical that I could not hold back a smile and hurried to leave. Volodka went to walk me out, and we escaped, leaving his mother there to cry. It was a freezing - 25 degrees outside. 

October 28,1964, Wednesday 
Hangover from last night's alcohol. We went with Volodka Piatnizky to drink beer. It was very cold. Volodka was in a green hat «a la Tirole», and a rain coat torn apart by a squirrel. Irka made some fried potatoes and we ate. I read poetry outloud. 

October 30,1964, Friday 
I was writing a paper for Piatnizky to hand in at the institute. We went together to see llya Kabakov and Yulo Sooster. llya showed some new work. We talked about Pop-art and alienation. Yulo was shaving. 
I visited Volodya Weissberg. He has some new off white works... 

Novenber 24,1964, Tuesday 
The whole evening I was at Yulo Sooster's, R.Minna, Leonard Daniltzev were there. Andrey Amalrik spoke of his own genius, there were ladies. 

December 1,1964, Tuesday 
The opening of the Nussberg group - «The Moscow Constructivists» I stopped at Kabakov's on the way, and took him along. We talked about mono and poly-consciousness according to Bakhtin. We went to Edik Steinberg. Levidov was there, and there were some women. We looked at paintings and drank tea with cranberries. At the opening there were many people and the cutting of a celluloid ribbon took place. Erik Bulatov introduced me to Oleg Vasiliev. 

January 4,1965, Monday 
In the evening Volodka Yakovlev arrived. We ate bread, sour milk, liver sausage and drank tea. Volodka was painting flowers. We looked at Igor Voroshilov's drawings, and Volodka praised them greatly. At around three in the morning we drank tea with Irka and Volodka, and went to bed. Volodka slept next to us on the floor on a mattress. 

April 23,1965, Friday 
In the evening Voroshilov arrived with an idea of getting hold of three thousand rubles. We sat there and laughed, suddenly we heard crackling noises, and bus sirens. Not too far from us a house was burning. We ran outside, watched the fire, and then drank tea with «dog's joy» sausages. 

September 22,1965, Wednesday 
Gena Aigi phoned me, and we went to the Maiakovsky Museum. We were preparing the exhibition of Larionov and Goncharova. A very comprehensive exhibit, the first of this kind in many years, thanks to N.I. Khardjiev who took the works from the Tretyakov Gallery, and from private collections. Irka was there, E.M. Royak and some museum employees... 

November 11,1965, Thursday 
We were preparing the exhibit in the Maiakovsky Museum, with Gena Aigi and some museum workers, under the supervision of Nic. Iv. Khardjiev, an exhibit called «Khiebnikov's Favorite Painters». It included drawings by Filonov, Malevich, P. Miturich, V. Khiebnikova, as well as photographs and lithographs. Irka was also there. 

November 12,1965, Friday 
Maiakovsky museum. The final touches under the supervision of Khardjiev, and at twelve the exhibit will open. Quite a few people are there. A sea of acquaintances... Kruchonykh was there. Rudik Duganov presented Schwartzman with some magic markers and the two of us were daubing an abstraction and were drawing in Rudik's album. Then Irka arrived, she is twenty two today. It is Rudik's birthday too, we drank a glass of cognac to that. Irka treated everyone to some chocolate. Around 8 o'clock, Nussberg, Infante, Kabakov, Zherebchevsky and Kolya Kartashov appeared. Kolya, Kabakov and Max went to our place. We bought some wine and vodka. Irka danced twist with Kabakov. llya dances it divinely. We were discussing the Moscow artists and chattering about various artistic matters. Looked at my works. 

November 29,1965, Monday 
Yesterday before going to bed, I conceived an idea - once a year towards the end of it there should be a convention of the best artists. Today I discussed it with Schwartzman and Kabakov - they are for it. Piatnizky and Tselkov gave their consent. Yankilevsky did not like it. 

December 1,1965, Wednesday 
Erik Bulatov telephoned. Tomorrow his exhibit will open at the Kurchatov institute. Dima Krasnopevtsev telephoned and greeted with enthusiasm the idea of the 29 November. 

December 2,1965, Thursday 
At five o'clock we went with Irka to Bulatov's and Kalinin's exhibit. When we arrived it turned out that the exhibit was banned and it would be open only until 7 o'clock, llya Kabakov was helping Bulatov hang the paintings, and was very upset because of the banning. 

December 26,1965, Sunday 
Irka went to the store and brought back some things for tea. Kabakov and Bulatov arrived and brought something to work on. Alioshka Smirnov came with a girl and then Voroshilov with Bernandt, and Gena Aigi with Natasha. The Artists' Day did not come into being, but instead we looked at Yakovlev's works and at our own. Kabakov left because he had to play Santa Claus. Alioshka left. We drank tea. I read my poems. G. Aigi remarked some of them. After everyone left, Seva Nekrasov arrived, he wrote some of his poems for me, and we chatted. Irka dozec off on the couch. 

January 1,1966, Saturday 
Ernst Neizvestny telephoned and told of his trip to the international 
symposium of sculpture in Yugoslavia, and of his great success there. 

August 23,1966, Tuesday 
Volodya Yakovlev came by. We looked at his works in my collection, he gave them names and I recorded them. We ate cutlets and went to meet Irka. She was at the cinema with Borka Lavrov. 

October 30,1966, Sunday 
Irka and I took Indjikh Khalupetzky and Miroslav to Yakovlev's place. The Czechs liked his works very much, studied them for a long time and discussed them. Indjikh spoke French and Yakovlev's father translated, His mother and sister were there. We drank tea. Everything was so nice. Sunlight and peace of mind. All of us, including Yakovlev went to Kabakov. We looked at his objects, llya told us of his ideas. Indjikh said that what Kabakov is doing, American artists are only about to begin, and that he has gone far ahead of them. Yakovlev was introduced to Kabakov, who praised his works, and said he was happy to know him. Yakovlev also liked llya's works. We all dined at a restaurant and then went to Kurchatov's club. Liovka Nussberg was there with his friends and objects. He showed us a fragment of a kinetic show. It was a breath-taking sight. We talked for a long time. Indjikh recounted about the Biennale and about «happenings» Yakovlev called Nussberg's art a repetition of Dadaism. Kabakov was delighted with Nussberg's ideas and kinetic presentations. 


16,1966, Wednesday 
Irka had a dream; Baska's acquaintance who worked in the hospital where my father passed away, revived my father for a short while. The whole family including him came home, but every one was in a funeral mood because he was supposed to be dead again soon. He turned to Irka and said: Do not leave him (meaning me). Then his thoughts started getting confused and his time was over. We went with him back to the hospital, there were many cars all around. Beyond the hospital was a cemetery and then everything faded out. 

February 12,1967, Sunday 
Volodka Yakovlev was hospitalized again. He threw into the garbage all of his paintings, paints etc, the neighbours told his parents about it, the parents came and put everything back in place. ...While Irka slept I enjoyed looking over my collection of Yakovlev's works until 3 o'clock in the morning. 

February 18,1967, Saturday 
Irka and I exterminated bedbugs. We found and killed three. 

March 15,1967, Wednesday 
We went to visit Volodka Yakovlev at the Kashenko Hospital. He appeared for a short while as if from behind the bars. I told him briefly about things and he vanished again in the depths of his prison... 

March 26,1967, Sunday 
In the morning I was at the Kashenko hospital visiting Yakovlev again. We talked for about five minutes, he said he was tired and parted. His consciousness is clear, but accumulated fears and tiredness are oppressing him. 

March 27,1967, Monday 
At five fifteen in the morning Irka gave birth to our son Yasha, named in the 
memory of my father... 

December 6,1967, Wednesday 
...I visited Kabakov at his new studio, a huge space in the attic, where his big works feel at home. llya has made many good drawings. 

January 27,1968, Saturday 
In the evening G.D.Kastaki was here. I showed him my collection of V.I. Yakovlev's works, and he admitted that he did not give him the credit he deserves long before. He said that Volodya is an artist by «God's grace» and that he wants to acquire some of his works, but I do not want to impair my collection. We also talked of Zveryev, of the significance of the Moscow artists (our group) on a world-wide scale and about other things. G.D. left at around two at night. 

January 30,1968, Tuesday 
llya Kabakov dropped in, we talked and drank hot chocolate... Looked at my old Mirks, llya was admiring them. We came to agreement about Yakovtev being an artist with a great future. He was admiring my collection and said that he'll give me four of his best graphic works. 

March 28,1968, Thursday 
Today a five hour exhibit (that I organized) was held, featuring Volodya Yakovlev and Edik Steinberg at the Artist's House on Zheltovskaya. It was the first display of this sort... The auditorium gradually became full, there were also people crowding the stairway and the lobby. All of Moscow was there... The Moscow «leftist» artists were there, an infinite number of acquaintances... I was congratulated with the exhibit, and every one was surprised to know that the entire precious assortment of Yakovlev's works were from my collection. Yakovlev was radiant and well-dressed... 
...And so, it came true. Yakovlev is free and is attending his own show. I am hoping for the healing powers of this event... 

May 14,1968, Tuesday 
Irka went to see Edik Limonov - he made her an extravagant dress from lace, very short and beautiful, black with a golden lining... 

August 18,1969, Monday 
Kabakov, Bachurin and me organized a triple coalition with a code of rules... I was empowered with a triple vote in deciding on the question of accepting other artists into our group... 

March 5,1970, Thursday 
I had a violent fight and broke the face of some disgusting type until it bled. He has pushed an old lady down from the step of a trolley-bus... 

July 18,1970, Saturday 
Kabakov arrived with the Leningrad actor Yursky and his wife, and the actor Misha Kazakov with his mother. I showed them my collection and my works... Kabakov, Misha and I talked for a long time, Irka gave us some strong tea and we read poetry until four o'clock in the morning... Irka put llya to sleep on Yashka's couch, and Misha slept nearby on the floor. 

August 29,1970, Saturday 
llya Kabakov came by, we looked at his works, and then calmly talked with him and with Irka over a bottle of Vermouth, about the perspectives of our own lives... 

September 30,1971, Thursday 
Irka and I, Yashenka and Zlatka have left for Israel. 

                           (The translator with Russian on English is unknown