A Defunct Collective Finds Its Muse

By SOPHIA KISHKOVSKY
Published: June 24, 2010

NIKOLA-LENIVETS, RUSSIA — The setting is like something out of a 19th-century Russian novel about artists, aristocrats and their acolytes mingling at a pastoral country estate.
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James Hill for The New York Times

Nikolai Polissky, the Russian artist, by the Lighthouse on the river Ugra in the village of the Nikola-Lenivets in the Kaluga region south of Moscow.

Nikola-Lenivets, about a four bumpy hour’s drive south of Moscow in the Kaluga region, has inspired the land-art creations of Nikolai Polissky, and has become both a magnet for Russian contemporary artists and a name on the international art scene.

Mr. Polissky and villagers-turned-artisans under his training have crafted installations for the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and for the museum of modern art in Luxembourg — a wooden rendition of the Large Hadron Collider — and deer for Philippe Starck’s revamp of Le Royal Monceau hotel in Paris, which are to ship out on July 1.