A Defunct Collective Finds Its Muse

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.
Enlarge This Image

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.