Mikhail Kulakov's place in the history of the newest Russian art is represented to this day in a criminally unclear manner - in spite of the fact that Kulakov was and remains one of those few who was at the very beginnings of this art. Some call him - the "champion of abstraction", others - an "outsider". In their own way both those and the others are right; at the same time, in Russia the demand for the artist and the response to his work are scanty. Paradoxical? I would say so, in as much as it is unimaginable in any other European country, where the post-war initiators of abstract art have long ago become the masters of masters, the heavenly beings of museums, the most highly sort after exhibitors of monographic retrospectives in national art centres and so on and so on. But this paradox is so natural in Russia - the place of birth of objectless art and the focal point of the most powerful age-old spiritual tradition, where Malevich's "Black square" is considered by viewers as being the least popular picture, and artists of the Eastern Orthodox denomination, who reflect upon religious themes are brought to court. Aberrations, distortions of culture, caused by the peculiarity of historical development, in the new century have transformed into the norm, having marginalized the defining for Russia, core vectors, amongst which are precisely the object-less and spiritual trends in Art, in much close to one another.

There is no need to exaggerate. Mikhail Kulakov is truly an important figure in the sphere of the underground, an influential, "radiating" artist. The mastering of avant-garde trends, which were first and foremost associated with abstraction, by 1957, the brave work with new techniques and in large formats, bigger than two metres in size, the inclusion of performance elements in the artistic process - all of this strategically distinguished him from the local background and brought him close to western contemporaries from the very start of his creative evolution.