..."Koulakov first emerged as an artist in 1960 with the series of very personal drawings entitled The birth of the Modern World and The War for Peace , produced in Leningrad in a Style of Surrealist gesture in the uninhibited confusion of human figures and faces against a background of free brushstrokes. The brushstrokes, automatic in its application, represented the result of an instinctive abstract Surrealism, while in the large works like Warriors or other figures the informal style of Koulakov was seen in lines and areas of large, spontaneous, colourful and instinctively effusive strokes of color with a strong suggestion of emotion. And in fact the informal style of Koulakov developed from the iconizing of the stroke itself, thick with paint and rapidly gesture. That interest in the imaginary nature of ancient Russian icons, which served as an influence during his formative period in the second half of the 1950s, reemerges as an informal gestural mark and provides the framework of the outlines of figures in the following years, for exemple in 1963 in Apocalypse, and again in 1967 in Cosmogony ..."

Enrico Crispolti, A voyage of spirit and sign from abstract surrealism to object constructions in space, Narni 1988

"...While working in Rome the artist gave vent to his imagination, not only strengthening the connection with his roots, but also looking towards the Far East, clearly an important component of Russian culture. Koulakov resolved the risk of loosing his identity when he moved from the place of his development and his earliest maturity by searching deeply within himself and finding a broarder perspective. Thus, paradoxically, after his arrival in Rome instead of Westernizing or selecting Western models of the avantgarde, the artist in a certain sense Easternized.Indeed, even if he brought to the Italian an Western European environment a cultural diversity, albeit always consistent with the common language of the avantgarde (primarily of stroke and gesture), in reality he developed within this environment a style which only his Russian past could have motivated. His view towards the East offered him an ideal place for the contemplative activity and the maximum spiritual density; with the suspended time of the pure event of spiritual epiphany. Koulakov's work does not represent only the joining of the Eastern and Western European Artistic culture but, through his own Russian Orientalizing, it represents within European artistic culture (a spontaneous recovery of the broadest traditional diemension), an acquisition of the Eastern dialogue (primarily based on the Zen behavior and philosophy)

Enrico Crispolti Spiritually Revealing Gesture in the Works of Mikhail Koulakov , Moscow , 1990