Artists: Tanya Akhmetgalieva, Yury Alexandrov, Maria Arendt, Yury Avvakumov, Liza Bobkova, Amanita, Annushka Brochet, Kirill Chelushkin, Vladimir Grig, Ilya Grishaev, Georgy Litichevsky, Natalia Mali, Gosha Ostretsov, Sergey Pakhomov, Natalia Pivko, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Andrey Rudjev, Aidan Salakhova, Aljona Shapovalova, Denis Shevchuk, Shishkin-Hokusai, Petr Shvetsov, Haim Sokol
Curators: Liza Savina and Olga Jürgenson
Pushkin House and the Savina Gallery present Russian Contemporary: Drawing. No Limits.
The exhibition brings together 23 Russian artists from across the generations, and includes new young artists as well as older and much more well-known names: it shows all the main themes and directions in contemporary art in Russia today.
Drawing. No Limits is intended to acquaint the non-Russian with the major directions presently developing in contemporary Russian art: from three-dimensional installations to textual works, from architectural forms to graphic novels. The exhibition has already been shown in Berlin at the Russian House of Science and Culture (Russisches Haus der Wissenschaft und Kultur). The core of the exhibition is drawing, with the pieces crossing different media, although still strongly referencing drawing.
The curator of the project Liza Savina says: ‘This exhibition clearly shows similar trends in the contemporary art world. We hope that this will be the first in a series of exhibitions to help the understanding of Russian culture for the western eye, but it also helps us understand what we can present to the world.’
Co-curator of the project in London is artist Olga Jürgenson, who collaborates with Pushkin House. She says: ‘Drawing. No Limits’ offers the visitor a broad spectrum of artistic expression from very talented artists of different generations living and working in Russia now. It is significant that the exhibition is taking place at this time and specifically in Pushkin House, a place that is proud to present the best of Russian culture in the most pluralistic way possible. We also wanted to show that contemporary art in Russia is not limited to Moscow.’
Pushkin House Director Clem Cecil says: ‘This is the first time these artists have been exhibited as a group, and together they are more than the sum of their parts. The visitor to this exhibition is promised an illuminating introduction to Russian art today. Pushkin House is proud to show these new movements in Russian art. This exhibition complements perfectly the Russian blockbuster shows in UK today and introduces a lesser known, but just as important aspect of contemporary Russian artistic life.’
All the artists shown at the exhibition expand the boundaries of understanding a drawing: from solid installations to text work, from architectural forms to comics.
One of the definitive pieces in the exhibition is ‘Hermes’s Cardboard House’ by Yuri Avvakumov, the founder of the Paper Architecture movement.
Two of the artists are working with textiles: Maria Arendt, whose project ‘Fabrics of the city’ recreates monuments of the avant garde using the finest of stitches, and Tanya Akhmetgalieva, who translates graphics into the language of textiles.
The biggest scale works are the 8-metre installation ‘Honeycombs and Cocoons’ by Georgy Litichevsky, a giant monochrome fresco by Kirill Chelushkin and the printed graphic of Vladimir Grit.
Aidan Salakhova is showing some new experimental printed works.
Gosha Ostretsov takes the art of the graphic novel beyond the limitations of the magazine page with his work from a series inspired by Salvador Dali’s designs for the Alfred Hitchcock film Spellbound.
There are also some miniature works in the exhibition including that of Denis Shevchuk – a black cube engraved on ivory piano keys. There are also works engraved on glass: the architectural fantasies of Alyona Shapovalova – something between a memorial to the greatness of man, and chronicles of martian landscapes.
The works of Haim Sokol, Andrei Rudyev, Sergei Pakhomov are linked by the theme of text, and the literature-centric nature of Russian art.