DRAWING. NO LIMITS.
4 MAY - 3 AUGUST 2016
Open 2pm - 5pm most days
Please call in advance to check or if you would like to see the exhibition outside these hours.
Aljona Shapovalova. Illusions. 2013. From ‘Formula of Eternity' series. Mixed media on glass, 40x20.
Artists: Tanya Akhmetgalieva, Yury Alexandrov, Maria Arendt, Yury Avvakumov, Liza Bobkova, Amanita, Annushka Brochet, Kirill Chelushkin, Vladimir Grig, Ilya Grishaev, Georgy Litichesky, 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 disciplines, although still strongly related to drawing.
The curator of the project Liza Savina says: «This exhibition clearly shows developmental similarities in the contemporary art world. We hope that this will be the first in a series of exhibitions to help the western eye understand Russian culture, but also helping us realise what we can present to the world.»
Co-curator of the project in London is Olga Jurgenson (Pushkin House). She says: «Russian Сontemporary: Drawing. No Limits’ offers the visitor a broad spectrum of artistic expression from very talented artists of different generations living and working in Russia today. 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 effectively has a thought-provoking 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 the UK and introduces a lesser known, but just as important aspect of contemporary Russian artistic life.»
One of the definitive pieces in the exhibition is Hermes’s Cardboard House by Yuri Avvakumov, the founder of the Paper Architecture movement.
Two artists 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 consciously 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 comics of Vladimir Grig.
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 decorations 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. The architectural fantasies of Alyona Shapovalova are engraved on glass, they represent something between a memorial to the greatness of man, and chronicles of martian landscapes.
Aidan Salakhova’s Purpose project, which is a series of silk screen prints on metallised paper, introduces the viewer to the paradigm of the graphic art of a tattoo. Natalia Pivko develops the theme of the theater by putting aliens in Victorian decorations, thus breaking the space-time continuum. The collages by Natalia Mali The Shadows of My Own Prison and paintings in light boxes by Annushka Brochet are focused on the theme of female identity.
Haim Sokol, Andrei Rudyev and Sergei Pakhomov use text in their works in share the literature-centric roots of Russian art.