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Two Major Contemporary Russian Shows Opening at the Garage
Ilya Gaponov & Kirill Koteshov, from Kuzbass series. 200x1000 cm, 5 parts, canvas, Kuzbass varnish (bitumen). Courtesy: The Artists and Triumph Gallery. ©Ilya Gaponov & Kirill Koteshov.

MOSCOW.- The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture will showcase new art being created in Russia today in two major exhibitions, both opening on 5 March 2010. Futurologia will explore the legacy of the avant-garde movement of the early 20th century, showing how the work of Kazimir Malevich and his contemporaries continue to influence Russian artists today. Russian Utopias will examine the theme of utopia in Russian art over the last 20 years. Together, the exhibitions will represent the work of over 40 artists and provide a unique insight into two different trajectories of contemporary Russian art.

The pioneering artist Kazimir Malevich is one of the most significant figures of the Russian avant-garde. Malevich founded the Suprematist school of geometric abstract art in 1915, but turned late in his career to a figurative style of painting. Futurologia will examine the influence of the avant-garde by showing the work of Malevich alongside 18 newly commissioned, large-scale works by contemporary Russian artists, which also use both abstraction and figuration.

The exhibition will be shown concurrently with Russian Utopias, which looks at the recurring theme of utopia in Russian art. Showing works by both established and emerging artists spanning the last 20 years, the exhibition will demonstrate how the concept of utopia has evolved over time and been subject to radically different interpretations, from being regarded as an archaeological monument to acting as a vehicle to imagine an alternative future. By tracing the development of these ideas in contemporary art, the exhibition explores how utopian ideals and dreams are an important part of the Russian character and society.

As well as casting new light on the contemporary art scene in Russia, the joint exhibitions offer a chance to view Russian art through both local and international perspectives. Russian Utopias is curated by Yulia Aksenova and Tatiana Volkova, part of a new generation of young curators working in Moscow. In contrast, Futurologia is curated by internationally renowned French curator Hervé Mikaeloff who has previously curated for the Louis Vuitton and Caisse des Dépôts Collections.

Futurologia and Russian Utopias are part of Année France – Russie 2010, the cultural exchange programme between Russia and France.

Futurologia artists include: Kazimir Malevich (kindly lent by the MMoma Collection, Moscow), Afrika (Sergei Bugaev), Victor Alimpiev, Petr Belyi, Olga Chernysheva, Electroboutique (Alexei Shulgin, Aristarkh Chernyshev and Roman Minaev), Gaponov & Koteshov, Olga Kisseleva, Irina Korina, Diana Machulina, Andrei Molodkin, Pavel Pepperstein, Ivan Plusch, Recycle group (Andrey Blokhin and Georgy Kuznetsov) Aidan Salakhova and Sergei Bratkov

Russian Utopias will feature works by: ABC group, Viacheslav Akhunov, Yuri Avvakumov, Kirill Ass and Anna Ratafieva, Blue Noses group, Alexander Brodsky, Dmitry Bulatov and Alexei Chebikin, Alexei Buldakov, Cloud Commission group, Dmitry Gutov, Iced Architects group, Inspection Medicine Hermeneutique group, Igor Makarevich and Elena Elagina, Alexei Kallima, Oleg Kulik, Dmitriy Korobkov, Valery Koshliakov, Andrei Kuzkin, Dmitry Prigov, Nikolai Polissky, PG group, Avdei Ter-Oganian, Boris Orlov, Stas Shuripa, Sergei Shutov, Haim Sokol, Natalia Struchkova, Where the Dogs Run group and Arseniy Zhilyaev

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