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Debris of the Future: Exhibition of new drawings and paintings by Pavel Pepperstein opens at Pace London
Pavel Pepperstein, The heads of the abstract figures, 2013. 120 cm x 180 cm x 2.8 cm (47-1/4" x 70-7/8" x 1-1/8")© Pavel Pepperstein, courtesy Pace Gallery.

LONDON.- Pace London presents an exhibition of new drawings and paintings by Pavel Pepperstein from 11 February to 15 March 2014 at 6-10 Lexington Street. Debris of the Future is Pepperstein’s first exhibition with Pace and coincides with the UK-Russia Year of Culture programme initiated by the British Council and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At once intriguing and confounding, Pepperstein’s pictorial language appropriates the Suprematist iconography of the Russian avant-garde, impregnating its minimalist forms with mysterious figures drawn from Russian folklore, Hollywood films, science fiction and the artist’s own ingenious fantasies.

Self-titled “psychedelic realist”, Pepperstein’s practice develops out of a desire to forge a new Russian representative style that will salvage the remnants of a rich cultural history being woefully destroyed in the name of progress.

The title of the exhibition, Debris of the Future, proposes that the remnants of the past – referred to as the disintegrated utopian projects by Pepperstein - will form the building blocks of the future. Pepperstein’s vision calls for the rebirth of Suprematist vocabulary, epitomised by Malevich’s Blue Triangle and Black Square, which would ultimately serve to challenge Western cultural domination.

Highlights of the exhibition include Supreme of Control, Pepperstein’s hijacking of the American flag, which takes on a distinctively Soviet avant-garde aesthetic. Corresponding with the Suprematist graphical elements that sprout from the mouths of two Hollywood characters in Language of the Future, Pepperstein anticipates a time when Russian culture will permeate the global consciousness, emerging even from national American symbols and pictorial tropes.

The text, words and sentences combined with his use of primary colours complement Pepperstein’s palette. In Pepperstein’s vision “the beauty of wreckage” and “hope for the future” are intertwined concepts.

“Each work can be interpreted in the context of the exhibition but also outside of this context, as a completely autonomous and self-sufficient work. The pleasurable mental and emotional states caused by different combinations of colours and shapes, must ensure the renaissance of ideas and sensations in the future. It’s only by falling in love with a piece of the past that we can learn to love our future.” Pavel Pepperstein, January 2014.

A brilliantly adept draftsman, Pepperstein succeeds in combining seemingly contradictory cultural and historical signifiers within mystical compositions that proffer the viewer an insight into the possibility of a Russian national artistic language.

Pavel Pepperstein was born in 1966 in Moscow. From 1985 to 1987 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. In 1987 he co-founded the experimental group of artists called Inspection Medical Hermeneutics (P.Pepperstein, S. Anufriev, Y.Liederman, V. Fedorov). The ideology of Medical Hermeneutics was the fusion of incompatible descriptive language, from contemporary western philosophy and Orthodox theology, Daoism and Buddhism to the language of psychiatry and pharmacology, which created a completely unique manner of expression. Since 1989 Pepperstein has been an independent artist, writer, critic, art theorist and rap musician. His work is a continuation of the tradition started by the Moscow Conceptual School. In 2009 Pepperstein represented Russia at the Venice Biennale where his installation Landscapes of the Future was widely acclaimed and received numerous outstanding reviews from critics. Pepperstein’s works have been exhibited in many museums and galleries in Russia and around the world, including The Louvre. His paintings, drawings and installations can be found in the Tretyakov State Gallery in Moscow, the Russian State Museum in St Petersburg, the George Pompidou Centre in Paris and in many private collections both in Russia and abroad. Pepperstein’s various articles on the problems presented by contemporary art have been published both at home and abroad.

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