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'Richard Meier: Collages' opens at the Stroganov Palace, St. Petersburg
Ein-Sof, 2010. Collage. 40.6x40.6cm.


ST. PETERSBURG .- Galerie Gmurzynska announces an exhibition of collages by the seminal architect Richard Meier, which opened on October 30th 2014 at the Stroganov Palace and run through January 2015. Stroganov Palace is an 18th-century imperial residence once belonging to the Stroganov clan, themselves famous collectors and patrons of the arts during their time. Today this splendid location forms part of The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

Coinciding with and honoring the artist’s 80th birthday this autumn, this museum exhibition is preceded by the showcase „Richard Meier – Timepieces“ Galerie Gmurzynska presented at their premises in Zurich from October through December in 2013. Galerie Gmurzynska is proud to creatively work with Richard Meier whose collages were not only featured during the gallery’s presentation at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2013 but who further conceived the design for the gallery’s booth.

Richard Meier (born 1934 in Newark) is famous for his buildings’ elaboration on simple geometric shapes such as circles ad rectangles and he remains one of the most acclaimed architects working today. Often referred to as the “White Architect” stemming not least from his own dictum “light is life”, his buildings’ predominantly white facades double as striking light reflectors, most famously so in form of Meier’s sprawling Getty Center complex in Los Angeles. Meier is the recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Price – architecture’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize – as well as the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects in 2006 and the Compasso d’oro in 1984.

Through his vivid and handsome collages Meier offers a rare autobiographical glimpse into the myriad facets of the visual environment and sources making an impact on his everyday experience and trains of thought. Culled from books, magazines and newspapers alongside personal yet disposable effects such as museum and travel ticket stubs, cigarette packaging and the occasional loose drawing by hand, the collages unfold as an equally pop-cultural and art-historical cross section in diaristic fashion.

Neatly yet casually arranged into formally crisp compositions, the collages mirror Meier’s predilection as an architect for the modernist grid and a purist rectangular arrangement of components that make a visually inviting structure. In this, the collages not only formally pay tribute to the modern graphic and geometric aesthetics advanced by Russian avant-garde artists from El Lissitzky to Rodchenko; Meier further foregrounds this art-historical lineage by incorporating reproductions of Suprematist and Constructivist works by such artists into his collages. There they share the stage not only with other iconic art from a Western canon but a highly individual material selection eliciting the breadth of human stimuli: from celebrity culture to classical nudes, from global politics to personal erotica and intimate snapshots.

On the occasion of this exhibition Galerie Gmurzynska in collaboration with The State Russia Museum is publishing a richly illustrated catalogue in English and Russian containing an introduction by Evgenia Petrova, Deputy Director of Academic Research at The State Russian Museum. The catalogue further features scholarly essays by Semyon Mikhailovsky, Head of the St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Art and curator of the Russian pavilion for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale and Ekaterina Klimova, Head of the Department of Engravings of the 18th to 21st centuries at The State Russian Museum.





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November 1, 2014

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