twitter facebook
Art work by mexican artist Carlos Amorales - a special guest of ART MOSCOW 2011

The Artery of Contemporary Art in Moscow 0

There are at least two substantial reasons to spend this week in Moscow. First, this is a biennale year for contemporary art in Moscow. The biennale is taking place from September 23 through November 30. Second, from September 21-25, the biggest art fair in Eastern Europe, ART MOSCOW, is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary.

The 15th International Art Fair ART MOSCOW
Central Artists House
September 21-25.

From September 21-25, the largest art fair in Eastern Europe, ART MOSCOW, will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary in the Russian capital, Moscow. This year, forty-one art galleries will participate in the show, including two galleries from Latvia: Alma, which will take part this year for the first time, and Rīgas Galerija (Riga Gallery), a long-time participant. The gallery Temnikova & Kasela will participate from Estonia, and Scandinavia will be represented by the Helsinki gallery Forsblom, which collaborates both with Finnish and international artists, presenting such figures as Julian Schnabel and St. Petersburg artist Sergei Bugaev (Afrika). A wealth of Moscow galleries—fifteen—will take part in the fair, along with galleries from New York, Tokyo, London (White Space Gallery, which represents Russian contemporary art), and other international cities. Alongside the gallery shows, the fair also offers important lectures and several exhibits—both group exhibitions and solo shows.

Lecture: Carlos Amorales
Press Center of Central Artists House
September 23, 16:00

The world-renowned Mexican artist Carlos Amorales (1970) will give a lecture during ART MOSCOW 2011.

Carlos Amorales currently lives and works both in his native Mexico and in Amsterdam, where he was educated. Amorales is engaged mostly with issues of contemporary Mexican cultural values, which he addresses with a string of different media of expression. In Amorales’s works, viewers can find scenes of a post-apocalyptic world, embodied both in paintings and drawings as well as in sculptures, video animation, and performances.

Amorales’s works have been exhibited at the Tate Modern in London, the Pompidou Center in Paris, and the Art Basel Miami fair in Florida. He has had solo shows in London, Paris, Mexico, Buenos Aires, and Philadelphia. The artist’s works can be found in the collections of museums and foundations on both sides of the Atlantic, including at MoMA in New York. 

Since 1998, Amorales has been working on a series of drawings entitled Liquid Archive, which he regularly supplements with new images—strange birds, animals, spiders, plants, and red, black, and gray creatures crawling on their knees. The catalogue of critters in Liquid Archive depicts a world in which characters and objects seem familiar at first glance, yet quickly provoke feelings of anxiety, even fear. Amorales was influenced by the Gothic in developing these surreal visions, finding inspiration in everyday life. The book Carlos Amorales: Liquid Archive, Why Fear The Future was published in 2007, in collaboration with Dutch designers Mevis & Van Deursen.

At his lecture in Moscow, Amorales will be joined by Adrian Notz of Switzerland, who oversaw the artist’s exhibit The Skeleton Image Constellation, which took place as part of the Liquid Archive project in 2009 at the legendary Zurich club Cabaret Voltaire, where Notz is the international project director.


Parallax of Good and Evil. Dualism of Volume Construction
Curated by
 Liza Plavinskaia.
Hall 14b

This visual acoustic media project will feature several international groups of artists who experiment with the relationship between spatial optics and contemporary philosophy. Participants include the leading names in Russian 3D art: media artist Lidya Vitkovskaia (Moscow/New York), artist Denis Mihaylov (Moscow), and Evgeny Kalachev (Viatka/Moscow /New York), who is both a composer and a 3D technology theoretician.

The exhibit’s concept is based on the scientific term “parallax,” which is related to the apparent movement of objects when the viewer changes his points of view; this takes place thanks to the fact that we have been blessed with two eyes. The effect of parallax allows us to perceive depth in a three-dimensional space. An example of this contemplation of parallax is Denis Mihaylov’s work Stereotypes, on view at the exhibit, where using special stereo technology the artist allows visitors to look at famous paintings by Baroque-era artists in three-dimensional form.

ArtMoth. Vitas Stasunas
Curated by Maria Chuikova

Hall 11

The artist Vitas Stasunas (1958), who is of Lithuanian descent and has lived in Moscow for many years, has achieved widespread renown with his unique technique of “sculptural painting.” In his solo show at the ART MOSCOW fair, Stasunas has created an installation dedicated to the urban landscape; the work was made by thematically compiling works from various periods. These are united by scenes from urban everyday life: apartments, garages, cars, roads, factories. Stasunas’s art can be describes by the artist’s ability to play with the phenomenon of Russian everyday life and mass culture. At the exhibit he represents the Moscow gallery XL.

Insight. Jeff Cowen
Curated by Eric Schlosser
Hall 15 (VIP lounge)

The New York City-born artist Jeff Cowen (1966) is represented at ART MOSCOW for the first time. Works from three periods of his career are exhibited at the fair: New York (1990–1995), Paris (2001–2006), and Berlin (2007–2010). Cowen’s photo studio is currently housed in Berlin.

Cowen creates his impressive, large-format photos works using a lengthy, complex, and very meticulous process. He develops each of his works in a specially adapted laboratory. The content of his photographs varies from street photography, female figures, and landscapes to still lives and abstractions. These unique and timeless pictures capture the viewer’s attention, emotions, and spirit. Their powerful, mystical aura hasn’t vanished over the years. Cowen’s approach is not photographic; rather, it is more painterly and sculptural. In his work, he applies chemicals to photo paper, which he then rips, glues, and paints on. His works are created on thick, wavy paper, thus challenging traditional photography. 

Translate / Transcribe
Curated by 
Ian Goncharov
Hall 21 (second floor)

This exhibit, featuring emerging young British artists, is the first show of its kind in Russia to emphasize new ways of challenging preconceptions in contemporary art traditions. The title of the project encompasses a universal activity for artists, who absorb prevailing ideas and translate them anew through a personal prism. The exhibition evaluates engrained ways of how contemporary artists work and how audiences perceive this—in the context of Western contemporary art. It’s time for radical gestures and critical dialogues in relation to both the form and the content of contemporary art.

Curated by Kirill Shamanov
Oval hall

Tajiks-Art is a group of St. Petersburg artists who have achieved renown by imitating the performances of Marina Abramovicha, Jonatan Meeze, Santiago Sierra, and Yoko Ono, as well as bio-copying the canvases of American expressionists. At ART MOSCOW, Tajiks-Art will show a program of brand new installations and performances, celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the fair. St. Petersburg intellectuals, with the help of guest workers, will create copies of works that were made by renowned Russian politicians and were successfully sold at charity auctions: Vladimir Putin’s work Pattern (the original was sold for 37 million rubles, or more than 875,000 euros), former St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matvienko’s Blizzard (17 million rubles, or just over 400,000 euros), and a repainted photo of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev (sold for 51 million rubles, or more than a million euros, becoming one of the most expensive photographs in the world). Copies of these and other works of art will be on display at the exhibit, and will be sure to cause an uproar.

New Culture Festival

The New Culture Festival will also take place during ART MOSCOW, with an emphasis on new media and the 21st-century generation of artists. As the development and importance of digital technologies continues to grow, radical changes have taken place in the way we show and distribute music, film, animation, and media art. Curated by Tatyana Ryabukhina and Andrey Crel. Venue: Halls, entresol, and courtyard of the Central Artists House.

Krymsky Val, 10
Central Artists House

Rewriting Worlds
4 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Arts

Design center ARTPLAY
September 23 – November 30

The first Moscow Biennale was held in 2005 and won wide acclaim not only in Russia but throughout Europe, marking the Russian capital as an essential milestone of European art navigation system, side by side with Lyon, France, Venice, Italy and Thessaloniki, Greece. The same way as its counterparts elsewhere in the world, the Moscow Biennale is structured around its central project, while numerous other events (about 20 of them) are simultaneously taking place in different venues around the city. It will comprise also the so called satellites - a number of exhibitions organized by other art institutions.

The commissioner of this year's Biennale, Joseph Backstein, is one of the most prominent figures on the current Russian art scene. His name is oftentimes regarded as synonymous with the term "contemporary art in Russia". Backstein has curated many important and scandalous exhibitions, including a contemporary art presentation in the notorious Butyrka prison, where its inmates in a week's time painted its green walls white, so that associations with the classic "white cube" could be triggered. Bakstein monitored the entire process and even had his lunches together with prisoners. He is also the organizer of the first and the second Moscow Biennale.

The curator of the main project, entitled "Rewriting Worlds,'' is Peter Weibel - an artist, new media art theorist and the director of ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany. The exhibition will take place in two venues - the newly opened exposition hall of Moscow design center "ARTPLAY" and ЦУМ Art Foundation. Its fundamental statement is that art is a space where something new is ceaselessly created, implying that artists are therefore constantly "rewriting" the existing reality by means of their works, saturated with new and new ideas. The commissioner emphasizes that a wide range of artistic media will be featured this time - aside from painting, representing the so-called "new media" as well. Among participants (many of them debuting in Moscow) are such names as Isaak Julien, Elmgreen & Dragset, Neo Rauch, Rebecca Horn and many others.

ЦУМ Art Foundation
Петровка, 2
Центр дизайна ARTPLAY,
ул. Нижняя Сыромятническая д.10