Movement. Evolution. Art
February 20 - April 1, 2007
Organizer: the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation
Project idea: Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhin
Curator: Alexandra Kharitonova
Exhibition design: Konstantin Larin
"Movement. Evolution. Art" was the first project launched in the new exhibition space of the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation.
The organizers of the Foundation started their collection about 10 years ago, and it now holds over 500 pieces of Russian art. Since 2004 they have been actively collecting works of Western artists, such as Wesselmann, Rosenquist, Waldes, and Calder, to name just a few. "Movement Evolution Art" embraced the period from 1916 to 2006, and it was for the first time that this particular collection was presented to the audience as a whole.
The leitmotif of the exhibition was movement, a theme that is rightly considered one of the backbones of the history of art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The exhibition demonstrated movement as it is realized in painting, sculpture installations, objects, and video art.
One of the first stiles successfully evolving the idea of art was non-figurative art. Artists developed new principles of special modeling by constructing dynamic forms on the painting's surface and creating works whose titles, such as Painting Architectonics, Dimensional-Dynamic Construction, Suprematic Composition, Colourdynamic Tension - are the best evidence of the direction of their creative research.
The 1930s saw the climax of promotion of physical culture, mass sport parades, demonstrations and marches. This was reflected in numerous pieces of art created for the International Exhibition in Paris in 1937. Nowadays the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation presents a panel by Alexander Samokhvalov Soviet Physical Culture specially created for the given exhibition.
Later on the Soviet ideology became the theme and matter of many unofficial soviet artists' works. "Sots" Art ironically played with the plastic formulae of Soviet Art both in paintings and sculptures. Alexander Kosolapov quotes the movement motif of the famous sculptural group The Worker and the Kolkhoz Woman by Vera Mukhina that was placed on the roof of the Soviet pavilion at the Moscow Exhibition Centre, while Leonid Sokov creates a meeting of a Lenin Monument and a sculpture by Jacometti. In 1960s and 1970s there emerged new unofficial artists striving to find new creative language. They tried to establish their own creative credo and develop a new art system that would be based on the national avant-garde tradition combined with some traits of the Western post-war art life. Those were the artists of the so-called 'Lianozovo School' (Lidiya Masterkova, Dmitry Plavinsky), of the 'Sretensky Boulevard' group (Viktor Pivovarov, Edward Steinberg, Vladimir Yankilevsky, Mikhail Schwarzman), and others. There appeared not only art theories but also certain religious, mystical, and metaphysical teachings. The idea of movement as a biological phenomenon was developed in Ulo Sooster’s paintings. The group 'Movement' was created in 1962 by several «kinetists» headed by Francisco Infante.
The decade from 1990 to 2000 was notably full of events that brought about essential changes in public life and on the artistic scene. The information about international art and culture became available and western curators started visiting Russia, there appeared the art market and a chance of integration into the contemporary art world.
The theme of movement has become extremely relevant to contemporary art to give rise to entirely new forms: the installation, the object, and video art. Artists are now in contact with mass culture as well as mass media texts, socio-historical and biological theories. Art itself is being transformed into a global futurist concept – a good example of this transformation is set by Oleg Kulik's project Museum, paintings by Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexander Vinogradov, sculptures by Sergey Shekhovtsov.
Painters: Lyubov Popova, Varvara Stepanova, Alexander Tyshler, Samuil Adlivankin, Alexander Samokhvalov, Lidiya Masterkova, Ulo Sooster, Erik Bulatov, Francisco Infante-Arana, Viktor Pivovarov, Dmitry Plavinskiy, Mikhail Shvartsman, Edward Steinberg, Vladimir Yankilevskiy, Leonid Purygin, Leonid Sokov, Alexander Kosolapov, Semyon Faibisovich, Tatyana Badanina, Andrey Bartenev, Sergey Bratkov, Sergey Bugaev–Afrika, Georgy Guryanov, Ulrich Witensborg, Filipp Ramett, Vladimir Dubossarskiy and Alexander Vinogradov, Larisa Zvezdochetova-Rezun, Vitaly Komar and Aleksandr Melamid, Valery Koshlyakov, Oleg Kulik, Tony Matelli, Pavel Pepperstein, Sergey Mironenko, Timur Novikov, Nikola Ovchinnikov, Vasily Tsagolov, Ilya Chichkan, Kerim Ragimov, James Rosenquist, Aidan Salakhova, Blue Noses group, Andrey Filippov, Sergey Shekhovtsov, Viktor Alimpiev.