Moscow City Government
Moscow City Department of Culture
Russian Academy of Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Cosmos of Yuri Zlotnikov
Date: April 26 — June 5, 2011
Venue: Moscow Museum of Modern Art (17 Ermolaevsky)
The name of Yuri Zlotnikov is closely associated with the whole period of the development of the Russian contemporary art of the second half of the 20th century. Years of the totalitarian regime resulted in a cultural catastrophe, when contemporary art was considered illegal and was deprived of avant-garde art energy and the very meaning of the notion «contemporary». It was Zlotnikov’s art that became a saving link connecting artistic searches of the post-war period with achievements of the Russian culture of the first quarter of the 20th century.
The Signal System by Zlotnikov is one of the utmost and remarkable phenomena in the Russian art history. It has implanted ideas of the Russian avant-garde to the art tradition, which is influencing the present art processes.
But art discoveries of Zlotnikov are not limited to his celebrated Signal System only. The artist has early realized the impossibility of wide application of his aesthetic principles. For many years after Khrushchev Thaw period, Zlotnikov has been searching and finding opportunities to keep his artworks in the conditional and designed condition that is required for an authentic modernist art piece. His artworks are in opposition not only to the Soviet art, from official art to legalized youth surrealism, but also to the non-conformist camp, from the generation of the so-called «men of the sixties» to Moscow conceptual art.
The artist Yuri Zlotnikov has transformed and introduced us to a life-asserting impulse of the modernist art. At present, when the question on the formal language for representation is raised in the Russian actual art and the painting is not treated as a marginal phenomenon, it is difficult to overestimate the role of artistic achievements of Zlotnikov.
The exhibition will be divided into four conditional sections reflecting wide aesthetic and ethic views of the artist. They are Person, Signals, Cosmos and Space and Time, the last stage including the most recent artworks.
The Person section will show artworks of 1950-1960s. Among them there are Balakovo series, portraits and self-portraits, and the series devoted to Moscow, the city, where the artist has been born and has lived his life.
The next section will present the renowned works by Zlotnikov, his masterpieces of 1957-1962. The Signals series was created during five years of Khrushchev Thaw period.
The Cosmos section will combine works created from the mid-1960s till the end of the 20th century. Among them there is History, Dante’s Circles of Hell, Dramatic Composition, Antithesis to Black Square by K. Malevich and Metaphysical Composition.
This scaled historical retrospective show will end with numerous abstract artworks of the last ten years. Despite of their tiny size, these A4 size pieces of art display the same grand message, the same cosmism and interest to a human being, which distinguish artworks by Yuri Zlotnikov for almost 70 years of his artistic career.
The scientific conference dedicated to Zlotnikov's art will be held in the end of May.
Strategeic Media Partner