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В. Айзенберг. инсталяция «Интеллектуальный лес – лесополоса», 1992
В. Айзенберг, «ZIMA» (холст, масло 205х205 см), 1989
В. Айзенберг. Объект «Философия в будуаре»,1990. Собственность автора
В. Айзенберг, видео «ГЛАЗ», 2007
Date: January 24-March 5, 2017
Venue: 17 Ermolaevsky Lane, Moscow

Curator: Leonid Bazhanov

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents a major project-retrospective of Valeriy Ayzenberg (b. 1947) MIGRATIO curated by Leonid Bazhanov. The exhibition aims to explore the context and development of contemporary art in Russia for the last fifty years through the works by one of the most distinguished Russian artists who made a name for himself in the 1980s and remains one of the most influential artists today.

The title of the exhibition MIGRATIO can be interpreted in multiple ways, reflecting various messages that both the artist and the curator strive to convey to the viewer. Migration echoed in the title of the retrospective is one of the main characteristics of the life and work of Valeriy Ayzenberg. Not only does rapid transition describe the expanded geography of his places of residence (Ukraine, Russia, the USA, Israel), but it also marks his journey as an artist. And this journey is driven by the artist’s understanding of art as a space of freedom and experimentation. Valeriy Ayzenberg’s work draws on both the interdisplinary and the multicultural and sees the convergence of various trends, concepts and art forms.

Featuring over 100 works created by the artist for the last 40 years, the retrospective presents them not in chronological order but in installations, in which pieces are grouped according to themes. Such an arrangement allows artworks from various periods — paintings, objects, performances, text-, video- and photo-works — connected by the same subject to interact with each other, evoking an emotional response in the viewer.

The synopses provided by the artist and the curator for all groups of artworks serve as a key to understanding the installations and reveal another characteristic of Ayzenberg’s work — detached rationalism. The artist’s analytical approach enables him, with almost mathematical precision, to organize the apparent chaos inherent in his art practices into a clear-cut sequence of conscious decisions.

The exhibition at MMOMA will be accompanied by a catalogue, which unlike the exposition is arranged in chronological order in which exhibitions, projects and performances, carefully collected and described, serve as reference points. The edition is the result of the joint efforts of Valeriy Ayzenberg and Konstantin Adzher, who proposed the idea for the layout and design of the book. The structure of the catalogue enables the reader to coherently trace the history of the work of Valeriy Ayzenberg, one of the major protagonists of Russian contemporary art, whose career has spanned some forty years.

Valeriy Ayzenberg is a Russian artist, founder of the Escape program, author of stories, essays and critical articles on art. He was born on September 9, 1947 in the city of Bakhmach (Chernigov Oblast, Ukraine). The artist was nominated for Kandinsky and Sergey Kurekhin prizes, Black Square prize, «Soratnik» and «Vnimanie» prizes, NOS Literary Prize for his novel «The Lodger». Together with the participants of the Escape program he presented Russia at the 51st Biennale in Venice. He also participated in the Moscow Biennale and the Moscow International Film Festival, in the Prague Biennale, «Evropalia» festival, Contemporary Art in the Traditional Museum Festival amongst others. In 2003 the Escape Program was the first in Russia to receive the Black Square prize for achievements in the field of contemporary art. Valeriy Ayzenberg lives in Moscow, Tel-Aviv and New York.

Leonid Bazhanov — art historian, specialist in modern art of the second half of the 20th- early 21st century. He is the author of articles on contemporary art, curator of exhibitions in Russia and abroad. He was commissioner of the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2001, 2002) and curated projects at international biennales and triennales in Sao-Paulo, Istanbul, Cairo, New Delhi. Leonid Bazhanov is the founder of the creative association Hermitage, Center for Contemporary Art in Bolshaya Yakimanka, New Art charity foundation. In 1994-2016 he served as Art Director in the National Center for Contemporary Arts. He is a member of numerous public organizations, creative unions, associations, commissions, councils including: the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), Academy of Art Criticism, Advisory Council for Problems of Art of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the State Expert Commission of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Commission for Monumental Art of the Moscow City Duma.

Konstantin Adzher is a multimedia artist. He graduated from the Gnessins State Academy of Music, Moscow State University of Culture (clarinet, saxophone), Extramural University of Arts (easel painting, graphics), International Studios of Theater of Synthesis and Animation «Interstudio», Yury Sobolev Studio. He is a participant of the Emergency Exit group and Escape program. Konstantin joined the Escape program in 2007, 8 years after its inception. It is with the combined efforts of Ayzenberg and Adzher that this program has been able to continue.

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