ALEXEY MOROSOV. PONTIFEX MAXIMVS/LE STANZE
Hexagone_Abraxas, Bronze, 2016
Tarquin le Superbe, bronze, 2015
Artemisia_MMXVI, Bronze, 2016
Pilonvs_bosphorvm_russicvm. Steel, bronze. 2015
Date: February 9 — April 2, 2017
Venue: 10 Gogolevsky Boulevard, MMOMA
Curators: Prof.Alexandro Romanini, Cristina Krasnyanskaya
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents an exhibition of Alexey Morosov PONTIFEX MAXIMVS/LE STANZE, which is an expanded version of the exhibition PONTIFEX MAXIMVS shown at the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2015. The current exhibition represents a site-specific installation in which a variety of media — sculptures, video works and works on paper — are merged into the exhibition space.
The title of the exhibition PONTIF MAXIMVS/LE STANZE refers to the Stanze — the four rooms painted by Raphael in the Vatican Museums, in each of which frescoes are united by one subject or character. Referring to the portrayal of revived caryatids introduced by Raphael in Stanze, Alexey Morosov’s work revolves around the theme of the animated sculpture. Each hall of the MMOMA exhibition is devoted to an installation with a sculpture as its main piece and videos and works on paper as complementing elements in dialogue with the sculpture.
Throughout his artistic career Morosov has been consistently creating a comprehensive fictional world, in which he rethinks the Greco-Roman classical legacy by placing it in today’s context. According to the artist, the possibilities of the figurative language of Greek and Roman sculpture, which for centuries has been shaping European civilization, are far from exhausted and are still capable of delivering an acute artistic message.
The title PONTIFEX MAXIMVS, meaning «the great bridge builder», is in reference to the Latin term «pons facere» — «the creation of bridges» — which implies a recycling of esoteric practices carried out by the Romans and, as envisioned by the artist, epitomizes the idea of restoring ties between antiquity and modernity, as well as the ties between the East and the West.
Similarly to art, which is predicated on conceptual archetypes, the bridge embodies collective energy which charges its location with symbolic meaning. Initially, the mythology of the bridge stemmed from its function in the world of gods, where it is believed to serve as the place where universal truths reveal themselves, the point at which they attain their particular form in the material realm. Consequently, its meaning evolved to connote the connection between the profane world and the divine world. Martin Heidegger’s (Marburg Lectures) and Immanuel Kant’s consideration of the bridge in relation to metaphysics prompted the artist to use the Bosphorus bridge and the bridge leading to Russky Island as reference points in the MMOMA project.
Using the iconography of antiquity, Alexey Morosov takes anachronistic leaps from its historical scope to instill the provocative and dissonant content of contemporaneity into its classical structure. The reference to ancient art is reflected in the choice of materials: the artist uses «classical» bronze and marble alongside concrete and carbon. Bronze sculptures, featured in the exhibition, have been made in Pietrasanta, and the process of their production has involved technologies based on traditional craftsmanship. According to the artist, in today’s world of ever-changing ethical and aesthetic values, classical culture with its iconography becomes an increasingly important reference point. In his sculptures, video works and works on paper Morosov takes from the harmonious canons of classical art to analyze and counter the chaos of the world. His narrative takes place in a post-apocalyptic, bleak, militarized space, allowing the artist to avoid any unequivocal interpretations.
About the artist
Alexey Morosov was born in Frunze (now Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan). In 1999 he graduated from V. Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute where he majored in sculpture under Lev Kerbel. Since 2013 Alexey Morosov serves as the Director of the Moscow Academy Art College, since 2014 he is a member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Arts. Among his major solo shows are PONTIFEX MAXIMVS, State Archaeological Museum in Napoli, Italy (2016); PONTIFEX MAXIMVS preview, 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, VDNKH, Moscow (2015); «Cantata iTunes», Homofarber, Cav, Pietrasanta, Italy (2015); «Morosov MMXIV», Heritage Gallery, Moscow (2014); CARYATID SUPERSONIC, Piazza Bra, Verona, Italy (2012); ANTOLOGIA, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (2011-2012); CONSTANTINOPOLIS, Artplay, Moscow (2004); «Craft Deco Classic», D137 Gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia (2003); «Craft Deco Academic», New Academy of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia (2003); MAGOS, Vicenza, Italy (2002); the artist also participated in the exhibitions MITRA SUPER in partnership with the New Academy of Fine Arts, Moscow Museum and Exhibition Association Manege, Moscow (2000); II Biennale of Contemporary Art, Okhta exhibition hall of the Union of Artists, St. Petersburg, Russia (1992).
He lives and works in Moscow and Lucca (Italy).
The general partner of the project: Karakan Invest