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JUMBO LOVE© Henry Khudyakov
Henry Khudyakov. Flag and I. 1985-2014. Collage on canvas.
Henry Khudyakov. Sneakers. 1999-2003. Sneakers, fluorescent paint
Henry Khudyakov. Christmas 84. 1984-94. Collage on canvas.
Henry Khudyakov. Jacket # 3. 1987-2008. Jacket, assemblage, mixed media.
Henry Khudyakov. Pearl Store. 1985-2014. Collage on canvas.
Henry Khudyakov at his opening at Nahamkin Gallery, 1992.
Henry Khudyakov in his studio, 2005.
Date: March 22 — May 19, 2019
Venue: MMOMA, Petrovka, 25

Curator: Vitaliy Patsyukov
Exhibition design: Konstantin Larin

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art together with Tabakman Collection presents «JUMBO LOVE©Henry Khudyakov» — the first solo exhibition of Henry Khudyakov to be held in Russia. The retrospective includes Khudyakov’s artworks and memorabilia from his career such as artist’s books, documentation of performances, video interviews, archive materials and photographs. The show can be regarded as a journey interspersed with the artistic events and artworks that played a crucial role in Khudyakov’s life.

Henry Khudyakov embarked on his career as an artist in 1969 when as a final year student at the Department of Philology of the Leningrad University he worked on developing a theoretical grounding for his visual search as part of his poetic experimentation. Cut off from official publication channels, Henry Khudyakov’s handwritten and typewritten books existed as part of the self-publishing movement, samizdat, outside the Soviet printed media, thus using a social ban as an opportunity for a creative action.

In 1974, the artist emigrated to the United States where he continued to work in the fields of visual art and experimental poetry, combining various art forms. The atmosphere of the New York art scene of the 1970s, which was dominated by the East Village movements, naturally provided a basis for Khudyakov’s further evolution as an artist. The East Village art scene, which brought together beatniks, performance artists, rockers, members of the Fluxus community, as well as gave birth to such celebrities as Jeff Koons, Keith Haring and Michel Basquiat, in many ways resonated with Henry Khudyakov. During this period, the artist’s tools were enriched by «found objects» from the streets of New York. He used them to produce his neckties, shoes, jackets, and shirts which acted as manifestos of his «ideal» world. Acquiring a new skin, made of badges, bottle caps, foil, adhesive tape, stickers, rhinestones, straws, sponges and toys, these mundane objects turned into precious artefacts of our time, offering new authenticity and new vision.

The exhibition traces Khudyakov’s career both as a poet and an artist, blurring the distinction between such phenomena as performance and visual-poetic language, experimentation and tradition, a work of pop art and an expressive abstract painting. A special place in the exhibition is occupied by recorded interviews with the artist and his poetry readings, which represent a new art form — acoustic performance. Henry’s paradoxical reciting style echoed Bob Dylan’s gruff voice and the manifestos of Allen Ginsberg who called on to read Shelley and Emily Dickinson.

For Henry Khudyakov, the freedom of formal expression meant first of all spiritual freedom, conveyed through plastic formulas of his own creation. These formulas, close to a pictographic language and incorporated in visual text, are no longer images of an object — they become subjects containing their own energy and their own creative will. Today, Henry Khudyakov’s poetic world can be viewed as a manifesto, a drama, and the output of his paradoxical life.
A catalogue under the same title in both Russian and English languages has been published to coincide with the exhibition.

About the Artist

Henry Khudyakov was born in 1930 in Chelyabinsk. His father worked at a national security sensitive enterprise and his mother was a school literature teacher. As a child he showed interest in literature and began writing poetry. In 1959, having graduated from the Philology Department of the Leningrad State University Henry Khudyakov returned to Moscow. During the period from 1960 to 1962 Henry Khudyakov worked as an art historian at the All-Union Traveling Poster Exhibition and lived for some time in Central Asia and the South Caucasus. In the 1960s Henry Khudyakov released self-published books with poems «Cats —Bears», «Third One in addition to the Redundant», «Katsaveikas», «By Twos of All Flesh...» and a book with poems in Japanese style titled «Haiku». At the same time he read books on theosophy and anthroposophy and developed an interest in Gnosticism. In 1974 Henry Khudyakov emigrated to the United States where he turned to visual art. Henry Khudyakov participated in several group exhibitions including a show held at the Contemporary Russian Art Center of America directed by Norton Dodge (1982) and «Collection! Contemporary Art in the USSR and Russia. 1950-2000» (2017, Center Pompidou). The artist’s solo exhibitions were held in the Fine Arts Museum of Long Island (1989, Hempstead, New York), Nakhamkin Gallery (1991, New York), and Tabakman Museum of Contemporary Russian Art (1996, Hudson, New York). Hirschl & Adler Galleries represented Henry Khudyakov at the Outsider Art Fairs in Paris (2015) and New York (2016). Henry Khudyakov’s works are part of the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) and Center Pompidou in Paris. Henry Khudyakov died on January 10, 2019. He is buried in Jersey City, New Jersey.

About the Curator

Vitaly Patsyukov is an art historian, curator and theorist. Along with visual art, considered in the context of other art forms and from the perspective of scientific, linguistic and social practices, Patsyukov’s research interests include the relations between the tradition of the avant-garde and contemporary artistic strategies.

About Tabakman Collection

Tabakman Collection of Russian non-conformist art was established in the early 90s after Roman Tabakman acquired part of the collection of the Russian Museum in Exile, opened by Alexander Glezer in Montgeron near Paris. Subsequently, it was supplemented by several major acquisitions. In 1996, Tabakman Museum was established in Hudson, New York. Henry Khudyakov’s collaboration with Roman Tabakman began in the mid-1990s. The Emerging Arts Foundation, created by Roman Tabakman and his wife Marina Dlugy-Tabakman, organised Khudyakov’s exhibitions, contributed to the development of the artist’s career and preserved his artistic heritage presented at this show in MMOMA.

 

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