Maxim Ksuta

russian artist, contemporary art, sculpture, installation, photography

Category: Event


The general aim of the exhibition is to present the specifics of functioning of drawing in contemporary Russian art. The basic section on the show brings together the works of the 1990-2000’s but also there are presented the earlier materials connected mostly with conceptualism of Soviet time. The exposition presents the different ways of actualization of art of drawing and its technique side. Nowadays the drawing is not linked only with the pencil and paper and deviates from norm – it conquers new territories and tests new untraditional materials. It also  breaks the narrow frameworks of this view of art and like such new media as photography and video become one of universal languages in contemporary culture.

The exposition presents the following views of actual drawing:

Traditional drawing connected with new forms, expressive means and situations, manipulation with expressive means of academic study drawing, enlargement to the dimension of canvas, including in the installations.

Conceptual drawing including the period of creation of this trend (Medical Germenevtika Inspection project, D.Prigov, N.Alekseyev).

Postconceptual drawing as the reaction on the virtual reality (I.Razumov, J.Zastava, M.Sha).

Expansion of drawing on the territory of photograph and active intercommunication with this view of art (M.Ksuta, E.Gor, G.Majophis, V.Mamyshev-Monro).

So-called Another drawing, where the pencil and quill are substituted with acetylene welding outfit, laser and point, line – with metal cane, wire, needles and cottons, and sheet of paper – with wall or real space (D.Gutov, T.Ahmetgalieva, M.Arendt).

Drawing that uses the traditions of comic strip (J. Alexandrov, G.Litichevsky).

Contemporary so-called Societal drawing – reportages from meetings and judge sessions, graffiti (V.Lomasko, V.Salnikov, Pasha 183).

Drawing on alien surfaces (human body) (Tanatos Banionis, ESCAPE program, V.Aizenberg)

Drawing, video and computer: forms of intercommunication (D.Ter-Oganjan, V.Pushnitsky).        

 The exhibition is supported by Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation

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My video 16072010 in “LUCIDA SPACE” Exhibition

“16072010” – full HD video-installation

National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), International Festival TodaysArt and the Moscow city galleries network present LUCIDA Space, an exhibition dedicated to the phenomenon of light in contemporary culture.

Such a huge project dedicated to light is a first-time event in Moscow: “masters of light” from all over the world will present their works at LUCIDA Space. Participating artists turn to light as the defining moment in their artistic pursuits, transforming it into a unique creative tool. The exhibition space at NCCA will bring together art objects that embody all kinds of light techniques to fully relay the elusive magic of light. Every artist has his own dialogue with light: through sound and color, through video and digital technologies, through filmmaking techniques, painting, photography, and installations.

The Moscow audience will get a rare chance to see the works of famous artists from Russia, Austria, Germany, Netherlands and the USA, who use light as a creative tool. Project artists actively use artificial, technological light in their works, demonstrating the principal changes taking place in our civilization. Its images interact with natural light, opening up new aspects of our life and culture.

The project is hosted by four spaces: the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (January 31 – March 16), and Moscow city galleries “Na Kashirke” (February 14 – March 9), “Gallery “Belyaevo” (February 27 – March 23), “Peresvetov Pereulok” (March 6 – 30). The spaces belonging to the Moscow city galleries network will host thematic exhibitions. “Na Kashirke” Hall will demonstrate the phenomenon of light in media formats – film, photography and conceptual objects. The exhibition at “Peresvetov Pereulok” will examine the evolution of the interpretation of the phenomenon of light in art, from painting to new media. “Gallery “Belyaevo” will build its exhibit around Kazimir Malevich’s idea of the shift of natural light paradigms into technological ones, whereby artificial light starts to dominate the natural one.

The project is accompanied by an education program: during the exhibition NCCA will organize lectures by renowned experts in visual art on forms of using light in media, fashion, architecture and urban space.
As part of the parallel program NCCA will host screenings of films featuring light experiments, including John Cage’s One 11 with 103 and director Peter Tscherkassky’s Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine.

From the foreword to the exhibition catalog:

Light in January
Light is a very special substance which makes a powerful impact on man, on all viewers of light. One can even speak of light as a transcendental substance. Indeed, our esthetic perception attaches enormous significance to light and its role in art.
One of the strongest impressions of my childhood is a Christmas tree decorated with real wax candles. I realize that my memory retained that picture also due to a little fire created by the burning candles, but my memories are of the wonderful light rather than the fire.
That impression was a prelude to a dotted line of other personal impressions that were already associated with art : Kuindzhi (that was from my school days’ excursions to the Tretyakov Art Gallery), Falk, Impressionists, Rembrandt, Georges Rouault, Odilon Redon, Byzantine mosaics, Skryabin’s experiments, László Moholy-Nagy, Georgy Gidoni’s research, and much else.
Resorting to the history of arts this mixed collection can be easily supplemented and sorted out. As for the present exhibition it is more important to put it in the context of contemporary art. Different treatments of light as the determining factor of their art strategies can be found in the works of such masters as Dan Flavin, François Morel, Christian Boltanski, Dani Karavan, Koichi Tanaka, Keith Sonnier, James Turrell, to name a few. To describe this phenomenon, critics invented special terminology : light painting, light sculpture, luminous kinetic pictures, lumino-ambienta, laser painting, light graffiti, Light Art, which have not become quite widespread yet in the professional Russian vocabulary.
Contemporary art’s interest in light effects has been largely inspired by the 20th-century technologies,  architecture, and urban studies, and now it risks being swallowed by them — something we already witness happening in New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, and also in Moscow where the present exhibition is taking place. A thirst for bright spectacles and shows, the general commercialization of culture are not good for art. At the same time, I can’t help mentioning that my nineyear-old son is learning to create light graffiti at the children’s
art studio attached to the National Center for Contemporary Art that organized this exhibition “ Lucida Space ”. Art is alive and it will live a complex and interesting life. This is what the exhibition is all about.

Leonid Bazhanov
Artistic Director, NCCA

Project is also represented at venues of the “Moscow Exhibition Halls” Association:
February 14 – March 9, State Art Gallery “Na Kashirke”
February 27 – March 23, State Exhibition Hall “Gallery “Belyaevo”
March 6 – March 30, State Exhibition Hall “Peresvetov pereulok”

Organizers NCCA, International Festival TodaysArt
Co-organizer Moscow city galleries network
Partners Goethe Institute, The Royal Embassy of the Netherlands in Russia
Sponsor Mondriaan Fund
With the support of the New Art Foundation

Curators Vitaly Patsyukov (NCCA), Olof van Winden (TodaysArt)

Artists Tatyana Badanina, Eric Bulatov, John Cage, Marina Chernikova, Anouk De Clercq, Mariska de Groot, Francisco Infante, Roman Inkeles, Ilya Kabakov, Sergey Katran, Andreas Kaufmann, Anna Koleychuk, Vyacheslav Koleychuk, Tatyana and Sergey Kostrikov, Oleg Koshelets, Maxim Ksuta, Alexander Lysov, molitor&kuzmin (Vladimir Kuzmin and Ursula Molitor), Matthijs Munnik, Anton Olshvang, Alexander Pankin, Alexander Pettai, Vladimir Potapov, The Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia (Moscow), Mikhail Roshnyak, Sergey Shutov, Vladimir Smolyar, Vladimir Tarasov, Peter Tcherkassky, Gabey Tjon a Tham, Leonid Tishkov, Alla Urban, Iannis Xenakis, Maria Yakunina, Sergey Zagny

Exhibition photo album 

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“The Gifts” – Shchusev Architecture Museum

Festival “The Gifts” is timed to the celebration of Christmas and the Christian artists and has been organized by community of Christian artists “Artos”. In the space of the exhibition icons, mosaics, sewing, stone carving, sculpture, architectural designs and models,
calligraphy, paintings and installations are combined together.
“Like the Magi, we seek to bring our gifts to the Savior, born in the world,—says one of the festival’s curators Sergei Chapnin.—Each of us brings them in the measure of one’s talent and the extent of one’s understanding. The main thing here is not only an offering
itself, but also the intention, the heart’s desire. Artistic languages ​ which we speak are extremely different, but the theme of utterances is one—bringing gifts for the creation and understanding of sacred space, which is the purpose of the festival. In this space it collates
iconographic images, modern church architecture and art which comes from behind liturgic borders and yet addresses to religious subjects and searches.”
A dialogue between the Church and contemporary art has been the subject of special interest of another art curator Gor Chahal for ten years. During this time he participatedin organization of series of roundtables, including those in the exhibition “Dvoeslovie/Dialogue” in St. Tatyana Church at the Moscow State University (2010), a special project of the State Tretyakov Gallery “Bread of Heaven” (2011), exhibition of the Russian Academy of Arts “Art and religion in the space of contemporary culture” (2013 ) etc.

Curators of the exhibition “The Gifts” continue this initiative.
Art critic Irina Yazikova believes it’s important to investigate the question of how impenetrable is the boundary between church and secular art. What is the nature of their connection? Many questions have no clear answer yet, but it is obvious that today we cannot say much about the revival of iconography, rather than about its return and establishing of a modern iconographic tradition within which we can quite clearly see different trends. First, in recent years stylistic search of painters acquired great variety and a much deeper degree of freedom and courage. Secondly, in the works of Russian painters one can see not only following different historical styles, but also the emergence of individual brushwork; such phenomenon as “author icon” is being born.
In the view of art critic Sergei Khachaturov the exhibited works can be classified into three categories. First, new icons which correspond to an iconographic program of venerated images of the Eastern Christian Church. Second, works on theme of Gospel topics and images created with the fundamental departure from the accepted tradition and canon. The third category includes works that respond to the most important images of world culture, inspired by Christianity.
New icons are created by Anatoly Eteneier, priest Andrey Davydov, Olga Shalamova, Marina Turnova, Alexander Kornoukhov, Irina Zaron… There are works of various materials and techniques. To communicate with them is interesting because while they have a profound respect for the traditional iconography they are also set apart by a featurethat might be called sociability. The sociability towards contemporary art, the traditions of modernism (from expressionism to neonaiv, even such style as “informel” (“tachisme”)). This feature contributes to the appearance of what is usually called trust, trust in the personal experience of comprehension of the Faith, in humility before its unfathomable Mystery.
The second group of products is highly sensitive to our world, nonclassical and radical in relation to overcoming boundaries of different types and genres of art. Works of Gor Chahal, Maxim Ksuta , Alexey Dyakov, Alexander Konstantinov , Tatiana Badanina, Vladimir Nasedkin, Valery Koshlyakov, Anatoliy Komelin, Irina Zatulovskaya, Andrey Kolosov are exactly what is called contemporary art. Under the law of existence of this artthe viewer is bound to be not only full by empathy (as required by the classical tradition), but also an accomplice in creating an image. When the mystery of the Transfiguration is recreated in the work of Anatoliy Komelin with a few brutal abstract bars, it brings the involving power of the resonant medium, causing you to conjecture: what’s the way the entire universe reacts to a particular event of sacred history through the smallest particles; which traces and secret signs of those stories are captured in seemingly the most unremarkable things and experiences. To raise such judgment requires responsibility, discipline of thought and humility. These qualities distinguish, for example, the works of Gor Chahal dedicated to apophatic theology. One of them is a movie, another is a picture,painted with acrylic on canvas. Both bring the birth process of Logos from Chaos, the Form, radiant in Eternity, comes out of Formless. This Form is infinitely more perfect thanany of our thoughts about it. All works of the second group are difficult to understand: their obvious simplicity hides need for personal work of the mind and feelings of each viewer.
The necessity of one’s own responsibility.The third category of works unites the proofs of generous presence of Christianity in the world culture, sanctifying and enlightening it. These works have been through many cultural texts-filters. Installations and paintings by Ilya Piganov, Yuri Avvakumov, Olga Tobreluts, Nadezhda Mukhina, group “Bursaki” (“Seminarians)—with a certain degree of conditionality they can defined as “neo-baroque”—so intricate and inviting their view is, so polyphonic and even emblematic appears their form of dialogue with the audience. The exposition is formed so that within each room works of different groups are adjacent to each other. In this careful neighborhood each individual work is perceived like a jewel, while disclosed as much as possible in the context of the others. All three groups are interdependent and mutually supportive .
They are combined without mixing.

Exhibition photo album


Endless forest from maxmaxovich on Vimeo.

Under the aegis of the Netherlands – Russia Year 2013

Place: In the Moscow Planetarium, Exhibition Hall, Level 9 (5, bld. 1, Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya)

Organizer: NCCA, The Moscow Planetarium
: the Russian Union of Artists

Curators: Vitaly Patsyukov, Maarten Bertha, Ivan Kolesnikov/Sergey Denisov

Participants: René Daniëls, Marlene Dumas, Natasha Kensmil, Erik van Lieshout, Barbara Visser, Bertien van Manen, Andrej Rojter, Yulia Vinter, Arkadiy Nasonov, Pavel Pepperstein, Kolesnikov/Denisov+Gella Slabko, Taus Makhacheva, Olga Chernyshova, Rob Birza, Sergei Katran, Dmitriy Morozov, Haim Sokol, Vladimir Tarasov, Leonid Tishkov, Alla Urban, Vladimir Smolar, Dmitry Sarkisov

SLUISEN. Changing Poles is a research project, meant to find new communication ways in an unstable, rapidly changing aggressive environment; an attempt to build a bridge between two poles – the pole of the human culture and its outside media component, which is forced upon us by politicians and commercial manufacturers.

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120×100 cm, stainless steel

Special projects of Fifth Moscow Biennale Contemporary Art

The initiator of the project – MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY SCULPTURE

Project managers – Zelydkovskaya Anna (Anya Zholud) and Olga Pautova.
The curator of the exhibition – Tanya Scheben

The project participants:
Tatiana Antoshina, Marina Belova and Alexei Politov Peter Belyi, Sergei Vorontsov, Natasha Zintsova, Daria Krotov, Maxim Ksuta, Group Pprofessors (Andrew Lyublinskiy, Maria Zaborovskaya), Alexander Povzner, Nicholas Polissky, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Andrew Rudiev, Roman Sakin, Haim Sokol, Rostan Tavasiev, Olga and Oleg Tatarintsev, Dmitry Tsvetkov, Peter Shvetsov.


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The exhibition “Wolves and Sheep”


Special projects of Fifth Moscow Biennale Contemporary Art
Organizers: The State Literature Museum, VP Studio Curator: Vera Pogodina

The exhibition “Wolves and Sheep” – is a joint project by curator Vera Pogodina and the State Literary Museum, code-named “Russian reader.” The project’s idea is pretty simple: all the most important and relevant issues in our contemporary life have been reflected some time ago in the titles of the works of classical Russian literature of the 19th century.

Modern Russian conceptual art is largely related to the literature and text. Thus, participation in this project of artists from the Moscow’s conceptual school is very natural. The State Literary Museum has held exhibitions like “Fathers and Sons”, “Woe from Wit”, “Dead Souls.” Several previous exhibitions such as “War and Peace” were presented in the Moscow’s Central House of Artists (CHA).
This time we decided to focus on works of writer Alexander Ostrovsky (1823-1886), known for his flashy theater plays. Titles of his works – it’s an encyclopedia of aphorisms and quotations:

“Even a Wise Man got enough dumbness”.
“The money is good, but happiness is better.”
“You scratch my back and I scratch yours.”
“Do not sit down in not yours sled.”

We chose the play “Wolves and Sheep”. “Wolves and Sheep”, in our view, is an appropriate title to reflect what is happening in Russia today. There are no positive characters in this play which is very rare for works by Ostrovsky,. All of not so pleasant characters in this play are divided into wolves and sheep. Wolves remain acting as wolves only until there are stronger and meaner wolves arrived to the scene. It is no coincidence that originally this play was called ” Wolf catching a prey but wolf also is a prey “.

As in previous projects, the artists will present their perception of a given topic, and not narrative illustrations of scenes from a theater play of the 19th century.

The exhibition will feature works by more than thirty contemporary Moscow’s artists from different generations and world’s views that will give on opportunity to see a whole spectrum of trends in contemporary Russian art.

Dialogue With Technogeneous Reality – Samara Art Centre

t HD audio-video-installation, Triumph gallery, Moscow 2013

Program: [Context of the visual]

Curators: [Vitaly Patsyukov], [Aliya Berdigaliyeva]

Coordinator: [Maria Punina]

Participants: [Leonid Tishkov], [Vladimir Tarasov], [Anna Ermolayeva], [Marina Chernikova], [Vladislav Efimov], [Vladimir Martynov], [Aristarkh Chernyshev], Dziga Vertov, Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy, [Mikhail Tsekhanovsky], [Boris Yurtsev], [AES+F group], [Maxim Ksuta], [Nelya and Roman Korzhov], [Alexander Zaytsev], [Vladimir Logutov], [Social Adaptation group]

Organizers: NCCA Volga Branch, Samara Regional Public Charity Fund “Contemporary Art Centre”, ART-CENTRE Gallery SAMARA-CENTRE Ltd.

With the support of: RUSS OUTDOOR, VICTORYA Gallery, Moscow State Cinema Museum, XL Gallery, Triumph Gallery, Samara Regional Art Museum

Opening: May, 11, 7 pm

Place: Samara Art Centre (90, Michurina, Samara, Russia)
Coontacts:, +7 (846) 212-03-80, +7 (927) 604-33-05

This exhibition project, built on rare 1930s film footage and works by prominent contemporary artists, poses questions about the relationship of humans with man-made reality and the possibilities of self-identification through technology and production. Today, the humans’ attitude towards technology is consumerist. Perhaps it is because of the lack of direct contact with machines of production that the postindustrial man loses his positive attitude not only towards the mass-produced objects but also his own life which, much like machines and technology, is not under his control any longer.

ГОСЗАКАЗ/GOSZAKAZ/Pechersky Gallery/Winzavod

ГОСЗАКАЗ/GOSZAKAZ/Pechersky Gallery/Winzavod

Overcoming the Space

In my project, communication is a part of the space-time continuum. I know for sure that space and time is a single construct which is called “matter”. From ancient times mankind aims to embody the notion of time: Mexican and Egyptian pyramids are immense and incredible in their excellence, and these pieces of art will have a long life within the history. My “Teleports” are rather objects of contemporary art, although I have been thinking a lot about the practical side of the project.
Interactive spacebridges with Liquid Crystal Displays broadcast the day stream of other world capitals – London, Rome, Berlin, Paris and others – with their unique rhythms and drawings of life. The main function of such objects is social communication. Objects are equipped with high-quality HD panoramic video cameras which enables the passers-by to greet citizens of other cities, to wave their hands, to give a wink, etc.
“Teleports” are objects for communication, but unlike iPad they are public, not individual. These are the windows to the “different reality” with its different life flow, which carry a user through space and expand its conscious in the right direction – direction of consolidation of the humanity as a whole, unification of it as a whole and its unit, a particular human individual. Not only “Teleports” would be of interest for citizens, but, I believe, they would become a true attraction for them.
Maxim Ksuta



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Maxim Ksuta – “CY”, Triumph Gallery


Over the course of recent years, Maxim Ksuta has been developing an entirely unique relationship to photography: he has consistently removed or weakened the firm bond between the photographic image and visible reality, the camera in his hands becoming not a means for “baring” or “revealing” reality or a means for freezing it in as concentrated form as possible – Ksuta’s camera, instead, almost appears to be overcoming the camera’s technological nature, and Ksuta himself, rather than pressing on the shutter button, appears to be painting with a brush or a charcoal  pencil. He consciously forms not a shot but a sheet with geometric abstractions; his works begin to work to the laws of the drawing sheet, rather than the photographic print, as was the case in his previous series with electric cables cutting through the Moscow sky in dynamic diagonals.
The theme for Ksuta’s latest project appears to be far more inventive, because the starting point for the visual experiments turns out to be another work of art, specifically the work of the great American abstractionist Cy Twombly. Ksuta doesn’t relish the proportions, the balance of vacuums and the coloured “nervous” zones; he doesn’t occupy himself with deciphering Twombly’s codes, which reference the whole of world culture and history; he intently and intensively scrutinizes. His eye singles out, isolates the intricate movement of the pencil lines; at the same time it is clear that Ksuta is sincerely enraptured by the freedom of movement of Twombly, who crosses out, sketches and colours with the ingenuousness of a child who has been sat before a sheet of paper and given coloured crayons for the first time. Ksuta is posed a question about the nature of this freedom, of its ideal prototype, if you will, and finds astonishing formal correspondences in Twombly’s “writings” and the sticks, branches, blades of grass that fall under your feet during a walk. He creates a distinctive negative for Twombly’s paintings, a purely monochrome structure, consistently purifying Twombly, testing the viability of his plasticity among real natural objects. It is as if Ksuta is bearing witness to the natural, most organic provenance of Twombly’s art, making the dynamic of his objects literal, perceptible – this is not some conditional drive of colour flows, lines within the borders of a canvas, but a real walk, a stroll, during which the artistic forms are discovered beneath one’s feet, and with a clumsy movement one can disturb the fragile harmony. The appeals of the artist himself to the image of an enchanted forest, a magical, almost


fairytale space, where everything that is familiar is suddenly miraculously revealed is no accident in this regard, and a walk through this forest is transformed into an allegory of life’s path (or the path of an artist) that is entirely in the spirit of Novalis. Along the way, Maxim Ksuta  ontinues to resolve his own task, a task that has occupied him in recent times: He is feeling out a barely perceptible zone where the abstract and the concrete coexist. The concrete object is often embodied in the most abstract of forms, it loses its recognizable outlines, but it retains its essence: a branch remains a branch, wormwood thickets remain wormwood, and the viewer is enchanted by the game of form, the glimmering of the perceptible and the visible that, when viewing Ksuta’s photographs, it is so easy to give in to. He follows the logic of a “new objectivity,” recalling in memory the German “Neue Sachlichkeit”; at the same time as many young European artists (for the most part coming from Eastern Europe, of the general of Wilhelm Sasnal), he sees in this an opportunity for quiet deliverance, he suddenly understands that the diapason of variations can be as broad as you like, and with an artisanal persistence (in the very finest sense of the ancient techne’) continues to move
through this magical space, sometimes drawing into his orbit the great artists of the 20th century.

Ekaterina Inosemtseva

Cy – catalog