Using hundreds of small images of classic masterpieces, Russian collagist, portrait painter and historiographer, Maxim Ksuta, has created a series of unique portraits, called Art in Art.
According to English Russia, Maxim Ksuta believes some art forms have ceased to exist in the modern world, which is now getting ready to embrace something new. So he decided to give them new meaning and find a place for them by using tiny images of known artworks (paintings, sculptures, architectural motifs) dating from the antiquity and up to modern times, to create unique collage portraits of his friends.
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.
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
Via … … … …
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