Monday, October 18, 2010

back to Russia for just a minute

I saw a wonderful exhibit while in St. Petersburg this summer. There is a fab space called Manege/Манеж right in the heart of the city with intriguing exhibitions through out the year. This is a view of just one end of the gigantic exhibition hall.This time it was an exhibit commemorating Derevnya Khudozhnika/Artist Village. Unfortunately they do not have a website in English, try clicking through this and see if the google translator can help.
The basic premise is this - various artists through out the eighties have made a home for themselves in the villages of Ozerki, Shuvalovo and Kolomyagi. This a run down area on the outskirts of St. Petersburg where studio space came very cheaply as there were hardly any amenities, most of the homes where built the early 20th century. Eventually some or most of these artists have made names for themselves, their art became known and their area became known. Many have had exhibitions throughout Europe. So now they hold art festivals there, master classes/workshops and open studio days. (One day I'll make it out there for the real deal!)
In the last 10 years the government of St. Petersburg has started helping out the artists and they are melding the city life, nature and modern art. The artists work in many mediums, there are sculptors, ceramicists, painters, quilt artists, textile artists, graphic artists, photographers, actors and musicians. So this exhibit was sort of bringing the village into the heart of the city.The concept and the execution of the exhibition were spectacular, I thought. The space was transformed to give a hint of the village inside the white marble building. They actually put down turf in the middle of the whole thing and you could walk on it but only in bare feet!
This what this sign says - walk on the grass, in bare feet, thank you! We saw the exhibit the day before it closed, so the grass was a bit on the dry side, but still....

Here is some of the art that made an impression on me... Lets start with a quilt artist shall we? This is the work of Larisa Dergachyova. Holiday Mood is the name of the happy red quilt. St. Petersburg Rain is the name of the blue piece. Here's a detail. I really enjoyed the humor in the work of Oleg Zhogin. His assemblages where a wonderful example of recycling at it's best. This one is called ArcheoFish. Dinosaur Egg was a delight!The details in House were just wonderful. These beautiful over sized ceramic veggie slices are by Vera Noskova and they are called Breakfast on the Grass. I loved this delicate installation by Polina Shvetzova, it was called Disappearance. There were many ethereal weaving's by Elena Tkachenko, one of my favorites was this one called Water and the City, from her Venetian Series. I think these garments were meant for performance art as there were photographs of the artist dancing and twirling in her creations. I adored these wooden sculptures by Gelya Pisareva. This one is called The Legend of Boris and Gleb and this one Angel Protector. There was a very prolific textile artist represented with a gazillion works through out the exhibit space, she is Marina Spivak and most of her work is simply titled Collages. She used old clothing and textiles in their actual size and makes huge.. collages. This is a view of just one of her installations. This piece is is titled.. you guessed it... Collage, fabric. I love the simplicity of the titling, perhaps I shall do that too from now on... Here's another. This one actually has a title - Morning Coffee, and it's a collaboration with the artist Alexander Posin.
I have tried to find and link to as many sites of the artists as I could find, unfortunately many of them do not have them or they are just CVs in Russian. So as my girls say - you get what you get and....
Sometimes I wish I could live in an artist village too....

6 comments:

Vivien Zepf said...

This is oh so cool! The art is FABULOUS! Thank you for sharing.

Lynn said...

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those last three piece of fabric art took my breath away!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Allabitrandom said...

Thank you so much for sharing these images. It opens up a whole new window on the world.

Valerie Kamikubo said...

What an exciting and fun exhibit! Thanks for sharing this. I especially love the assemblage pieces and the large installation :)

Pheasant Run Studio said...

To live in an artist village, is that Utopia or Heaven?

norma said...

What a wonderful exhibit! It would be hard to pick a favorite. thanks for sharing it.