16th Moscow Art Fair
Manege Central Exhibition Hall
1 Manege Square, Moscow.
30 November – 4 December
Opening: 30 November at 5 pm through 9 pm.
From 30 November through 4 December 2011, the Greater Manege will be the venue for the largest art fair for contemporary art: Art-Manege. Its 60 participants include art galleries from Moscow, St Petersburg, and other Russian cities as well as Ukraine, Italy, and Israel.
Figurative art will be the dominant theme of the fair, reflected in many of its projects and displays. Interpretation of museum classics at a new, contemporary level of comprehension, which is often employed in dramatic arts, is no less evident in visual arts.
Traditionally for Art-Manege, the art of the 1960s is represented by such artists as Ernst Neizvestny, Vladimir Nemukhin, Oscar Rabin, Oleg Tselkov, Dmitry Plavinsky, with paintings from private collections. Also presented are artists of the Sterligov school (Sterligov is the St Petersburg follower of Malevich) who are infrequent guests of Moscow; a great number of contemporary painters, and various art projects both personal and thematic.
“ConFiguration of Man” is the central project at Art-Manege combining six solo exhibits by Arkady Petrov, Ruslan Vashkevich, Misha Levin, Natalya Glebova, Yekaterina Kornilova, and Sergei Sherstyuk, who have different esthetic convictions as artists and employ different painting styles while remaining within the framework of traditional narrative-figurative art.
Their existential view of man and the world in all the variety of their interrelationships is a conspicuous theme of their art. Suffice it to mention Arkady Petrov who uses the kitsch esthetics presenting his gallery of human types, both epic and naïve at the same time; Ruslan Vashkevich whose schematic and lifeless pictures seem to derive from mass culture and verge on the rejection of any pictorial rules (special project “NON”: Happy Endian); Natalia Glebova whose art combines highly individual manner with adherence to the 20th century traditions of Goncharova and Larionov. Mikhail Elshibai will present on his stand the phantasmagoric art of Misha Levin.
Naïve and primitive art is another special theme at Art-Manege. Contemporary art is no longer complete today without naïve art that has greatly enriched its imagery and color palette. Works of this trend have always been featured at the Art-Manege. This year visitors will see the work of “Lenya Purygin from Nara the Genius” (this is how he signs his paintings). His psychodelic art, naïve and paradoxical, highly impressed the artistic community in the 1980s.
One of the most interesting representatives of art-brute, Alexander Lobanov will have a one-man show at Art-Manege. As an inmate of a psychiatric clinic he had undergone an “art therapy” and as a result created thousands of drawings.
Just as original is the project “Accessible Cosmos” by Andrei Karpov who believes that his “Accessible Cosmos” is primarily man’s inner world where a constant struggle between good and evil is going on and from where he derives ideas for his works.
The first joint project by two Moscow artists Anastasia Kuznetsova-Ruf and Ivan Korshunov “Silence of the Lambs” is marked by crude sensual beauty abounding as it does in naturalistic effects, scenes of violence and brutality as well as hidden sexuality. Imitation of the pictorial style of Caravaggio makes these modern-day works a dramatic reminder of the transience of our earthly lives.
The project “”Game and Luxury” by the Kievan artists Andrei Kovalenko and Olga Kovtun also appeals to art history. Reincarnation of the dynamic and sensual art of the ornate baroque in contemporary painting is eminently suitable for the dramatization of painting as a new method of visualizing reality.
In the project “Dedication to Mondrian” the curators again turn to historic reminiscences. Mondrian’s famous work ‘Rationalism and Esthetic Purism” is boldly juxtaposed here with Latin American painting culture of Jaures Machado. Abstract and figurative arts complement each other in a remarkable way emphasizing the merits of each of these pictorial languages and uniting the separate units into a single art object.
Energenesi Art Gallery is presenting the sculptural exhibition of Gianfranco Meggiato, a most well-known and commercially successful sculptor in Italy, and Antonio Nunziante, a recognized master of figurative art and one of the most successful Italian painters today. His exhibitions are organized by such curators as Antonio Paolucci, director of Vatican museums, and Cristina Acidini, general director of the national museums of Florence, including the Uffizi. Antonio Nunziante’s paintings are exhibited side by side with Caravaggio, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Kandinsky, Morandi, and other world-famous artists.
Among the many exhibitions at the fair special mention should also be made of Irina and Valery Nagyi’s “Sacred Simplicity”, a project consisting of children’s portraits; “Ecology” by the German artist Hans Mendler; a solo exhibit of the famous Kievan artist Igor Gubsky, and much else.
In the course of the sixteen years history of Art-Manege many different artists and galleries had taken part in it, esthetic views and art trends were changing, but Art-Manege artists largely remain true to the picture as the fundamental of art. Less frequently they treat it as part of interior design but increasingly tend to resurrect its importance as big art.
As always Art-Manege remains open to any artistic trends and new names.