5 March – 28 March 2021
The Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21st-Century Art shows works by a most original St. Petersburg artist, Pyotr Reykhet (1953–2013), a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, performance artist, creator of art objects and large-scale installations, and teacher. His art is diversified, it is both fantastical and realistic, meticulous and inconsistent, ironic and dramatic, transcendent and mundane.
Pyotr Reykhet was born into the family of the well-known painter Victor Reykhet. He became his son’s first and most important teacher and passed on to him not only his artistic, but also musical talent. Pyotr Reykhet was educated in the Academy of Arts (St. Petersburg Ilya Repin State Academy of Arts) under Viktor Oreshnikov, an outstanding portrait painter who had been his father’s teacher. Therefore, in portraiture Reykhet was always a traditionalist following the academic canons (Vera Reykhet, 1985).
It was as if he had been through several lives during one lifetime, successfully realizing himself not only in art (portraiture, genre compositions and still lifes, illustrations and conceptual works), but also as an avid traveler, engineer-geomorphologist and tireless explorer of the Far North. The artist participated in Arctic expeditions, during which he combined research work with plein air painting. His love of the cold land and sea voyages manifested itself in his passion for folklore, Russian bylinas and fairy tales (Kitoostrov, 1990).
Freedom, vivid impressions and boundless imagination were the main guidelines in the work of the artist. All this energized and inspired him to the constant search of expressive means not limited to any particular trend. Along with abstract works (Music for Whales and Freemasons, 2002), he integrated into his art the traditions of Russian icon painting (Massacre of the Innocents, 2012-2013) and experimented with the traditional nude genre (Elizabeth and St. George the Dragon Slayer, 2008).
The exhibition consists almost entirely of works from the collection of the artist’s family and includes more than seventy works, paintings and drawings, sculptures and art objects, as well as archival photographs, sketches of installations and performances.
In the City’s Power
5 March – 28 March 2021
The exhibition In the City’s Power at The Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21st-Century Art demonstrates works by St. Petersburg graphic artist Yan Antonyshev (born 1965), the founder of the Old City group (1981). In his works, St. Petersburg always appears in images that are deeply personal, defining the cultural specificity of places depicted and the character of those who live there.
Almost every work by the artist has fetish objects: barbed wire, fencing tape, a ball with a pacific sign, apples, etc. Their presence in Antonyshev’s art is a consequence of the influence of Andrey Tarkovsky’s films Solaris and Stalker, which have these objects. In addition to these, there are other references to works by the outstanding director: a boat in one of Antonyshev’s is called “Stalker”; an observer dog, also a character in both films, appears more than once in his works. A recurrent motif of Antonyshev’s works, a ladder going up into the sky, the result of the master’s spiritual quest, is a reference to the Christian ascetic work Ladder of Paradise and one Byzantine icon of the 12th century.
Antonyshev works in his favorite pastel technique, boldly throwing architectural, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic images onto paper. In the final phase, however, he prefers painstaking needlepoint scratching of the finest details. The images, applied with soft colored crayons on sheets of rough cardboard in combination with rough drawing, as if etched with acid on metal, acquire a special texture reminiscent of the effect of an aged film. A combination of the casual elegance of the color chords and the meticulous graphic detailing results in a poetic and plastic expressivity.
The recognizable style and original artistic vision of the artist could be characterized either as symbolic surrealism or magical realism. Antonyshev’s works reveal a special imaginary St. Petersburg, demanding empathy for the loss of certain nooks dear to him and, at the same time, inviting to a journey into the world of mystical visions of the author. All this allows the spectator to touch and share the mysteries of the city.
5 March – 28 March 2021
The exhibition Without Speaking at the Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21st-Century Art is devoted to 90 years of the renowned St. Petersburg artist Herman Egoshin (1931-2009). His name is firmly inscribed in the history of Russian art of the second half of the twentieth century; his works are preserved in major museums of Russia.
Herman Egoshin, one of the most prominent representatives of the left wing of Leningrad Artists’ Union, was among the leaders of the Group of Eleven, an association of artists who entered the exhibition scene in 1972 and opposed their individual vision of the world to that of official art. In search of new artistic solutions, members of this group turned to the traditions of world modernism of the first decades of the twentieth century.
An adherent of “Cézannism” in the understanding of color, composition, and “substantiality’ of nature, Egoshin in his own way melts these ideas and dramatizes the pictorial space (Three Colors, 1961; Sudak. The Genoese Fortress, 1971; Stadium in the Mountains, 1979, Ancient Amphitheatre, 1988). In his paintings there are also echoes of Cubism, captured through the work of the artists of the “Jack of Diamonds” group (Night Benares, 1968). At the same time, Egoshin, always relying on a recognizable nature, creates a new pictorial world in which painting is in constant perturbation forming a special vibrating substance.
A recurrent theme in Egoshin’s paintings is interiors, a reflection of people’s private lives, woven, as it were, from unpretentious objects, used in solving purely artistic problems, in turn, revealing the essence of things. In this way, he “animates” objective reality. Thus, in combination with “talking” accessories a chair acquires certain features of its owner (Still Life with a Wicker Chair, 1968). Many of Egoshin’s landscapes and still lifes are not unlike portraits. In his interpretation, houses may acquire anthropomorphic features (Gurzuf. Cash Desk, 1983). Inanimate objects communicate with the viewer without words, making one concentrate on every detail in order to penetrate into the deeper strata of reality considered aesthetically inferior and prosaic before he helped us find a true perspective.
The International Exhibition Project
«The Looking-Glass and Through It»
10 November 2020 – 31 January 2021
The Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21st-Century Art presents the International Exhibition Project «The Looking-Glass and Through It».
Participants of the Exhibition Project are museums of Russia, as well as galleries, collectors and artists from Russia, Italy, France, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Spain, the Czech Republic, and the USA. The exhibition includes most extraordinary and fascinating compositions devoted to the mirror and reflection motifs by over 130 artists; some of them have become symbolic for Russian art, e. g. Andrey Goncharov (1903-79), Yury Vasnetsov (1900-73), Aleksandr Vedernikov (1898-1975), and Mikhail Demidov (1885-1929), others, Daniel Rozin (USA), Arnaud Lapierre (France), Sergio Illuminato, Gabriele Zago, Dario Imbò (Italy), Gonzalo Orquin (Spain) are known all over the world for their daring experiments.
The exhibition occupies the entire space of the museum; it includes works of both classical and contemporary art. On the first floor, spectators will see a mirror “universum,” which reflects humanity’s infinite worlds of and their environment. The Mirror Can Tell You a Lot, is the title of one of the works by Ivan Akimov (1957-2011). Practically every work exhibited confirms this conclusion, no matter what genre it belongs to, portraiture, «nu» art or genre scenes.
Within the space, which has real mirrors changing the configuration of the interior, the spectator feels as if immersed in a different reality. Female images prevail, the so-called Venuses of the 1920s -80s, trying on hats (Trying on a Hat by Irina Yaroshevich; 1979), arranging their hair (Interior by Vasily Frolenko; 1977), doing makeup (Evening Toilet by Aleksandr Tsarev; 1997), preparing for an intimate meeting (At the Mirror by Yury Penushkin; 1987) or daydreaming immersed in the abyss of self-сonscience.
The second floor is devoted to the mystery of reflection. Here one can see still-lifes in which mirrors are not only an additional source of light, but also a proof of the existence of parallel worlds. Indeed, how can one explain a reflection in the picture without the character reflected (Still Life with a Mirror by Lev Kramarenko, 1937).
The works of the third floor are characterized by a combination of a variety of materials: mirrors, metals, wood, textiles, paper, concrete; besides, the works can move (Existence by Vladimir Andreev. 2017), sound (Seven mirrors by Daphne Nikita and Yorgos Taxiarchopoulos, 2020), exude light (Crystallization by Penelope Chiara Cocchi).
The inner courtyard of the Museum will also become a field of experiment in working with mirrors. A luminous 12-meter-high tree structure, shimmering with various shades of green, created by the famous French artist and designer Arnaud Lapierre will be the center of the open-air exhibition.
Evgeny Rastorguyev: Playing with Clouds
09 July – 02 August 2020
The Playing with Clouds exhibition of the painter and draftsman Evgeny Rastorguyev of Moscow will be held at the Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21st- Century Art,.
Evgeny Rastorguyev, painter, sculptor and book illustrator is a representative of the liberal wing of the Moscow Artists’ Union. He studied at the Gorky Art School; immediately after graduation, he began to participate in exhibitions.
Rastorguyev appears before the spectators as an extraordinary fantasist trying to modernize the unsophisticated life of the Russian province; his characters are from the first quarter of the twentieth century, peasants, vendors, dandies, hairdressers, magicians and card players, who, nonetheless, show traits of our contemporaries. For him, these traits are a manifestation of Russian mentality and, therefore, part of today’s world.
Besides paintings, the exhibition will present sculptures based on traditional forms of Gorodets clay toys. The small sculptures combine traditional and modern imagery. Typical of them is a specific technique, its main forming element, reminiscent of a ceramic milk vessel.
The Playing with the Clouds is a display of works united by a peculiar perception of time and space, imbued with good-natured humor and reverence to both past and present.
The exhibition is a rare collection of Rastorguyev’s works, over thirty paintings and thirteen sculptures, created during the four decades starting from the 1970s.
Anatoly Zaslavsky: The Artist’s Workshop and Its Characters
09 July – 02 August 2020
Anatoly Zaslavsky is member of the Artists’ Union of Russia, the International Federation of Artists (IFA), the Eight Stairs association and the Academy of Contemporary Art of St. Petersburg; he is the founder of the Hopeless Artists group. The present exhibition shows a collection of portraits of people of intellectual and creative professions, poets, philosophers, authors and people connected with culture and art, as well as the artist’s family and his friends. The characters are shown in different situations, in the workshop, at home, on the street, etc. The depictions are truly authentic, representing both the appearance and character of people depicted.
The exhibition includes different kinds of portraits, viz. individual, group and genre ones. All of these are a reflection of people’s lives, as it were, and their perception of life, as well as the artist’s attitude to life and the time in which he lives.
Organized on the occasion of Zaslavsky’s 80th birthday, the exhibition includes over forty portraits revealing the richness and creative potential of the artist.
Alexander Pozin and Marina Spivak: The Kolomyagy Utopia
09 July – 02 August 2020
The Kolomyagy Utopia exhibition of two St. Petersburg sculptors, Alexander Pozin and Marina Spivak, will be held in the Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21st- Century Art,.
Alexander Pozin and Marina Spivak are graduates of the Sculpture Department of the Leningrad Serov School of Art, members of the St. Petersburg Artists’ Union and the Ozerki Artists’ Village association. For his sculptures, Aleander Pozin uses wood. Living, literally, and thinking in terms of his material, he treats it as if it were his close friend, carefully introducing color into it, or cutting and breaking the forms.
Marina Spivak’s reliefs are somewhat between sculpture and painting; she transforms pieces of furniture, giving a new meaning to them and combining them with her own works of plaster-of-Paris.
The idea of the exhibition is to juxtapose the two artists’ styles, Pozin’s retaining the essence of its meaning throughout its evolution, and Spivak’s adherence to the tradition she once formed irrespective of its manifestation, be it sculpture or textile collage.
The plots of both Pozin’s and Spivak’s works are based on personal and family experiences, impressions and emotional response. The exhibition owes its title to a film by their daughter, Inna Pozina (also to be shown at the exhibition) about a house without people, which is a narrative of a certain place, inaccessible for creative endeavor that exists only in imagination.
The exhibition includes over fifty sculptures, art objects, installations and collages, all of these being the artists’ musing on an ideal, very desirable by unattainable.