Caution: Children at Play!

16 May – 15 July | 2018


The present exhibition is part of the Decades of Childhood program launched by the Government of the Russian Federation.

The concept of the exhibition is based on a totally new vision of the theme of childhood. The lyrical and romantic approach to it ceased to be predominant in the last decades of the twentieth century. The new approach manifests itself, first of all, in the stylistic versatility of the exhibition. Beside peaceful sentimentality and exuberant exaltation, our artists represent brutal rebelliousness, which, according to them, is as peculiar to children.

The paintings, drawings and works of video-art shown are by more than 110 authors, both renowned masters and younger artists, belonging to different traditions, from classical ones to underground, primitivism and hyperrealism, as well as many other trends gaining ground in today’s visual art, e.g. Nikolay Ionin (1890-1948), Nikolay Andronov (1929-98), Oleg Tselkov (born 1934), Ilya Kabakov (born 1933), Oskar Rabin (born 1928), Solomon Rossin (born 1937), Maxim Kantor (born 1957), Vladimir Dubosarsky (born 1964), Leonid Tskhe (born 1983) and many others. They all have retained their memories of the childhood each of them once had.

Nowadays the artists not infrequently prefer chaos and absurd to the eternal ‘thing of beauty’. Instead of cherubic creatures they show kids who very well fit in our time, too often  cruel and violent, shooting, boxing, fighting in order to establish themselves, as for example, the eccentric characters of Dmitry Bukhrov’s Stiff Upper Lip! (2017) or George the Microbe by Yuri Tatianin (2018). The reaction can be different, from shock and fear to astonishment and laughter.

The theme of laughter, in its various manifestations (humor, irony, sarcasm) is present in very many works shown at the exhibition, for instance, the little boy scaring his granny with a toy gun in Sasha the Ruffian (1992) by Vladimir Dubosarsky, the brightly pedicured little beaut riding a cat in the Promenade (2017) by Elena Shumakher, the voracious kids in the Get to Work! (2016) by Eleonora Maslova, the fighters in Irina Drozd’s Small Traumas series (2010) and the marginals in Oh, Maestro! (1997) by Solomon Rossin. All of them demonstrate , as it were, the modern world’s ‘unbearable lightness of being’.

Central to the exhibition is the motif of loneliness concomitant with childhood. The artists use their own means and methods in helping to solve the problem of children’s depressions, which have become widespread nowadays. They place children of different age in the atmosphere of apocalyptic disaster, e.g. The Massacre of the Innocents (1993) and the Red and Pink (2015) by Solomon Rossin.

The spectators will not fail to notice the ‘provocative’ compositions (installations, objets d’art) showing the field of play with Wit, Profundity, Observation and Comparisons marching across it, cf. Solar Wheel (2008) by Sofia Azarkhy and Only Cars! Nothing but Cars! by Sergey Borodin. From the Road Signs series, 2017).

The exhibition demonstrates a variety of esthetic systems that have coexisted, replacing one another, during the second half of the twentieth and the early twenty-first centuries.

The exhibition will be accompanied by various events including experimental theater plays, workshops, lectures and movie shows, as well a special program for children.



«WONDERLAND» by Salvino Campos

25 July – 2 September | 2018


The MISP — St. Petersburg Museum of Art of the 20th and 21st centuries, launches a new project, a series of exhibitions organized in collaboration with various international cultural institutions. The first project of this cycle will be an exhibition by the Italian-Brazilian photographer Salvino Campos, which will be held in two locations: in the Vnutri Art Gallery from July 4th to 22nd and, subsequently, in the exhibition space of the MISP Museum from July 25th to September 2nd.

Salvino Campos is a multi-talented artist who lives and works between Naples and Rio de Janeiro. The strong social commitment which characterizes his work can be traced in the themes of more than 20 photographic projects, carried-out in collaboration with various Museums and Art Galleries in Italy, Brazil, England and United States. «Wonderland», the latest work by Salvino Campos, in which the peak of emotional experiences is captured in the life of ordinary people, could not be an exception.

Campos declares total agreement with Henri Cartier-Bresson’s statement, according to which photography is a «means of understanding», and with this project he seeks to claim the right of every human being to dream.

That’s why the author’s attention focuses on amusement parks, which he photographed during long trips around the globe. It does not matter which part of the world you are in or whether the fun takes place on a carousel or on a roller coaster. For Campos the rides are always a symbol of lightness of being, a place where life is full of emotions; a bizarre scene that gives everyone the opportunity to get in touch with magic. Campos creates a new reality from which his characters emerge: young children and elderly, women and men of different nationalities and races, while the close-ups of the portrayed people bring their faces as near as possible to the spectator. Thanks to the surprising ability with which the photographer uses the contrast between black and white, the images focus on the expressiveness of the faces and put in evidence the movements of the facial muscles. They reflect the full range of feelings experienced by people: the ecstasy of flight, the excitement of a journey into an imaginary dream space, the pleasure of a dizzying descent and the joy of bringing feet back to the ground. Campos’ artistic language is so active in its impact that the viewer involuntarily becomes a testimony of the emotional experiences of the characters.

«Wonderland» by Salvino Campos is presented for the first time in Russia, in St. Petersburg, in a State Museum and a private Art Gallery. The 35 large-format photographs, loaded with the expressive sensuality of the Brazilian author, will surely attract the attention of the Russian spectator.
The exhibition, curated by Afrodite Oikonomidou, has been produced thanks to the support of the Siniscalco Art Gallery, Naples, Italy. The artistic project is accompanied by a special photographic edition “Wonderland”, 128 pages, published by Silvana Editoriale.


July 4 — 22: «Vnutri» Art Gallery, Voznesenskij prospect, n.20
https://www.vnutri.gallery +7 (981) 751-74-10
July 25 – September 2: MISP – St. Petersburg Museum of Art of the 20th and 21st centuries, canal Griboedova, n.103
http://www.mispxx-xxi.ru (812) 312-25-54, 314-98-94