To mark the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014, Calvert 22 Gallery will be mounting a programme of exhibitions and associated events throughout 2014 that examine key aspects of contemporary Russian visual culture.
The experimental, multi-disciplinary practice of the artists, filmmakers and musicians who thrived in the final years of the Soviet Union and early post-Perestroika Russia, is showcased for the first time in the UK.
Photography and its link to land, the nation and its people is explored from its roots in tsarist Russia from the early 20th century up to the present day. And space, both inner and outer, is marked by the great non-objective paintings of Kazimir Malevich in the same breath as the Russian cosmonauts.
As a whole, Calvert 22 Gallery’s exhibitions for 2014 form a cycle that celebrates groundbreaking moments in Russian art and science and demonstrates the drive to explore and experiment that has underpinned the growth of visual culture in Russia for a century.
Club of Friends. Timur Novikov’s New Artists and the New Academy
2 April – 25 May
Club of Friends presents work by two groups of artists who emerged in St Petersburg in the 1980s and 1990s - the New Artists and the New Academy - two important movements that changed the face of contemporary art in Russia. Both were founded by artist and visionary Timur Novikov.
Novikov brought together groups of artists, film-makers, composers and musicians. First operating out of a communal flat and then an old apartment, the New Artists held a series of influential exhibitions, gigs, screenings and parties. Working collectively and without boundaries they combined fine art with youth culture, music, cinema, fashion and performance.
In 1989, during a critical time of political, ideological and economic transition in Soviet Russia, Novikov decided to radically change his aesthetic. The New Artists became the New Academy, a movement that sought to encourage a return to the classical ideals of ancient Greece and Rome and celebrated ideals of beauty and physical perfection.
Club of Friends showcases the work and life of an extraordinary generation of figures whose experiments in art, collective creative practice and sexual representation remain groundbreaking to this day.
Close and Far: Russian Photography Now
Curated by Kate Bush
18 June – 17 August
A new generation of artists and photographers is fast emerging inside Russia. Close and Far introduces some of the country’s most original young voices, alongside the extraordinary work of Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky, a pre-revolutionary master whose work has only recently been rediscovered, and will be shown for the first time in the United Kingdom.
When Nicholas II, the last tsar, personally commissioned Prokudin-Gorsky, an early pioneer of colour photography, to document his vast empire in the years leading up to the Russian Revolution, he presided over the largest territory in the world. Romanov Russia extended from Finland to Turkestan, and from Poland to Siberia. Russia is smaller now, yet it is still the largest country in the world, and still a land of dramatic extremes and dramatic diversity. Where Prokudin-Gorsky witnessed first-hand the effects of galloping Russian colonisation, as well as the early stirrings of industrialisation, today’s young artists are working in the aftermath of that empire’s collapse, grappling both with its past and with its future.
Close and Far showcases the work of rising stars: Alexander Gronsky, Dmitry Venkov, Taus Makhacheva, Olya Ivanova and Max Sher. The exhibition is curated by Kate Bush.
8 October – 30 November
Two great cultural events occurred in 20th century Russia that changed our way of looking and thinking about the world - the emergence of non-objective art and the development of the Soviet Union’s space programme. The cultural symbiosis of inner and outer space that these two movements exemplify is the starting point for Beyond Zero.
The exhibition celebrates the pioneering spirit in art and science through which human creativity unleashed the potential of new orders. From the analytical colour theory of radical Russian artists and the prophetic vision of film makers in the pre-Sputnik age to the contemporary work of today’s artists and architects in Russia, Beyond Zero acknowledges Kazimir Malevich with his famous Last Futuristic Exhibition of Paintings 0.10 and Alexey Leonov, the first man to walk in outer space.
Beyond Zero includes works from avant-garde artist and composer Mikhail Matyushin, as well as a host of contemporary artists inspired by the legacy of Soviet space exploration and its reflection on art, literature and cinema, including the films of legendary cinematographer Pavel Klushantsev.
Admission is free to all exhibitions at Calvert 22 Gallery. Opening hours: Wednesday - Sunday: 12pm - 6pm. Open until 9pm on the first Thursday of every month as part of First Thursdays
For further information and press images please contact Penny Sychrava PR on 0796 791 5339 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Club of Friends is organised in collaboration with the Moscow Museum of Modern Art
About Calvert 22 Gallery
Calvert 22 Gallery is the UK’s only not-for-profit institution dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art from Russia and Eastern Europe. It presents a dynamic programme of exhibitions, talks and cross-disciplinary events with both emergent and established artists.
Calvert 22 Gallery is an initiative of the Calvert 22 Foundation
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