Contemporary Art in the USSR and Russia, 1950 2000
September 14, 2016 March 27, 2017
Organisers:Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Ekaterina Cultural Foundation
Centre Georges Pompidou is set to stage the exhibition "KOLLEKTSIA! Contemporary Art in the USSR and Russia, 1950 2000. A Special Gift" from September 14, 2016 to March 27, 2017. The project comprises some 250 works, all of which, donated by Russian art collectors and artists, will stay at the iconic Parisian museum after the show is over.
Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhin are part of the project, having donated nine works from their private collection. All of those had been bought directly from the artists and had been exhibited both at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation and other museums and art institutions in Russia and abroad. Over the years, each of the nine works has had a story of its own.
Erik Bulatov's "Glory to the CPSU II" is actually a replica of his 1975 painting of the same name but it has arguably grown more popular with experts and public alike than the original work. This painting was exhibited at the artist's biggest solo shows, including the ones held at Moscow's Tretyakov State Gallery in 2006, the New National Museum of Monaco in 2013, and, most recently, Moscow's Manege in 2014. It was also among the centerpieces at numerous group shows, such as "Field of Action" (The Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, 2010), "Moscow Conceptualism. The Beginning" (Arsenal, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, 2012), "Post Pop. East Meets West" (The Saatchi Gallery, London, 2014) and others. The painting is mentioned in catalogues and monographs.
Boris Orlov's "Bust in the Manner of Rastrelli" is one of Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhin's favourite works that is also highly characteristic of the famed sculptor's oeuvre. Along with other Orlov's works from the collection, his "Bust in the Manner of Rastrelli" took part in shows including the Saatchi Gallery's landmark exhibition "Breaking the Ice: Moscow Art, 196080s" (London, 20122013).
Viktor Pivovarov's "Afterwards, they said..." is part of the artist's famous 1992 1995 series titled "The Flat #22". There are three more paintings from this series in Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhins collection. All of them were exhibited at shows both in Moscow and abroad. "Afterwards, they said..." was most recently featured at the exhibition "Art in Boris Yeltsin's Era (1990s)" at the brand new Boris Yeltsin Center (Yekaterinburg, November 2015 March 2016).
Eduard Steinberg is one of Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhin's best-loved artists, with their collection boasting some three dozen of his works from different periods. Two of those will now travel to Centre Georges Pompidou as the art collectors donate "A Dedication to Sasha Danilov" (1987) and "Composition" (1976). Both works were exhibited at Steinbergs solo show "Earth and Heaven. Contemplations in Colours" staged with the support of the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation at the State Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg and the Tretyakov State Gallery in the Russian capital. For the Foundation, that exhibition was one of its first large-scale projects carried out in cooperation with Russia's leading state museums.
Leonid Sokov's works, including his bronze sculptures "Lenin and Giocometti" and "Soldier" as well as his smaller pieces such as "Leo Tolstoy and the Black Square" and others, play a key role in Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhin's collection. The art collectors will give Sokov's wooden sculpture "The Bear" (1984) to Centre Georges Pompidou. This sculpture was exhibited at the "Field of Action" show in Moscow and London and was one of the many works from Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhin's collection featured at the "Russia XXI. Contemporary Russian Sculpture" exhibition held in the Hague as part of the 2013 Russia-Netherlands year.
The "Field of Action" show was titled after Andrey Filippov's 2010 installation of the same name that paid tribute to the career of the "Collective Actions" art group, whose performances and actions have gone down in history as Moscow Conceptualism's brightest moments. Vadim Zakharov's "Little Elephants" and "Papuans" are other prominent Conceptualist works in Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhin's collection.
The works to be featured at the exhibition "KOLLEKTSIA! Contemporary Art in the USSR and Russia, 1950 2000. A Special Gift" have been handpicked by a group of curators before being examined and eventually selected by Centre Georges Pompidou's special committee. The project was designed to help works by leading Russian 20th-century artists end up in one of the worlds best contemporary art museums and bridge any gaps Centre Georges Pompidou's collection might have had, especially when it comes to Conceptualist art. Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhin are adamant that this project will not only become a milestone in the history of cultural relations between Russia and France but will also help promote Russian art as a whole. Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhin would like to thank Olga Sviblova and Centre Georges Pompidou for the interest they have taken in their collection as they hope that the works will now be actively exhibited as part of the French museum's collection.