Sphere and Cross
Exhibition of new arts by Andrei Filippov
April 18 - July 28, 2019
The Ekaterina Cultural Foundation and E.K.ArtBureau presented Andrey Filippov's latest solo show Sphere and Cross.
The exhibition was made up of two parts. The first part featured paintings and photographs with the artist's trademark double-headed eagles while the installation Perspectives of Conceptualism, an homage to the Collective Actions art group and their performance Ten Appearances, was shown in the second part.
The philosophy of Moscow Conceptualism in general and the performances of the Collective Actions group in particular have undoubtedly been a great influence on Filippov's creative work. Despite the fact that Filippov was mostly an onlooker, and only occasionally a participant in these performances, he soaked up the idiom of the Conceptualists, as well as their methods and principles, which had a lasting effect on his entire artistic career. It was the Collective Actions performances that the contemplative ingredient characteristic of Filippov's works originated from. In his latest project titled Sphere and Cross, Filippov refers to the Collective Actions' performance Ten Appearances, while the installation Perspectives of Conceptualism is a continuation of the series of the so-called Trips seen as the artist's creative method. "Creativity is always a gliding movement of meanings and images, it is a metaphor. And 'metaphor' is translated from Greek as transfer, carrying over," says Filippov. Over the past decade, the motif of traveling has become one of the artist's central themes. And he is interested in both traveling to faraway lands and immersing himself in the worlds created by his fellow artists. Quoting others is a form of self-determination for Filippov.
Sphere and Cross was a striking illustration of just how the elements of his personal and collective experience, the past and the future, the real and illusory worlds amalgamate in the artist's mind. Filippov writes: "In my mind's eye, I saw Monastyrsky's silver ball floating by as Panitkov's golden wings scraped against Chesterton; and this is how this exhibition, named after his novel Sphere and Cross, came about and became a place where my pilgrimage trips were bizarrely merged with Collective Actions and the perspectives of conceptualism and vanished in a distant strip of forest on the horizon."
Following the artist, we embarked on a journey into a world free of temporal or spatial constraints but existing according to its own rules of creativity.
The choice of the title, Sphere and Cross, is typical for the literature-centric, or rather literature-oriented Moscow Conceptualism. Sphere and Cross is G. K. Chesterton's allegorical novel that concerns the trials and tribulations of two highly principled individuals, a believer and an atheist. There, a ball, or a sphere, is a metaphor for science and the cross is a metaphor for religion. It is from this antagonism, or to be more precise, from the relations between the two that the twists and turns of the plot arise. Thus, the sphere and the cross become inextricably bound together.
Andrey Filippov was born in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in 1959. He studied at the Moscow Art Theater School's department of stage management (1976 - 1981). Filippov played an active role in the exhibitions of the APTART Gallery and became one of the leaders of a new generation of Moscow Conceptualist artists, who were equally interested in abstract speculative constructs and the particulars of contemporary life.
In the late 1980s, Filippov took part in the first legitimate shows of contemporary Russian art outside the country, where his emblematic installations came to be regarded as symbols of Soviet unofficial art.
After Perestroika began in the USSR, Filippov was actively involved in the organization of the Club of Avant-Garde Artists, the first institution of the new liberated Russian art. In the 1990s and 2000s, he curated exhibitions of the Club of Avant-Garde Artists, which united Moscow-based Conceptualists of various generations.
Andrey Filippov claimed the prestigious Kandinsky Prize in 2015 when his installation A Wheel in the Head, first put on public display at the artist's solo show Department of Eagles at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation in March - April 2015, prevailed in the Project of the Year category.