All exhibitions

It's Wintertime, and All Feels Novel

December 13, 2023 - February 4, 2024

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Curator: Igor Volkov

Nature is both the most original creator and an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists. Despite the cyclical pattern of changing seasons they never cease to appear new, evoking familiar and sometimes unexpected feelings and emotions. Winter has been especially important for Russian artists from various epochs and movements. The exhibition It's Wintertime, and All Feels Novel at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation offers diverse perspectives on the approaching season, viewed upon through the prism of three different artistic methods.

Winter is first of all about the tranquility and beauty of nature, which has been so often extolled by poets, writers and visual artists. The opening section of the exhibition features works of art that are filled with admiration for this special state of nature. Pictorial photographers were particularly meticulous about capturing the elusive winter effects as they created softer transitions between light and shade and elaborate compositions as they sought to upgrade their pictures to "paintings." On display here are photographic masterpieces from the 1920s and 1930s by the likes of Nikolay Andreyev, Leonid Shokin, Pyotr Klepikov and Sergey Ivanov-Alliluyev from the collection of the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow.

Falling snow is one of the central themes of the new show. In Alexander Brodsky's iconic installation Barrel Organ, which is part of his project Human Settlement, a small town with typical buildings, seen from a bird's eye view, is placed in a large aquarium. When the crank is turned, the glass box becomes both a musical instrument and a holiday souvenir: with music playing and snow falling, the sense of wonder and magic permeates the room. Snowfall is a full-blooded character in Rinat Voligamsi's and Konstantin Batynkov's works, where it creates a meditative and comprehensive rhythm. In the paintings by Evgeniya Buravleva and Egor Plotnikov, on display in the next room, the dialogue with the classical landscape tradition makes ordinary, everyday views appear as eternal and timeless. In the works of Igor Vulokh and Igor Shelkovsky, the winter landscape all but becomes an abstraction while taking on a gracefully monumental quality.

Wintertime is also about the sleep of nature, followed by its eventual renewal and the fresh start of the circle of life. The falling snow covers all things making the surface look even, not unlike a clean sheet of paper. And artists create their compositions on the snow using it as if it were a white canvas. A featureless snow-covered field just outside Moscow was the place where the Collective Actions art group staged some of their best-known performances. The so-called "canon of emptiness" is manifested in the works by Pavel Pepperstein, Alexander Mareev, Andrey Filippov and Yuri Albert displayed at the show. In Francisco Infante and Nonna Goryunova's photographic artefacts from their series Suprematist Games, the snow literally becomes a substitute for the white canvas, adding a touch of the figurative and national sentiment to the postmodernist homage to Kazimir Malevich's suprematism. In Alexander Gronsky's photographs from his series Outskirts and the video installation by the Zer Gut art group Visualization of Domestications, or a Curiosity of Modern Ornithology, snow is a principal actor in the narrative of the everyday, which may be both beguiling and amusing.

The closing section of the exhibition deals with our perception of winter as the season of festivities, fairy tales and merrymaking. In Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexander Vinogradov's imposing New Year, a mixture of Russian and Western pop clichés creates an ironic scene poking fun at the traditional symbols of the favourite holiday. Nikolay Polissky, Timofey Parshchikov, Leonid Tishkov, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, Konstantin Zvezdochetov, Igor Makarevich, Egor Ostrov, Natalya Yudina and Rodion Kitaev invent their own mythologies based on the characters from children's fairy tales, as well as imagery borrowed from popular culture and art history.

The principle of playing games becomes the central idea and method in the works by Sergey Shutov, Maria Safonova, Olga Chernysheva, Irina Korina, Rostan Tavasiev and Alina Glazun. The artists revisit and reinvent episodes and narratives from history and the present day, from holidays and everyday life. And by creating paradoxical juxtapositions, they produce unexpected, surprising, funny and emotive new stories. They also invite the viewers to join their game and come forward with their own interpretations of what they see.

Apparently, there are more ways to explore the topic of winter in art than the three strategies that we have chosen for this exhibition. Displayed together, these winter-themed works encourage visitors to look at the eternal and ordinary from a fresh perspective, to see beauty and serenity in everyday life.


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11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Ticket office is open untill 7:30 p.m.


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