Creation of a new triennial in Moscow

The Garage Museum in Moscow is launching a triennial, with the first edition scheduled for 10 March 2017 on the institution’s premises. This new triennial will be presenting the works of Russian artists created less than five years ago. The museum’s head curator, Kate Fowle, will be managing a team of curators including Katya Inozemtseva, Snejana Krasteva, Andrey Misiano and Sasha Obukhova. Artists will be selected to represented the nine federal districts making up the Russian federation: Central, South, North West, Far East, Siberia, Ural, Volga, Northern Caucasus, Crimea. The announcement coincides with the first birthday of the Garage Museum whose architecture was signed by Rem Koolhaas. The announcement also commemorates the 100th year since the Russian Revolution, as referred to by a press release from the institution: “Just as the Revolution encouraged Russia’s first avant-garde, Garage hopes to spur the...

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Winners of the Innovation Prize in Russia

On 18 May, the ceremony for the awarding of the Innovation Prize — Russia’s equivalent of the Turner Prize — supervised by the Russian State, took place in recognition of contemporary artistic creation. This year, the winners are: Viktor Misiano, winner of the prize for the Curatorial Projects category for his exhibition “The Human Condition”; Olga Shishko, winner of the prize for the Art Criticism and Theory category for the catalogue Projections of Avant-Garde; the Ural Industrial Biennial that held its third edition this year, winner of the prize for the Best Regional Contemporary Art Project. The Innovation Prizes are attributed to several categories, namely Curatorial Projects, Art Criticism and Theory, Regional Contemporary Art Project and New Generation. The prize is also awarded to two nominees every year in the Creative Contribution to the Development of Contemporary Art and Support of Russian Contemporary Art categories. The New Generation prize went to Aslan Gaisumov for his video Volga, in which he retraces the war-related departure of 21 members of his family from the city of Grozny, Chechnya, to a village where his grandmother still lives. This year’s winners of the Creative Contribution to the Development of Contemporary Art and Support of Russian Contemporary Art categories are Boris Orlov and Leonid Mikhelson. No Work of Visual Art prize was awarded this year due to the debate surrounding the ousting of artist Pyotr Pavlensky from the category despite his nomination. This highly political disqualification roused the indignation of the Russian art world and led to the withdrawal of seven members from the jury of the Innovation Prize. The decision was made by the National Centre for Contemporary Art, whose director Mikhail Mindlin explained the artist’s eviction as necessary as his performance “did not respect the law and caused material damage”. Since this...

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Solidarity for Pyotr Pavlensky

Eight curators and art critics have resigned from the selection committee of the Innovatsiya (Innovation Prize) in Russia — four of them on a permanent basis. This move has been dictated by the organisers’ decision to withdraw artist Pyotr Pavlensky from the “visual arts” category in which he was nominated. Pyotr Pavlensky is still interned in the Serbsky Institute, awaiting a psychiatric evaluation, following a court decision after his performance Threat: Lubyanka’s Burning Door, in November in which he set fire to the entrance of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the new name of the KGB, based in Moscow. This wish to enforce censorship may well prove counterproductive, according to Dimitri Ozverkov, director of the contemporary art department at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, and one of the selection-committee members to withdraw. Ozverkov made the following statement on social networks: “It’s obvious: today’s de jure cancellation of Innovatsiya’s main category due to Pavlensky’s disqualification signifies his de facto...

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Russian dissident artist interned in a psychiatric hospital

Dissident artist Pyotr Pavlensky has been transferred from prison to a psychiatric hospital according to his partner Oksana Shalygina. Pyotr Pavlensky is notably known for nailing his scrotum to the ground of Red Square in Moscow, delivering through this performance a virulent criticism of the Russian government and nationalist propaganda. A performance artist, he is also behind the creation, with Oksana Shalygina, of an independent online newspaper, The Political Propaganda, dedicated to studying the relationship between contemporary art and the political situation in his country with the aim of “overcoming cultural chauvinism, implemented by the government”. This newspaper also offers reflection on the issue of gender and feminism, as well as citizen equality, from an activist...

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Two works of Malevitch painted underneath Carré Noir

On 12 November 2015, the Muscovite Gallery Tretiakov made public the discovery of two works of Kasimir Malevitch hidden under the coat of paint of his famous Carré Noir sur fond blanc (1915). An X ray analysis discovered these two works and its existence was made public during the inauguration of the exhibition “Sous le signe de Malevitch”, celebrating the 100 years of Carré Noir. According to the specialist Ekaterina Voronia, directed by the Tretiakov Gallery, the first painting was Cubo-Futuriste whereas the second was more or less proto-supremacist, attached to this school of Russian avant-garde of the 1910s which inspired the whole work of the artist. This last composition is made up of different geometric forms in multiple colours. More information will be made shortly following a thorough analysis of the...

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