Art of the 2000s

The New Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

27 April 2018 - 22 July 2018

Curated by Irina Gorlova, Kirill Svetlyakov

Artists: Sergey Bratkov, Olga Chernysheva

Sergey Bratkov. From the series “My Moscow”. 2003/2012.

Russian art from the first decade of the 21st century has for the first time become the subject of a major museum exhibition, The Art Newspaper Russia writes.

“Art of the 2000s” is the first attempt by a museum to look into the recent past and understand the processes taking place in this country’s art in the early 21st century. Its timeframe was strictly defined: from 2000 to 2010. “Over that period completely different expectations succeeded each other,” explains one of the exhibition curators, Irina Gorlova, the head of the Department of the Latest Tendencies. “The early 2000s were a time when contemporary art gained legitimacy with us and became known both in Russia and in the West, when collectors, institutions and fairs made their appearance. We chose works that accorded with the feeling of the era: on the one hand, this was a time of glamour, of great expectations and great power, on the other, a time of instability, of wavering, of street kiosks and even in part of savagery.”

The exhibition will be organized visually as a panorama of the different artistic practices that took shape in the early 2000s. Around 100 works in all will be on show: paintings, graphic art, objects, installations, records of performances and video art. Their creators can be roughly divided into two groups: those who had already established themselves in the 1990s and whose work underwent a transformation in the new millennium and the new generation that was only just leaving the schools of contemporary art and emerging on the scene. The former include Anatoly Osmolovsky with his radical actions at the 2001 exhibition “The Subject and the Authorities (lyrical voice)” as part of one of the first ART-Moscow contemporary art fairs, or the celebrated duo of Alexander Vinogradov and Vladimir Dubossarsky with the series Underwater World that was shown at the Venice Biennale in 2003. After being the “Dog-Man” in the 1990s, Oleg Kulik reconstructed himself in the 2000s as the creator of wax figures for the “Museum of Nature”. His famed wax Female Tennis Player, resembling Anna Kournikova, also appears at the exhibition.

The majority of the artists who came into the curators’ field of vision and who began their careers in the early 2000s have by now already left the “young” category. Those include, for example, Victor Alimpiev with the video film Ode (2002), made in collaboration with Marian Zhunin, Elena Kovylina with the documentation of her celebrated performance Égalité (2008), where the difference in the heights of the participants was compensated for by the different heights of the stools on which they were standing, and Irina Korina, who will be represented by one of her earliest installations – Urangst (2003), devoted to fears – a room reconstructed for the exhibition in which the floor is made of boards that shift when walked on.

According to the co-curator Kirill Svetlyakov, the Tretyakov Gallery’s Art Patrons and Donors programme may allow works recreated specially for the project to become part of the museum collection, where the art of the 2000s is so far only represented by a few solitary items. Some of those are, incidentally, also included in the display, such as the works by Andrey Kuzkin that were presented to the gallery last year by the Cosmoscow Foundation for the Support of Contemporary Art.

Olga Chernysheva. From the series «Waiting for the Miracle». 2000.