Na Shabolovke Gallery of the Moscow City Galleries Network is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition Laughter in the Gallery in the context of the Parallel Program of the Sixth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art The exhibition is dedicated to the collision of different approaches to understanding laughter and abstraction. It includes artworks from the 1950s till nowadays.
Valentin Dyakonov, Curator: “One of the most important topics of the exhibition refers to the main issue of The Moscow Biennale: How to Coexist? How to coexist with someone who ridicules the other or who is being ridiculed? What could come out of a collision of the pure idealist Avant-garde of the 1950s with caricatures and artists who criticize the Avant-garde? It is an experiment and there is no clear answer. I tried to make a balanced show without a leaning t to any side part. The exhibit is organized in a way that everybody – the Avant-garde artists, the artists who criticize Avant-garde, and the caricaturists who interpreted everything from the point of view of ordinary people – could have the same chance to express themselves. I hope that during the project several interconnected layers existing in the same space can create a new comprehension”.
The contextual background of the exhibition is the selection of the 1950s -1970s caricatures from Soviet newspapers like Pravda, Sovetskaya Kultura, magazines like Iskusstvo and Krokodil and from Western periodicals. . The second half of the 1950s was a tipping point in Russian history. With the debunking of Stalin’s personality cult and the liberalism of the Thaw period, Soviet people were presented with a panorama of Western life and art. Abstract art, once again in vogue post-WW2, became the object of ridicule for Soviet caricaturists fighting the “corrupting influence of the West” on the orders of party officials. Visitors will find artworks similar to the objects the caricaturists made fun of, like paintings and graphics by Leo Kropiwnicki, Olga Potapova, Lydia Masterkova and early sculptures by Boris Orlov.
Moreover, examples of conceptual use of caricature as the material for creating new artworks, like those made by Yuri Albert, will be presented.
The artworks by Vladislav Kruchinsky and Victoria Lomasko will be a sample of the new left criticism of contemporary art.
In the works by Alexandra Paperno, Rostan Tavasiev, Egor Koshelev and Valery Chtak the issues of realism and abstraction, laughter and non-objectivity will be developed in terms of the plot and/or its interpretation.
Artists: Yuri Albert, Aleksandra Paperno, Egor Koshelev, Lev Kropivnitsky, Vladislav Kruchinsky, Victoria Lomasko, Lydia Masterkova, Boris Orlov, Olga Potapova, Rostan Tavasiev, Valery Chtak, Art group ZIP.
Curator: Valentin Dyakonov
Organizer: Na Shabolovke Gallery of the Mosow City Galleries Network was established in the Danilovsky District of Moscow 20 years ago as an exhibition hall based at the Moskvorechye Network in the center of Khavsko-Shabolovsky housing complex. This district was designed as an anthem to post-revolutionary Moscow. A lot of monuments of Avant-garde are being preserved here even now. The main activity areas of the gallery are projects devoted to the Avant-garde as well as local history projects, connected to the comprehension of the cultural heritage of the Danilovsky district and its promotion.
Partner: The project “History as seen by Krokodil. The 20th Century” is a book series where all events of the last century are described through caricatures and feuilletons from the major Soviet satirical magazine Krokodil. It is a 12-volume edition which consists of four issues three volumes each.