Exhibition: A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde at MoMA
On December 3, 2016, the exhibition “A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde” opened at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; it will be on view until 12 March 2017. The exhibition traces the arc of the pioneering Russian avant-garde from its earliest flowering in 1912 to the moment of the Stalinist decree in 1934. Bringing together almost 300 breakthrough objects across mediums from MoMA’s extraordinary collection, the exhibition, planned in anticipation of the centennial of the Russian Revolution, probes the myriad ways that an object can be revolutionary.
The exhibition will be complemented by a public program “The Russian Avant-Garde: Scholars Respond” on February 8, 2017 from 6-8pm. Admission is free but a reservation is required.
Exhibition: Thoughts Isolated: The Foksal Gallery Archives, 1966-2016
Fri, Nov 18, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm | The James Gallery
Please join us in the James Gallery for the opening reception of “Thoughts Isolated: The Foksal Gallery Archives, 1966-2016”
Friday, November 18th from 6 to 8pm
Founded by artists and critics in 1966 in Warsaw, Poland, the Foksal Gallery has thrived through transitions in the realms of government, the economy, and the art world. Today, at a time when New York City’s artist-run spaces are encountering serious threats to survival, the case of Foksal Gallery becomes ever more relevant. How does Foksal Gallery illuminate new ways of building a sustained art community and legacy? The archives tell the story of the gallery as a model of an arts space run as a collaboration between artists and critics and engaged consistently in critical reflexive dialogue about its purpose/mission and meaning.
The exhibition opens on the occasion of Foksal Gallery’s 50th anniversary featuring the Foksal Gallery Archive’s unique set of resources of original papers, photographs, printed matter and artworks collected since the gallery’s founding. The exhibition includes early exhibition catalogues, invitations, posters and flyers, often designed by the artists themselves. Original material such as maquettes and designs for exhibitions are also to be found, as well as a large amount of photographic documentation of performances, installations and social gatherings at the gallery as well as sound and moving image recordings of early happenings and events.
Curators: Katherine Carl, Katarzyna Krysiak, David Senior.
Cooperation: Bartek Remisko and Martyna Stołpiec. With special thanks to Anna Ficek and Jennifer Wilkinson.
Organizers: James Gallery, the Graduate Center, CUNY and Foksal Gallery, Mazaovia Institute of Culture, Warsaw.
The exhibition was made possible by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland; the support of the Polish Cultural Institute-New York; and the patronage of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute/Culture.pl; and Anka Ptaszkowska.
Additional support from The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York; The Kosciuszko Foundation; The Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America, Inc.; Artists Alliance Inc.; Artists Space; CEC ArtsLink; EFA Project Space; Franklin Furnace; NURTUREart Non-Profit, Inc.; Residency Unlimited.
The exhibition will be open November 19th through December 17th, 2016
Exhibition: A Vibrant Field: Nature and Landscape in Soviet Nonconformist Art, 1970s-1980s
Mar 04, 2017 - Jul 31, 2017
Zimmerli Art Museum
Dodge Gallery (Lower Level)
New Brunswick, NJ
A Vibrant Field: Nature and Landscape in Soviet Nonconformist Art, 1960s-1980s is the first exhibition at the Zimmerli Art Museum to explore the wide range of meanings that the natural world held for unofficial artists in the Soviet Union. Drawn from the strengths of the Dodge Collection, the exhibition brings together works produced in the period between thaw and perestroika that challenged the link between nature, optimism, and progress, which socialist realist aesthetics had promoted. Approximately fifty objects across media are featured, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and performance, by more than twenty-five artists and artist groups from the Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Ukraine. Despite the artists’ diverse backgrounds and creative approaches, together their works establish nature as a vibrant subject matter, push the boundaries of landscape as a genre, and limit the appropriation of landscape imagery in the name of socialist ideology. In turn, the status of nature in late socialism, and one’s individual or collective place within it, is explored as an open–and vital–question.
A Vibrant Field assembles varied perspectives, vantage points, and orientations that underlie how one experiences nature, both in the physical sense of navigating nature as a real environment and in the conceptual sense of coming to know, describe, represent, or assign it with symbolic value. The exhibition is mapped along three principle zones of inquiry. The first, Visions, draws together work that takes to task the process of visualizing spaces in nature in order to elucidate, reimagine, or critique how humans relate to or inhabit them. In this section, particular attention is paid to works that highlight ecological concerns resulting from the exploitation of natural resources and rapid pursuit of industrialization in the Soviet Union. In Reflections, artists place less emphasis on the material landscapes in nature than on how they become a picture and the role of artistic convention, memory, and ideology in mediating this process. Finally, Encounters considers the emergence of land art and performance-based practices in nature in the 1970s and 1980s that provided a freer alternative to urban communality, ritual, and public space in the Soviet Union. Through their direct encounters with the land, artists in this section approach nature not only as a subject matter or a backdrop to their work, but in some cases as an actor or co-producer.
Organized by Anna Rogulina, a Dodge-Lawrence Fellow at the Zimmerli and Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History at Rutgers, and SHERA member
This exhibition is made possible by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund.
Exhibition: From Russia with Love: Selections from the Thomas P. Whitney, Class of 1937, Collection of Russian Art
Mead Art Museum
Open until May 2017
Thomas Porter Whitney (1917–2007), a 1937 graduate of Amherst College, went to Moscow as a member of the US diplomatic corps during the Second World War. He married a Russian woman and soon became a connoisseur of the riches of Russian art and culture behind the public facade of the Soviet regime. When the couple relocated to the United States, in 1953, they were not allowed to export many cultural goods. Whitney began to collect rare books, manuscripts, and artworks in a systematic way only in the 1960s.
By the end of the 1980s Whitney had amassed over six hundred paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures by some 170 artists, most from the first half of the twentieth century. The collection he ultimately assembled represents the creative life of Russian cultural elites who, under the Soviet regime, were forced either to emigrate or to go underground to avoid persecution. Many of the artworks were purchased from émigrés who sold their possessions in times of financial need. The most significant works, however—including those on view in this exhibition—came from trusted galleries and auction houses.
Through the purchases he made, Whitney not only captured major trends in Russian art, but paid tribute to the multifaceted artistic currents—including sacred art, book illustration, geometrical abstraction, stage design, and the manifold treatments of representational motifs—that shaped twentieth-century Russian art. This exhibition presents highlights from Whitney’s collection, most of which he gave, toward the end of the century and near the end of his life, to his alma mater.
Organized by Bettina Jungen, Thomas P. Whitney, Class of 1937, Curator of Russian Art. Presented with generous support from the Julia A. Whitney Fund for Russian Art and Faye DeWitt.
Exhibition: Vincent Hloznik: Between War and Dream
August 16 – September 16, 2016
BBLA Gallery at National Bohemian Hall
321 East 73rd Street, 3rd Floor, New York City
Closing Reception: Thursday, September 15, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
The exhibition Vincent Hložník: Between War and Dream features 20 Surrealist-inspired linocut prints by Slovak artist Vincent Hložník from the series Dreams (Sny) (1962) on loan from Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale. They represent a turning point in the artist’s career as his figurative motifs—always related to the exploration of the human condition—began to take on more symbolic and metaphorical meanings. Detached human limbs, monstrous figures assembled from eyes and teeth, the Angel of Death, and threatening flanks of silhouetted and stylized archaic warriors signal unspecified danger, while angles and voids create an instability that marks the very real threat of annihilation, whether from war or nuclear arms.
Vincent Hložník (1919–1997) was a key figure in modern Slovak art as both a teacher and artist, and was responsible for establishing the Department of Graphic Art and Illustration at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava after joining the faculty in 1952.
This event is organized by the Consulate General of Slovakia in New York, Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale, with support of BBLA.
Viewing hours: Monday - Friday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
(Please note that BBLA’s exhibition space is occasionally closed for events. Call 212-988-1733 to verify access.)
Exhibition: “Thinking Pictures”: Moscow Conceptual Art in the Dodge Collection
Sep 06, 2016 - Dec 31, 2016
Voorhees Gallery, Zimmerli Art Museum
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
“Thinking Pictures” draws on one of the great strengths of the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union. It presents the visually provocative objects that distinguish Moscow Conceptualism from the forms associated with its namesake, the canonical oeuvres of American and British conceptual artists, in particular. This exhibition focuses on more than 40 individual artists and several collectives who lived and worked in Soviet Moscow from the 1960s to the 1990s. They were concerned with the essential task of creating an audience in an environment that lacked galleries, critics, and a viable art market but had its own institutional framework—one that privileged painting (Socialist Realism).
The exhibition presents a diverse range of artworks by several generations of artists who responded to the experience of ideological conformity (and its dissolution) as it had been enforced within official art academies. Oriented toward irony and parody, but also toward serious speculation about the place of the individual in Soviet society and Western art history, artists engaged in a dialogue with the priorities of official culture on the one hand, and those of modernist, including conceptual, art in the West, on the other. They challenged the hierarchical ordering of media that characterized late Soviet modernity by redefining the role of visual thinking in the creation of installations and albums, as well as a process of self-archiving, to create a richly allusive visual and performative culture. The term “thinking pictures” (umozritel’naia zhivopis’) was coined by artists in the late 1970s to capture the new role played by painting in the post-conceptual era.
“Thinking Pictures” introduces contemporary audiences to these artists’ historical gambit and sheds light on the complex role visual art plays in the viewer’s own lives. Although a number of exhibitions devoted to the art of the Moscow Conceptualist circle have been organized in Europe and Russia over the past decade, “Thinking Pictures” is the first in the United States since Perspectives of Conceptualism in 1991, which traveled extensively and ultimately found a home at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. The Zimmerli exhibition features important works by major artists recognized widely in the art world (Eric Bulatov Ilya Kabakov, Komar and Melamid, Viktor Pivovarov), as well as such others at the center of this movement as Yuri Albert, Yuri Leiderman, Igor Makarevich, and Irina Nakhova. An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
Organized by Jane A. Sharp, Research Curator for Soviet Nonconformist Art
The exhibition and accompanying publication are made possible by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund, The Thickman Family Foundation, and by donors to the Zimmerli’s Major Exhibition Fund: James and Kathrin Bergin; Alvin and Joyce Glasgold; Charles and Caryl Sills; Voorhees Family Endowment; and the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc.-Stephen Cypen, President
September 21, 5-8pm / Exhibition Celebration
5pm: Curator-led roundtable discussion with exhibiting artists
SHERA is pleased to announce the latest exhibitions, publications and projects from member Rosalind P. Blakesley
In 2016 Rosalind P. Blakesley curated ‘Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky’ at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and advised on its partner exhibition, ‘From Elizabeth to Victoria: British Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, London’ at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
She published ‘The Russian Canvas: Painting in Imperial Russia, 1757-1881’ (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2016), 365 pp.; and ‘Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky’ (exhibition catalogue, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2016), 176 pp.
She was also granted an Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Award for a PhD student to research questions of print culture, modernisation and urbanisation, using the Talbot Collection at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford as the prime research resource.
SHERA is pleased to announce a current exhibition curated by its member Magdalena Moskalewicz, “The Travellers: Voyage and Migration in New Art from Central and Eastern Europe”
The exhibition looks at travel in a region where freedom to travel was, until recently, a luxury available only to the very few.. The exhibition offer a reflection by contemporary artists hailing from the region—the former Eastern Bloc and the former Yugoslavia—often first- and second-generation migrants. 23 artists from 15 countries show how people, goods, and ideas flow between this part of Europe and other regions of the world. They tell the stories of holiday trips as well as distant journeys and migrations, focusing on a period from the mid-20th century until today, from the closed borders of the divided Cold War-era Europe to the capitalism-driven acceleration of the 21st century. By exploring these travellers’ multiple viewpoints, an extraordinary gift described by Edward Said, the exhibition aims to shed light on the contemporary identity of the region, and is a direct commentary to its current socio-political situation.
The exhibitions features works of: Adéla Babanová, Daniel Baker, Olga Chernysheva, Wojciech Gilewicz, Pravdoliub Ivanov, C.T. Jasper & Joanna Malinowska, Irina Korina, Taus Makhacheva, Porter McCray, Alban Muja, Ilona Németh & Jonathan Ravasz, Roman Ondak, Tímea Anita Oravecz, Adrian Paci, Vesna Pavlović, Dushko Petrovich, Janek Simon, Radek Szlaga & Honza Zamojski, Maja Vukoje, Sislej Xhafa
The show is on view at Zachęta–National Gallery of Art in Warsaw until Aug 21. Please find more information on the Zacheta National Gallery’s website.
Announcing a new exhibition this summer: “Etching Out Dreams: Contemporary Slovak Prints by Dušan Kállay, Kamila Štanclová, and Katarína Vavrová”
Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale, in conjunction with KADS New York, is pleased to announce its latest exhibition: Etching Out Dreams: Contemporary Slovak Prints by Dušan Kállay, Kamila Štanclová, and Katarína Vavrová
Elma and Milton A. Gilbert Pavilion Gallery at Hebrew Home at Riverdale July 27–October 23, 2016
Reception and Collection Highlights Tour: Sunday, October 9, 2016, 1:30–3 p.m.
Three contemporary award-winning Slovak artists will be featured, Dušan Kállay (b. 1948) and Kamila Štanclová (b. 1945)—both students of Slovak master Vincent Hložník (1919–1997)—and Katarína Vavrová (b. 1964), who studied with Hložník’s protégé Albín Brunovský (1935–1997). This exhibition will take place in conjunction with a separate showing of 20 linocut prints by Hložník from the Hebrew Home Art Collection, which will be on view in early September at the BBLA Gallery at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street in Manhattan. Visit http://www.bohemianbenevolent.org/ for further information.
The graphic arts have long played a pivotal role in the history of Slovak art, before, during and after the Communist era. Key characteristics of modern Slovak art include figuration, narrative, the influence of Surrealism and an underlying sense of fantasy alongside an incisive, subtle social critique.
Kállay and Štanclová are both accomplished illustrators who have won multiple awards for book illustration, another tradition with a long, rich history in the Slovak graphic arts. Included in the exhibition are four etchings by Kállay, each rendered with meticulously fine lines and overlapping shapes that demonstrate his technical skill. Kállay often incorporates text into his prints, sometimes confusing the viewer as to which way is up and which down. The works contain an exquisite type of chaos, full of movement and shapes that suggest storylines, rather than depict a literal narrative.
Štanclová utilizes patterns and figurative motifs in her prints to explore evolving compositions and meanings. Rather than the traditional process of creating a drawing in advance of preparing an etching plate, Štanclová begins by drawing directly onto the plate, continuously developing and changing the image. She considers this process to be a diary that documents her artistic progress. Her etching Dances with the Wolves (2012), demonstrates her technique of repetition, trial, and error, as she uses the repeated shape of a paperclip to fill part of the space and to create complex layers.
Vavrová’s painterly etchings reflect her background as both a painter and printmaker. Her exquisitely delicate prints evoke a sense of quietude and human pathos, suggesting different emotional states and interpersonal relationships through the use of color and symbols. These dreamlike symbols appear in the background in the form of trees, birds, and other animals, highlighted with sparing dashes of color that contribute to the atmospheric mood of each work. Kállay, Štanclová, and Vavrová all graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava where the graphic arts department was founded by Vincent Hložník in 1952. Known for his humanistic themes, strong imagery, and clever use of spatial relationships in his prints, he reflected on the human condition and war. Hložník left an indelible mark on the next generation of Slovak graphic artists, perhaps most notably Albín Brunovský, who succeeded Hložník at the Academy and received international acclaim for his work.
KADS New York is a fine art print dealership with consulting practice based in New York City specializing in modern and contemporary Central and Eastern European fine art prints, offering collectors a wide range of prints created by renowned as well as emerging artists using traditional and non-traditional printmaking techniques. For more information, visit their website.
As a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Hebrew Home at Riverdale by RiverSpring Health is committed to publicly exhibiting its art collection throughout its 32-acre campus including the Derfner Judaica Museum and a sculpture garden overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. The Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection provide educational and cultural programming for residents of the Hebrew Home, their families and the general public from throughout New York City, its surrounding suburbs and visitors from elsewhere. Hebrew Home is a nonprofit, non-sectarian geriatric organization serving more than 12,000 elderly persons in greater New York through its resources and community service programs. Museum hours: Sunday–Thursday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Art Collection and grounds open daily, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Call 718-581-1596 for holiday hours and to schedule group tours, or for further information please visit the Hebrew Home website.
This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale is pleased to announce its latest exhibition:
Making Continuity Contemporary: Eastern Europe in New York
Elma and Milton A. Gilbert Pavilion Gallery
March 13–July 17, 2016**
This exhibition featuring work by eight artists originally from Eastern Europe addresses themes of personal history, geographical dislocation, identity, and intellectual freedom. In different ways, each artist explores the disruptions and continuities in their cultural backgrounds, whether through pictorial abstraction, participatory projects, auditory or written language, or conceptual reinterpretation of cultural symbols. Their mediums also range widely and include hand-drawn animation and audio, chemigrams, painting, mixed media, photography, sculpture, and installation.
Maryna Bilak, a Ukrainian artist originally from the Carpathian mountains, came to the U.S. to study art at the New York Studio School in 2012. Using her knowledge of traditional Ukrainian textile motifs, she incorporates these patterns into 3-dimensional paintings in which she manipulates color and shape by folding canvas and in multimedia installations in which she assembles hand-painted stones.
Alina and Jeff Bliumis’s series “Casual Conversations in Brooklyn” (2007) engages questions of how cultural experiences and identities intersect. The photographers spent a day in Brighton Beach—home to a large Jewish and Russian-speaking community—and offered passersby the opportunity to choose from three different signs featuring the words “Russian,” “Jewish,” and “American,” or to create their own. On view are a selection of subjects photographed holding the signs they chose—sometimes more than two—to represent their cultural identity. Alina and Jeff Bliumis were born in Belarus and Moldova, respectively.
Yevgenia Nayberg, who grew up in Kiev, Ukraine, is represented by the painting “Bird Dictionary” (2011), a rumination on the process of learning a new language. Phrases in Cyrillic text are incorporated into the work, labeled as ordinary things: “regular person,” “regular landscape,” and “standard moon.” However, the reality is the opposite, and the work touches on the idea that learning a new language is strange and surreal for non-speakers. The artist also pays homage to Suprematism in another work on view, a triptych entitled “Happy Man Series” (2013).
Bulgarian-born artist Eva Nikolova references Balkan architecture in her hand-drawn animation and chemigrams—paintings on light sensitive paper—that construct narratives about memory and personal dislocation. In the animation “Zemya Zemya” (2008), the iconic architectural form of the Orthodox Christian church is seen through a series of free-associative events, leaving interpretation of the narrative up to the viewer. According to the artist, the title is a doubling of the Bulgarian word for earth, land, or ground and refers to the signage on rockets designating the missile type—ground-to-ground or surface-to-surface. The architectural images in Nikolova’s works function as cultural emblems—whether intact or seemingly dilapidated—and explore shifting identities.
Acclaimed illustrator Peter Sís’s work using the motif of wings references themes of freedom and liberation. In two illustrations from his adaptation of “The Conference of the Birds” (2011)—a 12th century Persian epic poem published by The Penguin Press—a surrealistic flock of birds in the shape of an eye that spreads across a richly colored surface, one blue, one yellow, demonstrates the process of journeying. Sís emigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia in 1982.
Diana Shpungin’s “You Will Remember This” (2011) is a hand-drawn animation derived from video footage of her father recorded several months before his death. In it he recounts anecdotes about life in Soviet Latvia, including the tale of acquiring his first car and the black market culture of the USSR in the late 1950s.
Leonard Ursachi’s drawings of bunkers and a maquette for “Fat Boy”—a large sculpture on view in Prospect Park in Brooklyn—engage what the artist describes as “the bunker mentality.” Ursachi’s native Romania is dotted with bunkers abandoned after the Soviet period—symbols that instill a sense of fear and the unknown. He defected from the country in 1980.
As a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Hebrew Home at Riverdale by RiverSpring Health is committed to publicly exhibiting its art collection throughout its 32-acre campus including the Derfner Judaica Museum and a sculpture garden overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. The Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection provide educational and cultural programming for residents of the Hebrew Home, their families and the general public from throughout New York City, its surrounding suburbs and visitors from elsewhere. Hebrew Home is a nonprofit, non-sectarian geriatric organization serving more than 12,000 elderly persons in greater New York through its resources and community service programs.
Museum hours: Sunday–Thursday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Art Collection and grounds open daily, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Call 718-581-1596 for holiday hours and to schedule group tours.
Further information please visit our website
Full catalogue available online: [https://artathhar.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/making-continuity-contemporary-eastern-europe-in-new-york/}(https://artathhar.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/making-continuity-contemporary-eastern-europe-in-new-york/)
This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.