DECORATION OF THE BEAUTIFUL. ELITISM AND KITSCH IN CONTEMPORARY ART. With the participation of Sepherot Foundation (Liechtenstein)

19 december 2012 — 1 march 2013

At the exhibition participate works from the collection of Sepherot Foundation (Liechtenstein)

«Let’s recognize everything!» - the exhibition «Decoration of the Beautiful» catches up the motto of the exhibition «Target», organized by Mikhail Larionov in 1913. The idea of Larionov’s appeal was to give equal aesthetic rights to the originals and copies of art objects, to works of professional and naive art, to destroy the hierarchy between elite and mass culture. Larionov's pathos, idea and enthusiasm much outstripped his time, and today in the best way possible corresponds to a present-day situation of the period after postmodernism. 

The name of the exhibition - «Decoration of the Beautiful» - comes from the similar name of the series of works by Valery Koshlyakov, which is also displayed at the exposition. As a basis for the picturesque improvisations, the author took old photographs of good-looking theater actors. The 20th century art was based on the opposition between two trends - avant-garde and kitsch, and vigorously rejected an «aesthetics of beautiful», which was usurped by mass culture, advertising industry and show business. Nevertheless, from time to time avant-garde artists used and even overused the possibilities of «aesthetic kitsch», and it was «kitsch», that became a necessary resource of art modernization. With time, many avant-garde tendencies became popular and turned into parts of aesthetic kitsch. Thus, kitsch overlapped avant-garde and avant-garde overlapped kitsch. Intersections, collisions and adhesion of avant-garde and kitsch (aesthetic and anti-aesthetic ones) have been defying the nerve of the contemporary art until now. The exhibition «Decoration of the Beautiful» ties together «beginnings» and «ends», «originals» and «copies» true primitive artworks with samples of High Art. The exposition is divided into eight sections, each containing works, created in different periods between 1920s and 2000s. The subjects of sections refer to the traditional motives, that are most popular, most used and always in great demand in mass culture. These are: «beauty», «classics», «love», «nature», «oriental fantasies» and others.  
S.Mironenko. Goldobiny. 1983The samples of the naive art have become the leitmotif of the exhibition. Sections: «Classical Kitsch»; 2. "My Dear, Kill an Avant-gardist!»; 3. «Antique Heritage»; 4. «Pseudo-folklore»; 5. «Orientalism»; 6. «Actors of Art»; 7. «Favourite Image»; 8. «Back to the Nature». The project «Decoration of the Beautiful» was prepared by the Tretyakov Gallery in partnership with «Veresov Gallery». Besides financial and organizational support of the exhibition, the latter participated in the design of the architectural space for the exposition.
On December, 21 «Veresov Gallery» opens the second part of the project in its halls. There the curators of the exhibition further develop the main theme of the exposition, looking for the borders of kitsch: they compare Russian portrait of 18th-19th centuries with the works of contemporary artists. Participants of the exhibition AES+F, Natalia Abalakova, Sergey Anufriev, Maria Arendt, Natasha Arendt, Elena Berg, Annushka Broshe, Alexander Vinogradov, Vladimir Dubosarsky, Sergey Vorontsov, «Dark blue noses» Group, Anatoly Zhigalov, Larissa Zvezdochetova, Konstantin Zvezdochetov, Nikolay Kasatkin, Sergey Katran, Vyacheslav Koleychuk, Vitaly Komar, Alexander Melamid, Nata Konysheva, Oleg Kotelnikov, Valery Koshlyakov, Ivan Kruglikov, Victor Kuznetsov, Oleg Kulik, George Litichevsky, Grigory Mayofis, Vladislav Mamyshev (Monroe), Sergey Mironenko, Irina Nakhova, George Ostretsov, Arkady Petrov, George Puzenkov, Alexander Savko, Evgeny Semenov, Sergey Serp, Vitas Stasunas, Rostan Tavasiev, Avdey Ter-Oganyan, Ilia Falkovsky, Andrey Hlobystin, Dmitry Tsvetkov, Sergey Chernov, Alexander Shnurov, Stas Shuripa, Sergey Shutov. 

For the time of the exhibition, «late Thursdays» in the Tretyakov Gallery recommence: the exhibition is open on Thursdays till 22.00, ticket boxes - till 21.00. 

 

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