Art Roundup – December 2012

With my ongoing series associated with Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, I haven’t had much time to point out the exhibitions of art that have been happening around the planet. Here’s a very quick round-up right here.

At the Saatchi Gallery in London are two exhibitions of Russian art:

  1. Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union – an exhibition of satirical art running till May 5, 2013.
  2. Breaking the ice: Moscow Art, 1960-80s – is an exhibition of abstract and post-Stalinist art, including the Soviet version of pop art, with much satirical teasing of the avant-garde of the initial years of the Revolution. This is on till February 24, 2013.

I went for the first, but will have to go back to inspect the latter one in more detail. The first exhibition has its seriously weird moments: an entire series of photographs of people that look ready to jump off a high window (Vikentii Nilin), another series of large-scale despairing, worn-out nudes standing about in the snow (Boris Mikhailov), installation art of wooden prisons incorporating human-like figures in various stages of killing themselves or chopping up their limbs, yet another series of people adorned with criminal tattoos (Sergei Vasiliev), …Yet there are also stunningly beautiful works, as for instance a series of paintings of Parisian buildings that achieve a depth perception by a clever layering of cardboard (Valery Koshlyakov), as well as polychromatic explosions and busy crowds as in the work of Dasha Shishkin.

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