A GIFT OF MARAT. Contemporary Art from Gelman’s Collection

New Tretyakov

The State Tretyakov Gallery presents an exhibition of works donated to the museum from the collection of Marat Gelman.

The Marat Gelman Gallery, founded in 1990, was one of the first private galleries in Moscow. Projects successfully implemented by the Gallery became, as artists describe them, “a declaration of the rights of contemporary art in Russia”. The “Gelman Circle” included young artists, many of whom became leaders in the artistic scene of the 1990s to 2000s. The Gallery’s history is marked by large-scale exhibitions such as Conversion, Body Space, New Money, and Art Against Geography, where the serious problems of our time were raised. They took place in the major museums and exhibition halls: in the Tretyakov Gallery, the Russian Museum, and the Central House of Artists. Exhibitions of famous foreign painters and projects in large regional museums have become an important part of Marat Gelman’s activities.

The collection that Gelman has donated to the Tretyakov Gallery includes works reflecting the major trends in the development of art in the post-Soviet space during the period of the 1990s to 2000s. The works of Oleg Kulik and Anatoly Osmolovsky, the main Moscow performance artists, are side by side with the neo-modernist experiences of Avdey Ter-Oganyan; the picturesque experiments of Viktor Alimpiev are near pseudo-documentary art by Dmitry Vrubel; the neo-pop art of Vladimir Dubosarsky and Alexander Vinogradov is presented alongside with Dmitry Gutov’s “retrospectivism”; photo and video performances by Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe and the Blue Noses Group are combined with the AES+F virtual battles. We should specifically mention the “Moscow” projects of the Socialist art classics Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, the socially important works by Alexei Kallima and Yuri Shabelnikov, the “new money” by Leonid Parfenov and Elena Kitaeva, as well as the monumental comic-panorama of the art scene of the mid 2000s by Georgy Ostretsov.

“The main motive of my gift is that I, as I am, was formed by the artists with whom I worked. Therefore, I always try to act in the interests of the artist. I think that the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery is a wonderful, maybe the best place for art”, says Marat Gelman.

One of the main areas of Gelman’s activity was the search for new artists that also expanded the geopolitical boundaries of the interaction of contemporary Russian art. The gift will replenish the Tretyakov Gallery collection with works by Ukrainian artists who became actively involved in the Moscow art scene in the 1990s: Boris Mikhailov, Alexander Roitburd, Arsen Savadov, Alexander Gnilitsky, Vasily Tsagolov and Sergei Anufriev, a member of the legendary Medical Hermeneutics Group. In the late 1990s the Gelman Gallery discovered the new art of Kazakhstan presented by such outstanding artists as Said Atabekov, Moldakul Narymbetov, Erbosyn Meldibekov and Kanat Ibragimov. The donated collection includes the installation by Ilya and Emilia Kabakovs “The Tennis Game” that will be separately exhibited in the halls of the Tretyakov Gallery.

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