Open Gallery
Moscow, Trubnikovskiy lane, 22 building 2
+7(495) 772 2736
+7(499) 530 2727
opening hours:
Wed-Fri 15:00 – 20:00
Sat 12:00 – 18:00

Andrey and Osip Kuzkin. Unstoppable Action

7/12/2011 - 22/01/2012

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Andrey Kuzkin has a knack for involving the most unexpected people in his projects – a hairdresser, migrant workers, or convicts. This time he pushed the envelope further and partnered up with his four-year-old son.

The little Osya, unaware of his celebrated precursor, has fun pouring and splashing paint onto huge canvasses lying flat on the floor. His spontaneous painting, unpredictable and ungoverned by rules, gives expression to the exuberance and willfulness of childhood. The results remind the viewer of the epoch when the art of painting went through its intensely colorful agony. Over this layer Kuzkin the elder scatters pictographic images whose lineage could be traced to cave painting at the dawn of civilization or to “neo-primitivism”of A.R.Penck. The top pictographic layer seems to insist on its blood ties to the “dada” unruliness of the background.

Kuzkin’s playful ease with the past has little in common with games of deconstruction. Those don’t seem to attract the new generation of artists. Post-modernism taught them only one thing: the past cannot be written off, it is a part of today’s reality. The artist is free to move within the whole history of art, from prehistory to the present day. Any epoch allows free entry, and no visa is needed. The travelling artist only needs to update us every now and then on his or her whereabouts.

Contemporary art is always in the process of defining its own rules. Today it is not required that the artist get a fixed “address” within the cultural framework. Mobility is the thing. Kuzkin’s art is a very good example of such delocalization. He does not hesitate to exchange nods and invite comparisons with a whole range of diverse names and objects – from Mantegna’s “Lamentation of Christ”, to Christian Boltanski, to Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel’s “Last Judgment”, swarming with naked dead, to Vasili Chekrygin, and finally, in the present project, to the little known Eva Levina-Rosengolz in one package with Jackson Pollock and A.R. Penck.

This does not mean Kuzkin walks in others’ footsteps – definitely not. Rather, in yet another wild effort to answers the unanswerable questions that have plagued humans since the beginning of time, Kuzkin briefly exchanges with those who, he believes, had reflected on those questions before. In doing so, he is completely free of hierarchical considerations, and the soft whisper of others’ voices adds depth to his work, widening its optic and bringing in the flicker of multiple additional meanings. Wider context is critical to the artist: he believes that that the deeply personal experiences which he brings into his art need to be put in perspective. The artist needs to be able to step back and look at them as if “from the outer space”, or through inverted binoculars.

As most of today’s artists Kuzkin find it hard to identify with any particular national school or tradition. To him, place, time, and other conventional limitations exist only to be transcended.

Kuzkin named his project “The Effects of Force Majeure” making a reference to the clause in legal contracts that stipulated in what circumstances all contractual obligations and mutual responsibilities may be lifted.

The two Kuzkins will open the exhibition with something of a “piece for four hands”, a father-and-son performance .