press release only in german


Russian Povera
A Sergey Gordeev Project
Curator Marat Guelman

On September 25, 2008, an exhibit titled Russian Povera will open at the River Station Hall in Perm. It will be the largest showing of contemporary art in the region in decades. Works by 36 world-renowned Russian artists will be gathered for the occasion. Among the creators are Nikolay Polissky, Olga and Alexander Florensky, Valery Koshlyakov, Dmitry Gutov, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Alexander Brodsky, Peter Belyi, Vladimir Arkhipov, and others.

The idea of creating the exhibition belongs to Sergey Gordeev, a member of the Federation Council of Russia from the Administration of the Perm Region, well known for his projects in the spheres of culture and architecture. The idea was supported by Governor Oleg Chirkunov. Gallery owner Marat Guelman was invited as the curator.

The basis of the exhibition is work by artists who use the simplest, "poor" materials. This approach reveals and demonstrates all of the qualities of contemporary Russian art – an art that is authentic, deep, an art that goes away from surface beauty towards a real miracle. These queries have form, a dialogue with the history of art, social responsibility, as well as the desire to find beauty in the simplest of things.

Among objects on display are unique pieces made of cardboard, old wood planks, rubber, iron, coal, ceramic tile, plastic, and even soap. The virtuosity of execution in working with such non-standard materials is highly valued by the world community. Many of the participating artists will come to Perm; during the show's run, they will give lectures and conduct workshops for all those who wish to take part in them.

The site of the exhibition – the recently abandoned Perm River Station Hall – is an architectural monument, which has been renovated for the occasion by the Russian Avant-Garde Foundation, founded by Sergey Gordeev. Now, the building, which is one the icons of the city, corresponds to all the requirements of an exhibition space. Currently, discussions are afoot as to the possible subsequent opening of a Museum of Contemporary Art in the River Station Hall building. In addition to offering exhibitions, the complex would also house a cultural center and creative arts workshops.

After its run in Perm, Russian Povera will travel to St. Petersburg, where it will be shown at the State Russian Museum. It will then go on to Moscow, Milan, and New York.