Curated exhibition & auction of contemporary
Russian art in London, presented by Maxim Boxer
Exhibition opens: 29.05.15 at 6:30 pm
Artist Talk by Leonid Tishkov: 30.05 at 3:00 pm
Curators’s Tour (ENG): 30.05 at 12:00 pm
Curators’s Tour (RU): 31.05 at 12:00 pm
Reception: 02.06 at 5 pm
Auction: 02.06 at 6:30 pm
Venue: Erarta Galleries London, 8 Berkeley Street, London W1J 8DN
This Spring we are excited to announce the third exhibition and auction, co-curated
by Maxim Boxer and Leonid Tishkov in London during the Russian Art Week. It will
examine the tradition of “cartoon-like art” in Russia, tracing the evolution of its visual
language and distinctive humour from the lubok imagery of the 18th century towards
the contemporary pictorial art, comics, and animation.
With some 50 artworks on display, the exhibition will bring together the variety of
approaches to the cartoon-like aesthetics, presenting a range of techniques, developed
by the contemporary Russian artists.
The grotesque pictures of lubok that are often supplied with sincere witty captions can
be claimed to be the first examples of proto-comics and cartoons in Russian art. The
imitations of lubok further appeared in the works of early 20th-century avant-garde
artists, like Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich and David
The conceptualist artists like Victor Pivovarov, Gosha Ostretsov, Georgy Litichevsky,
Leonid Tishkov and Andrei Bilzho choose to draw the inspiration for their pictorial imagery
from the children’s books illustrations, gradually extending its borders towards
the realm of high art and releasing it from the initial narratives.
Russian conceptualists of the second wave – such as Pavel Pepperstein, Sergei Anufriev,
Arkady Nasonov, Nikita Alekseev, Alexander Savko and Evgeny Semenov – visualise
the “children’s discourse” in the endless strips of comics-like pictures, compiled
as the “stream of consciousness” collages. The series of colour silkscreen prints
called “Taro Cards”, produced by Elena Elagina, Igor Makarevich, and Maria
Konstantinova at the “Moscow Studio” of hand-made printing at the end of 1990s,
appear exactly as comics strips, when the cards are left uncut.
Recognisably different from their conceptualist colleagues, Damir Muratov, Vasily
Slonov and the “Blue Noses” group (Alexander Shaburov and Vyacheslav Mizin)
deliberately eliminate the “highbrow” traits in their cartoon-like artworks: balancing on
the verge of the lofty and the lowly, they celebrate the inimitable humour of the folk.
By a means of pictorial aesthetics merged with story-telling, Yuri Albert, Konstantin
Zvezdochetov, Alexander Dzhikiya and the “Mitki” art collective take the capacity of
cartoon-like art genre to the extreme: their works are set to compose the entire original
epic with its iconography, mythology, and characters – be they the imaginary protagonists,
or the artists’ alter-egos themselves.
The exposition will be also complimented with the graphic works by the iconic Russian
cartoon-makes – with Boris Khrzhanovsky, Yuri Norshtein (“The Hedgehog in The
Fog”, 1975) and Svetozar Kuzmich (“Nu, Pogodi!” series) among others.
A program of public events will take place alongside the exhibition, with curators’
tours of the exhibition for collectors and art lovers, in Russian and English. On the 30th
of May (Saturday) at 3 pm we invite you to join the talk by the celebrated Russian artist
and photographer Leonid Tishkov. In “Anti-humour: Soviet Underground Caricature
in 1970–80s” Tishkov will present the secret history and characters of the caricature
genre that sits on the boarder between absurd and philosophy and profoundly effects
the contemporary Russian art.
On the 2nd of June, the last day of the exhibition, all the art works on display will
be offered for sale at an auction. The public auction is intended to attract European
and Russian buyers and European galleries and museums. With lots priced between
£500–£10,000, affordability is key to the concept.
MAXIM BOXER Exhibitions & Auctions was founded by Maxim Boxer and Konstantin
Semkin in 2014, and is rapidly establishing on the London art scene.
In 2014 Maxim Boxer curated two exhibitions of contemporary and modern Russian
art, followed by auctions. For ‘Cosmism’ in May 2014 and ‘Metaphysics’ in November
2014 the sales results were 74% and 68% respectively.