That Obscure Object of Art
Highlights of contemporary Russian art from the Stella Art Foundation
From the 4th of June until the 5th of October 2009, in the majestic surroundings of Ca’ Rezzonico, the Museum of Eighteenth-Century Venetian art and one of Venice’s splendid palazzos, the Stella Art Foundation, in collaboration with the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, presents That Obscure Object of Art, an exhibition featuring nearly 70 works of contemporary Russian artists.
Contemporary Russian art emerged from and shaped itself in an environment of double cultural isolation. Its habitat was an underground setting within the Soviet art system, encapsulated in a country completely cut off from the outside world, Russian art nevertheless perceived itself as an organic part of the global art movement.
Unique in its structure, its strategies and its form-generation process, the complexity of its being was largely ignored at international exhibitions where it was inevitably displayed in an extremely simplified manner: during Soviet times, as a naive humanistic impulse towards political and artistic freedom; after the perestroika, as an artistic symbol of the democratization of a post-totalitarian country.
In October 2008, Stella Art Foundation used a similar concept for an exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, which was dedicated to the Soviet Universe.
The Venetian exhibition is shifting the focus from content to form and internal structures, portraying contemporary Russian art as a practice of constructing multiple worlds, of weaving never-ending stories.
This narrative flux dissolves the boundaries between authors and their characters while subjects and myths of motley origins form bizarre groupings and textual fragments and images interlock.
Curated by Vladimir Levashov, the exhibition displays works by a plethora of prominent contemporary Russian artists including Yuri Albert, Ivan Chuikov, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, Boris Orlov, Anatoly Osmolovsky, and Alexander Ponomarev who will be present with his submarine ‘SubTiziano’.
That Obscure Object of Art sits at the heart of the Stella Art Foundation’s involvement with the Venice Biennale.
The Moscow-based foundation also supports the work of Elena Elagina & Igor Makarevich, Anna Parkina, Pavel Pepperstein, and Anya Zholud, and the Moscow Poetry Club, all featured in the official selection of the 53rd Venice Biennale.
Where: Ca’ Rezzonico, Museum of XVIII Century Art
Entry: admission with Museum ticket
Contacts: Ca' Rezzonico
Info: +39 0415209070
Promoter: Musei Civici Veneziani
Stella Art Foundation
More information: For all Russian media enquiries, please contact:
Anna Svergun on firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel. +7 916 609 4115
For all International media enquiries, please contact Brunswick Arts:
Klara M. Piza and Nicolas Smirnoff on email@example.com or Tel. +49 30 20 67 33 68 and +44 20 7936 1275
Opening: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
closed on tuesday