Manege Central Exhibition Hall and the “Free Artists of Petersburg” project present the exhibition “Beauty +/-” (“Beauty: Plus-minus”). The project is a collection of over 200 works (paintings, graphics, sculptures, ceramics, artistic enamels) by contemporary artists from Petersburg and Moscow. The exhibition is made up of work from a variety of backgrounds--from the classical academic school of Andrei Mylnikov and Yevsey Moiseyenko, to the oeuvres of contemporary artists Larisa Kirillova, Tatyana Fyodorova, Mikhail Kopylkov, Oleg Yakhnin, Nikolai Sazhin, and Olga Tobreluts, to that of comparatively young artists like Kirill Koteshov, Frol Ivanov, Dmitry Margolin, and others.
The curator of the exhibit is Alexander Borovsky. The works are provided by the State Russian Museum, the Museum of 20th and 21st Century Saint Petersburg Art (MISP), the “Free Artists of Petersburg” project, private collectors, and the artists themselves.
In the words of the curator: “Art from the 1970s and forward is rarely placed in the categories of “Wonder, Beauty, Aesthetics” and so forth. We are talking specifically about “contemporary art” as a genre--other artistic work is, on the other hand, awarded those labels in the context of tradition, schooling, skill. We thought it would be interesting to reimagine aesthetic, to show different approaches to “beauty”--from conceptual to traditional academic beauty, and even kitsch.
Appropriately, the polarity of our relationship with the category of beauty--from reverence to rejection--is represented by name of the exhibition: “Beauty: Plus-minus”. Thus, it would seem that today even seemingly abstract themes such as aesthetics, become arenas not for the theoretical, but instead for purely creative, artistic battles. The exchange between the abstract and the physical about the nature of beauty can give new momentum to the artistic process as well as our very understanding of art, reflections on its status, and its current state”.