Places / Russia

About Bread – “Borodinsky”

“It took me about four years to bring these two works of art together. Therefore – as you can imagine – I am very proud to present them on The New Contemporary.”

One of the main reasons why I appreciate the visual arts so much is the fact that one mustn’t read boring explanations and texts. As I am not gifted as a poet, philosopher or as a long article writing curator I’ll skip the introduction about the deeper meaning of bread and focus rather on the basics. It took me about four years to bring these two works of art together. Therefore – as you can imagine – I am very proud to present them on The New Contemporary.

There are two works.

A Bread Of Bronze” is part of a bigger and very well-known installation about bread by Moscow artist Igor Makarevich. Born in 1943 in Georgia, he has lived in Moscow since 1951, together with his wife and artist Elena Elagina. They are members of the Collective Actions group, which plays a major role in Moscow’s Conceptual Art Movement. This bread of bronze on its marble socle is, in my opinion, the most Russian work of art and likewise the most delicate and beautiful. It is so beautiful that you can look at it for hours. By the way, it is really Russian bread, “Borodinsky” – dark rye bread with a taste of coriander.

Igor Makarevich and Elena Elagina were among the first contemporary artists to be shown in the KHM Museum in Vienna, I think it was in 2010. Installations, photos, and sculptures by these great artists were placed among the great masters of the past. I will never forget the Tatlin Tower installation with a huge mushroom on the top next to Brueghel’s famous Tower of Babel.

The artist couple are enormously generous. Once they invited me for tea, and I had the great honor to speak with these two wonderful persons.

Let’s come to “A Head Of Bread” – this work is also a work of a Russian artist, Andrey Kuzkin. He is in his mid-thirties, so still among the young ones. Of course, he knows Igor Makarevich, but somehow I doubt he was thinking about Makarevich’s bread when he started his own project with bread. Actually it is a whole series. Andrey was doing a lot of sculptures with bread, all expressive and touching. He originally worked a lot with graphics, he did wonderful series, and later worked more in performance art. Recently these bread sculptures appeared. I think they are great. A huge figure made out of bread was shown by Fond Victoria (at the time the most active international promoter of Russian contemporary art www.m.v-a-c.ru) in the Venice Biennale in 2011, I liked this one much more.

These are both breads – they should somehow been shown together. Two generations of artists. Looking at these works I have the feeling I’m looking into art history, and it makes me confident that what Russian artists are creating today ranks among the most important things that are happening in these times.

Enjoy your weekend! Greetings from Moscow

Simon

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