The leningrad school

The leningrad school

Yuri Alexandrov, Ivan Goldenshluger, Konstantin Moloh. THE LENINGRAD SCHOOL.

6th line Vasilievsky ostrov, 29

Anna Nova presents a retrospective exhibition of Yuri Alexandrov ‘The Leningrad School’ in The New Museum since 4th October. There will be shown well-known works of the only St.Petersburg conceptualist who used to illustrate primers and textbooks for the people of the Extreme North and the Far East. For example, there are ‘Evil spirits trap’ (carving, hearth soot, 2003), ‘Welling’s bone carvers’ (canvas, acrylic, 1991) made from an earflap of a whale and a Sumerian printing press.

There are some new artist’s works as well, such as batik paintings with the views of Mount Fuji and an artistic interpretation of Kirov’s death. The Leningrad school contribution to Russian art can scarcely be overestimated. It is the representatives of this school who raised (or rather, created) the traditional Chukotian art and managed to restore the lost (actually, never existed) rock paintings of the ancient northern Jews. They had also identified Guttenberg as the main acting person of European culture and, boldly but with respect, widened the limits of his ‘galaxy’ having offered ingenious self-printing appliances; thus giving a word the status of an image, and to a self-made object the status of a book. And the list of these achievements can be continued. The school was initiated in the 1970s. The date of its foundation is the day when three beginner artists met in an art studio of L.V. Kabachek, the Honoured artist of the USSA, who said the phrase that made a big impression on the young men. He said: ‘Look, there are no paintings in my studio except this one on the easel; they are all in museums. That is what you should strive for!’ It is no accident that the painting depicting that moment opens a final exhibition of the Leningrad school.
Despite the inner unity of the Leningrad school’s paintings, each of its members has its own manner. Ivan Goldenshluger is an artist of the post-war neoclassical art, whereas Konstantin Molosh is an ironic avant-garde artist of Brezhnev’s times, and Yuri Alexandrov is a fastidious intellectual, with a sceptical view on the early-capitalism madness.

Akeksandr Borovskiy