Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the ‘Pink Fence’

On 6 September 2016 the IN ARTIBUS foundation opens a personal exhibition of Mikhail Roginsky under the title “Farewell to the Pink Fence”. The project is going to gather more than 40 works by the artist from private collections allowing to get a new look on Roginsky’s oeuvre based on his painterly motif
  • Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the ‘Pink Fence’
    Pink fence. Rails. 1963. Oil on canvas
  • Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the ‘Pink Fence’
    Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the ‘Pink Fence’
  • Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the ‘Pink Fence’
    Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the ‘Pink Fence’
  • Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the ‘Pink Fence’
    Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the ‘Pink Fence’
  • Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the ‘Pink Fence’
    Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the ‘Pink Fence’

“Farewell to the Pink Fence” is an unusual project for IN ARTIBUS. The main exhibit, Roginsky's painting “Pink Fence. Rails” (1963), is not present in the display. Fr om Inna Bazhenova's collection, this work was donated to the Pompidou Centre and is going to represent the artist's oeuvre at one of the world's leading museums — in Paris, wh ere Roginsky lived for many years.

Unlike the large-scale monographic exhibition implemented by the IN ARTIBUS as part of the 14th Architectural Biennale in Venice (2014), the present project comprises a fundamentally different set of works from private collections, that have never been displayed together.

Mihkail Roginsky (1931–2004) have been one of the most radical trailbreakers among Moscow unofficial artists of 1960s. At first glance his paintings don't have complicated byplays, mysteries or puzzles. He depicted simple casual things not being afraid to resemble a painter of the everyday, and the ‘Pink Fence’ is a perfect example.

Pink fence is a persistent motif repeatedly used by the artist. Pink fences, rooms and houses in his works are not to be considered a platitude or an absurd reality of Soviet life which was a fancied theme of many unofficial artists. By painting an object in pink Roginsky created an obvious and simultaneously impossible structure and made it a symbol of being.

Roginsky's pink is not univocal. It is not a metaphor of dreaming, not a hint of looking through pink glasses. His view of life and his works are far from being optimistic, they are rather full of melancholy and pessimism. Frivolous and showy pink in his paintings creates an impression of a false, expressly tinged life.

The artist was playing with a colouritstic metaphor, making his paintings not only a theatre of objects but also a kind of theatre of colour. What he shows is not the black opposed to white, but pink opposed to grey, as the symbols of the dream and the everyday.

Mikhail Roginsky depicted the atmosphere of hope and disappointment of the era not only in his plots or motifs but in the very colours and the matter of painting. Houses, people, kettles, kerosene stoves, fences, trams and chairs are mere actors in the theatre of universe, wh ere are no protagonists or a crowd shot, wh ere every persona is great and pitiful at the same time; and the pink is one of the main characters in this painterly dramaturgy.



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The Mikhail Roginsky Foundation is a Swiss public foundation created on 21 January 2014 in Lugano by Liana Shelia-Roginskaya, the artist’s widow, and by patron of the arts Inna Bazhenova, with the purpose of preserving and studying the artistic legacy of the Franco-Russian artist Mikhail Roginsky.

The Foundation possesses a large collection of Mikhail Roginsky’s works, which have been handed over to the charge of the Foundation by Liana Shelia-Roginskaya, as well as unique documentary materials from the archive of the artist’s widow.

An important objective of the Foundation is to search out and catalogue Mikhail Roginsky’s works located in both Russian and foreign, private and government collections, and to create an electronic database for their further study. In order to do this, an expert committee is being formed that will include Roginsky Foundation custodians at devisions of late 20th century art of major Russian museums, leading fine art critics, experts and technical specialists. One result of this collaboration will be the publication of a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s works. 

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