Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the «Pink Fence» | In artibus Foundation

Mikhail Roginsky. Farewell to the «Pink Fence»

On September 6, Mikhail Roginsky’s personal exhibition “Farewell to the Pink Fence” opened at the In artibus Foundation. The project will unite more than 40 works of the artist from private collections, allowing a new look at the author’s work, starting from his important pictorial motif.

The exhibition “Farewell to the Pink Fence” is an unusual project for the foundation. The main exhibit is paintings Mikhail Roginsky “Pink fence. Rails” (1963) — not in the exhibition. Work from the collection Inna Bazhenova was donated to the Pompidou Center and will now represent the artist’s work in one of the world’s leading museums, in Paris — the city where Roginsky lived for many years.

Unlike the author’s large monographic exhibition initiated by the In artibus Foundation and presented as part of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale (2014), today’s project includes a fundamentally different set of works from private collections that have never been shown to the public in such a composition before.

Mikhail Roginsky (1931-2004) was and remains one of the most radical innovators among Moscow unofficial artists of the 1960s. His paintings, at first glance, are devoid of complex subtexts, secrets and riddles. He depicted simple, non—fancy objects, not afraid to seem like an artist of everyday life and everyday life, and the “Pink Fence” is a vivid confirmation of this.

In the work of Mikhail Roginsky, the pink fence is a stable motif, to which the artist has repeatedly addressed. Pink fences, rooms and houses, which are found more than once in the author’s works, cannot be considered a banality and an absurd reality of Soviet life, which many unofficial artists liked to depict. By painting objects pink, Roginsky created an obvious and at the same time impossible object and made it a symbol of being.

Roginsky’s pink color is ambiguous. This is not a metaphor for daydreaming, not a hint of looking through rose-colored glasses. The artist’s worldview and his work are by no means optimistic, they are rather full of melancholy and pessimism. The frivolous catchy pink in Roginsky’s painting creates the effect of an artificial, deliberately tinted life.

The artist played with the color metaphor, creating in his paintings not only a theater of objects, but also a kind of theater of color. He opposed not white to black, but pink to gray as symbols of dreams and everyday life.

Mikhail Roginsky embodied the atmosphere of hope and disappointment of the epoch not only in the plots and motifs of his works, but in the very colors and matter of painting. Houses, people, kettles, primuses, fences, trams and chairs are just actors in the theater of the universe, where there are no protagonists and extras, where every character is important and insignificant at the same time, and pink is one of the main characters in this picturesque drama.

Curator Anna Korndorf on the exhibition “Farewell to the Pink Fence” (video)


The Mikhail Roginsky Foundation is a Swiss public foundation established on January 21, 2014 in Lugano by the artist’s widow Liana Shelia–Roginskaya and art patron Inna Bazhenova in order to preserve and study the creative heritage of the artist Mikhail Roginsky.

The Foundation has a collection of works by Mikhail Roginsky, as well as unique documentary materials from the archive.

An important task of the Foundation is to search and catalog the works of Mikhail Roginsky, which are in Russian and foreign private and public collections, and to create a scientific base for further study of the artist’s work. For these purposes, it is planned to form an expert council, which will include the curators of the art departments of the second half of the twentieth century in the largest Russian museums, leading art historians, experts and technical specialists.

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