The exhibition “Mikhail Roginsky. On the other side of the Red Door”, organized by the Mikhail Roginsky Foundation in cooperation with the CSAR Center for the Study of Russian Culture at the University of Ca Foscari, within the framework of the 14th Architecture Biennale in Venice, represents the mature period of the artist’s work (1978-2003). All these years Mikhail Roginsky lived in Paris.
In 1978, after leaving Soviet Russia, the artist found himself in France in unexpected creative isolation and gradually avoided two dangers – the pressure of crude totalitarian propaganda and the influence of intellectual speculation of mass art. Freed from everything that could interfere with his work, including the desired things – material well-being and recognition, Roginsky focused on his art.
The uniqueness of the project is that Roginsky’s Parisian period will be presented most fully for the first time, and the main attention is focused on the fundamental concepts of painting – color, shape, design.
The choice of such a concept was initiated by the main theme of the biennale – “Fundamentals”, which was proposed by its curator, the outstanding architect Rem Koolhaas.
The exposition opens with “The Red Door” (1965) – the only work at the exhibition relating to the Russian period of Roginsky – the most famous, but also the most misunderstood. The “Door” symbolizes farewell to the spectacular, but unreliable, like all myths, opinion about Roginsky as the “father of Russian pop art”, as a politicized artist, fascinated by speculative concepts.
The organizers of the exhibition propose to leave the confusion of erroneous definitions behind the door, get rid of cliches that vulgarize the perception of art, and turn to its basics. Roginsky is represented here in all the multidimensionality of his work.
The exposition is a narrative about the creative evolution of the artist, the leitmotif of her design is a journey. It lacks a consistent scheme designed to simplify the understanding of the artist’s work. The integrity of the overall picture is based not on chronology, but on the visual material of the exhibition.
The concept of the exhibition design was developed by the famous Russian architect Evgeny Ass.
The main part of the exposition is accompanied by photo and video materials, many of which are being shown openly for the first time.
The exhibition consists of 120 paintings and is divided into 8 sections in accordance with the plastic tasks that the artist solved throughout his life:
“The Abc of two-dimensionality”
“Interior. Landscape. Figure in Space”
“Struggle with “Art”
“Measurement of emptiness”
“Archeology of Construction”
“Object and Form”
Inna Bazhenova, President of the Mikhail Roginsky Foundation
“We have created the Mikhail Roginsky Foundation in order to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the artist, to support the interest of specialists and the general public in him, both in Russia and around the world. Thanks to the active work of the artist’s widow, co-founder of the foundation – Liana Roginskaya, highly professional work is being carried out on attribution and systematization of Roginsky’s heritage. This exhibition is the first public project by which the Foundation declares itself as an international institution. It is no coincidence that the exhibition takes place within the framework of the Venice Architecture Biennale – a large-scale review of current trends in world art. Thus, we want to confirm Mikhail Roginsky’s status as a world-renowned artist.”
Professor Silvia Burini, Director of CSAR:
“Our interest in this case is not limited to the story of how the creative path of the great artist Mikhail Roginsky developed. After all, his “architectural view” can help us to grasp the convergence, logical connections and differences in the context (preceding the formation of conceptual art), which today deserves careful study. CSAR set itself this task a few years ago: to critically examine some key moments of Russian art history during the twentieth century in order to try to put forward new hypotheses about periodization, internal fragmentation from the point of view, at least partially inconsistent with the established historiographical and museographic tradition.”
Mikhail Roginsky is one of the most interesting Russian artists of the second half of the twentieth century. Born in Moscow in 1931. He studied at the Moscow City Art School (1946-1950) and at the Moscow Regional Art School “In Memory of 1905”, majoring in theater artist (1950 – 1951). In the 50s he worked as a theater artist in the province. In the 60-70s, he taught at first at the Moscow City Art School, then at the People’s University of Arts in Absentia. In 1978 he emigrated to France.
In Soviet times, he participated in key unofficial exhibitions. Today, Roginsky’s works are in all important expositions of contemporary Russian art, in private and corporate collections.
He died in Paris in 2004.
The Mikhail Roginsky Foundation is a non–profit organization created to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the Russian artist Mikhail Alexandrovich Roginsky (1931 – 2004). The foundation was founded in 2013 by the artist’s widow Liana Roginskaya and collector Inna Bazhenova.
The Foundation carries out cultural projects of a humanitarian, educational and charitable nature, as well as conducts professional activities for the examination and attribution of the artist’s works.
CSAR (Center for the Study of Russian Culture at the University of Ca Foscari, Venice) created in March 2011. The University of Venice Ca Foscari and the Directorate of International Programs with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. CSAR is the first research center in Italy to study the richest culture of Russia: art history from ancient times to the present day, as well as music, cinema and theater.
Elena Rudenko, curator of the exhibition. Curator, art historian, art critic, author of numerous publications. Graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University (1994). 2000-2003 – curator at the Moscow House of Photography (now Multimedia Art Museum). 2005-2009 – curator of the Leonid Shishkin Gallery. Collaborated with Bildens Hus(Foto Museet), Sundsvall, Sweden; Pierre Arnau dFoundation, Lens,Crans-Montana, Switzerland; Ferrara arte e cultura, Ferrara, Italy. Chief Curator of the IN ARTIBUS Foundation in Moscow. Lives and works in Moscow.
Evgeny Ass, architect of the exhibition. Architect. Graduated from MARHI (1970). Author of a large number of architectural and urban planning works, interior projects and exhibitions. Since the mid-80s he has worked as a freelance architect, artist and exhibition designer. In 1997 he opened his own design bureau “architects acc”. Since 1973, he has been engaged in architectural theory and criticism, delivering articles and lectures in Russia and abroad. Winner of numerous prizes and awards. Curated and designed the exhibition “Moscow Architectural Avant-Garde” at the Art Institute of Chicago (1994). As an artist, he participated in the Venice Biennale in 1995. 2004 -2006 – Artistic Director of the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Since 2002 – Member of the European Cultural Parliament.
June 07 – September 28, 2014