The Dreaming Russia exhibit allows unique insight into contemporary Russian art. Many of the artists presented here can be seen for the first time in Austria, although they are already successful and well-known in their homeland. Contemporary art from Russia is a phenomenon that has to date received little attention in Europe. Our picture of Russian art is still primarily influenced by its avant garde. This narrowing of the European view to this small section of Russian Modernity is explained by the extraordinary impact originating from the art scene in Petrograd between 1910 and 1925.
Thanks to a cooperative project with Gazprombank, it is now possible for the Albertina to present the current artistic work coming from Russia, which polymorphically serves all art forms: painting and photography, room installation, performance and sculpture. A strict formalism is always found behind these varied positions, which assigns a constructively precise location to each individual element, from the composition within the painting to arrangements requiring a large amount of space: a design principle rooted very deeply within the early period of the Russian avant garde. Both in its conceptual approach and in its constructive spirit, recent Russian art is characterised by the consequences of what Stalin and his doctrine of socialist realism were only able to interrupt, but not exterminate.