Counterpoint, Contemporary Russian Art — From the Icon to the Avant-Garde by way of the Museum
Following the major exhibition “Holy Russia: Russian Art from the Beginnings to Peter the Great” in spring 2010, the Louvre hosts a second event in honor of the Year of Russia in France.
Turning its focus to present-day Russia, the museum offers an overview of Russian contemporary art, still little known in France. This exhibition in the Louvre’s annual “Counterpoint”
series features works by some twenty artists and artist collectives: AES + F Group, Yuri Albert, Blue Noses, Erik Boulatov, Alexander Brodsky, Olga Chernysheva, Dubossarsky
and Vinogradov, Dmitri Gutov, Emilia and Ilya Kabakov, Alexei Kallima, Komar and Melamid, Valery Koshlyakov, Yuri Leiderman, Igor Makarevich and Elena Elagina, Diana Machulina, Andrei Monastyrsky, Pavel Pepperstein, Avdei Ter-Oganian, and Vadim Zakharov.
The exhibition is presented in the moats, in the Salle de la Maquette, at the keep, and in the Salle Saint-Louis, all of which provide evidence of the 12th-century fortress that predates the Louvre Palace
on this site, unearthed in the course of the Grand Louvre project. These archaeological remnants reflect architectural utopias, which are echoed in the explorations of some of the artists included in the exhibition, such as Ilya Kabakov and Igor Makarevich. This underground space also stimulates fantasy and the imagination, as shown in the works of Alexei Kallima, Valery Koshlyakov and
Vadim Zakharov. In fact, most of the featured artists have created a work specifically suited to the architecture of the museum. For instance, Yuri Leiderman will present a performance piece in his
“Geopoetics” series at the press opening, whereas Yuri Albert will invite visitors to explore the collections blindfolded. In connection with this “Counterpoint” exhibition, the Tuileries gardens will play host to Rotunda II, an installation project by the Russian architect and sculptor Alexander Brodsky, on loan from the PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art in Perm, Russia.