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"Dmitri Gutov: The Deep Blue Colour Of His Skin Shows Just How Self-Absorbed He Is"
2005-03-10 until 2005-04-09
Matthew Bown Gallery
UK United Kingdom
Matthew Bown Gallery is honoured to present the first London exhibition by one of Moscow's most influential contemporary artists. Since the early 1990s, Dmitri Gutov has played a pivotal role in the reshaping and reinvigoration of post-Communist Russian art. He has represented Russia at the Venice Biennale and in a range of other international surveys including, last year, Moscow-Berlin.
Gutov's art ranges from exotic large-scale installations (25 tons of earth dumped in the Ridzhina Gallery, Moscow; 3000 shuttlecocks launched above a pioneer camp) to minimalistic painting and conceptual events. Recently he formed the Lifshitz Institute, which took the form of a seminar to discuss the ideas of Mikhail Lifshitz, a hardline Marxist critic of the Soviet era.
The curator and critic Viktor Miziano has emphasised Gutov's ambition to integrate an awareness of history into present-day practice: "Gutov's historicism has nothing to do with post-modern deconstruction. On the contrary, it is vital and natural experience of the past as something actual, the work of thought born by reading the aesthetics and philosophy of Hegel." (Victor Miziano, "D. Gutov", in Fresh Cream, Phaidon Press, 2000, p.322).
Lifshitz's phrase "It's time to say good buy to the petty intrigues of self-reflexion" has become Gutov's slogan not only in his argument with self-sufficient intellectualism of the Moscow conceptualists, but also in his polemics against the idea of art's autonomy. Gutov is obsessed with reality, he insists on his role as a social artist with an active critical point of view.
Matthew Bown Gallery, in its inaugural exhibition, is showing a selection of Gutov's recent paintings.
Mayakovskaya II: Trampoline
Oil on canvas
100 x 80 cm