Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Rothko at The Garage Centre- Russia

Dasha Zhukova, Roman Abramovich's (Owner of Chelsea Football Club (hurray a link to a football club even if it is Chelsea!)) 28 year old girlfriend founded The Iris Foundation and established The Garage in Moscow. This large art's venue is showing the Rothko paintings that were bought for $310 as a result of the Merkin/Madoff fraud. This is the first show at the Garage. [гараж - Russian Abstract Painters Association x ? !]
As part of the programme tomorrow Anatoly Osmolovsky will present a talk on 'American Reductionism: Pollock, Newman, Rothko.' Here is the blurb describing the subject and intent of the talk.

"During the middle of the 20th century, the birth of abstract expressionism in New York provided the world with a new visual vocabulary and new school of thought, which has influenced artists for generations to come. This incredible shift moved the focus in contemporary art from Paris to NY, but it is an area, which has not been fully explored in Russia until recently. Theoretician and artist Anatoly Osmolovsly will shed light on how understanding abstract expressionism will help us explain many of the developments in contemporary art today."

There is abundant irony in the mechanics of the art world with the presentation of this exhibition. Here at APE we wonder what Rothko would have made of the history of acquisition of these works given his expressed views of wealthy materialism and here are his works being presented with funds from a Russian oligarch. His work already has had the infamous insider dealing of his estate to mock his intentions. Oh how the world has changed, Rothko, a Latvian ( previously within Russia) émigré to the USA was once upon a time presented as part of the CIA's cultural cold war against the political realism of Russia. And a mild ironic topping to this layer cake, Irving Sandler, the self-confessed one time sceptic of Rothko's is the Rothko authority contributing to the catalogue and programme.

It will be fascinating to learn how the Russian critics and public respond. I trust the paintings.

1 comment:

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