June 13 - August 17, 2014

Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art with support of Marina Gisich Gallery present the project “Crystallizations. Contemporary art from Saint Petersburg”.

The project presents the attempt to follow up the tendencies which exist today in artistic processes of St. Petersburg. Selection of art works includes famous lightboxes by Marina Alexeeva, installations by Peter Belyi and Vladimir Kustov, legendary movies by Evgeny Yufit and “Human project” by Kerim Ragimov, large-scale canvases by Dmitry Gretsky, structural geometry by Anna Zholud and Nadya Zubareva, protest painting by Igor Pestov and Vitaly Pushnitsky’s neoclassical researches, textile objects by Tanya Akhmetgalieva, bromoil works Gregory Maiofis, graphic expressionism by Kirill Chelushkin as well as symptomatic meditative painting by Anna and Aleksey Gan. The exhibition displays the pieces from collections of Cultural Foundation “Ekaterina” (Moscow), Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantin Sorokin Foundation (Moscow) and from large private collections.

Crystallization is known as the transition of a substance from one state to another, from liquid to solid, when certain conditions cause the formation of crystals. As a metaphor the title of the exhibition focuses thoughts on the crystallization of artistic processes that have taken shape over the last twenty years in the work of artists who mostly live and work in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg is an utopian city that arose in “nowhere”, in a marsh. We could say that crystallization was initiated by Peter I a little over 300 years ago, when a transition from a viscous natural state to a formalized cultural state took place. St. Petersburg is also the birthplace of the most famous artistic utopian projects of the 20th century, Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square and GINHUK (the State Institute of Artistic Culture) – the first Museum of Modern Art.

Contemporary art of St. Petersburg partially retains the experimental character it inherited from the 20th century. Artists are reconsidering the fate of the main myths – the myth of modernism and the myth of media. Many of the artists represented at the exhibition started their work during Perestroika, which led to radical changes in politics, economics, and aesthetics. The time of change has come to an end, and now it’s time to verify and define the current situation within art scene.

This exhibition is the first large-scale overview of Russian contemporary art in Finland for number of years and so offers unique opportunity for Finnish people to acquaintance with artistic developments in Russia.

Artists: Marina Alexeeva, Tanya Akhmetgalieva, Peter Belyi, Anna and Alexey Gan, Dmitry Gretsky and Evgeniya Katz, Anna Zholud, Nadya Zubareva, Vladimir Kustov, Gregori Maiofis, Igor Pestov, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Kerim Ragimov, Kirill Chelushkin, Evgeniy Yufit