2009 News and Events
Contact: Wind and Fire. An Exhibition of American and Russian Art
Dynamic movements in the development of modern art in the last century were like wind and fire, powerful forces of nature that transformed the old forms and standards. In their place a new vision was born that mirrored advances in science that explored the structure of life at the atomic and sub-atomic levels. Abstract expressionist art and its variations also explored this primeval substratum of reality: the interface of color and form, line and shape, image and meaning. Art would never be the same again, transformed like a tornado of wind and fire coming into contact with the earth of common materials.
The contact between cultures, primitive and modern, foreign and familiar, also inspired early modern artists like Kandinsky, Klee and Chagall. This legacy of modern art, transgressing conventions and transcending cultures, continues in this exhibition of American and Russian artists. Featuring works by American and Russian artists, the exhibition Contact: Wind and Fire was assembled at the Modern Art Gallery in Yekaterinburg under the auspices of the Public Affairs Section of the General Consulate of the United States in Yekaterinburg. Opened on September 17, 2009, the exhibition was introduced by Consul General Tim Sandusky, together with Yekaterina Khotinova, Director of the Modern Art Gallery, Nikolay Melnikov, head of the American Artists Group “Contact,” and Veniamin Stepanov, head of the Urals Artists Public Foundation.
The American artists are represented by a group of eight artists calling themselves “Contact.” Among these eight are featured the American-born sculptors Patricia Goodrich, Ron Keefer, and Shandor Lafcadio Hassan, as well as immigrant artists to the United States: Densaburo Oku (Japan), Daiske Shintani (Japan), Atsuko Shintani (Japan), Nikolay Melnikov (Moldova), and J.C. Sarpong (Ghana). Together these artists have collaborated on several art projects, including exhibitions in Nizhny Novgorod in 2007 and Vladivostok in 2008.
The work of several artists from the Urals region has now been incorporated into the exhibit. Proudly representing the Russian traditions of modern art are the following renowned local artists: Mikhail Sajaev, Andrey Antonov, Yuri Krylov, Benjamin Stepanov, Lyubov Alexandrova, Sergey Nastashenko, Viktor Sysoyev, Viktor Reutov, Sergey Laushkin, Jukov, Vitaliy Volovich, Misha Brusilovskiy, Alexander Alekseyev, and Vasiliy Antsiferovy. These artists represent the cream of a dynamic movement in the Urals, each one exploring an aspect of the artistic reality that interprets, reimagines and recreates perception.
At the opening, the Ural artists had the opportunity to fraternize with the visiting artists: Nikolai Melnikov, J.C. Sarpong and Patricia Goodrich. A creative light seemed to fill the gallery as the artists compared notes, discussed techniques, admired each other’s works, and promised to stay in contact. The high level quality of all the works, as well as the international prestige of the exhibition, attracted the attention of the general public and the media and resulted in the gallery extending the exhibition by an extra week.