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Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky


Spiritual autism


Published in Russian: .. . , . 5. ., 2002.



The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program

and has not yet been edited.

So it can be used only for general introduction.




"Autism (from the Greek. autos - itself), a mental state characterized by a predominance of

closed inner life and active suspension from the outside world".

Russian encyclopedic dictionary




For start - a very sad statement: the audience for contemporary art is not. This fully experienced every gallery owner, every Museum worker and, ultimately, every artist.

Perhaps, until very sinister absurdity of this situation has been brought in the new halls of the Tretyakov gallery on the Crimean Shaft. On the second floor periodically "loud" exhibition like Briullov. At the entrance there are queues on "Briullov" floor - the crowd, and third, "modern" - empty. And yet there is exhibited not only modern art is a General decline in audience interest and got Malevich and Petrov-Vodkin, and Pimenov, and Reservoirs. But even if the audience and reach them, then resist the temptation to run out the door, located on the "watershed eras - between a group of thirteen" and earlier works Zlotnikov and Korzheva - capable of very few.

The same situation is observed in the Central house of artists. When on the second floor are held every "fur salon" is the third floor is empty, and in galleries around the "commercial center" special revival there. But there is something even though it is clear that most people initially come not to look at the artists and buy the exclusive fur. But The Tretyakov Gallery?

However, even at "rogue Tretyakov - Nesterov, Starzhenetskaya, Zatulovskaya, Novikov and other great modern masters have, at least fifty people a day, but look. And the gallery of modern art in Moscow and in St. Petersburg, and in other large cities - just empty. Empty and municipal exhibition halls. And if the latter at least iznaca%At least, the collapse of the exhibition activity.

Of course, there remains the possibility of trading with works of art, but the word "trade" already implies a significant reduction in the quality of works. One thing - gallery-Museum, and quite another - gallery shop. And it's not only that the gallery appears "inferiority complex" and they wave their hand in the selection of artists and works - just to sell. It's worse than that, as against the "gallery-shop" starts to work its own weapons market.

The thing is that during the art boom of the late eighties - early nineties galleries tried to settle in Prime locations, and then, of course, a huge rents. Therefore, competition with cheap market on the Crimean Shaft and the nearby Marina, which is obviously lost, and art is about the same thing with clothes and electronics: there preponderance of Turkey and China, and here - the hordes of hacks, "the good hand" and producing standard painting scenery with the speed of the production line.

That there are such "picture-Wanderers", as "the Holy Grail", had a number of "cool" offices and eventually settled in an apartment on the outskirts of Moscow. And one of the most famous art galleries in Moscow - "New collection" - there was a story, funny and sad at the same time: it is now called... "Krokin. And there was this name not from an excess of conceptualism, and the names of the General sponsor. What to do - people names is not choose, do not choose the name and galleries unprofitable.

Sometimes you can hear quite logical proposition: God is with her, with the Crimean embankment and its analogues in other cities, let them sell the cheap and galleries let them sell good painters work for much more good money. And then there will be profit, which should be enough and the rental of the prestigious areas, and on their renovation, and to attract highly skilled art, and material assistance to the neediest artists...

In theory this is true, but practically it is impossible. Why? But because not buy the public good painters work for good money. First, not that after the 1998 crisis, people have to pay, and most importantly - the public does not know what artists are good and which are bad. After all, everywhere all the praise! It turns out that all artists are equal. And then, as they say in advertising washing powder, why pay more?

Besides, from the point of view of the personal preferences of any customer, for which all artists are equal, the Crimean embankment offers a choice not worse, and even better than any of the gallery: want summer landscape - please wish winter - please wish portrait - please, and even abstract art is present. As "strawberries for lovers of the exotic."

And imagine this "terror": a man comes to the gallery, but there is one Natalya Nesterova. Monotonous - some swings, some unpresentable cyclists, some men, plastered with cards - no heart, dear Central Russian landscape, and all the gloomy and incomprehensible. And in another gallery go down, but even there some curls, and signature: Yuri Zlotnikov. That person thinks: mock me? And right would have cost these two Zlotnikova smear in the centre of a white sheet penny for stroke, but it is, and the price is great! Just kidding, I will go to the embankment. Or in a furniture showroom, where I still picture the color of the bed pick...

All this would be ridiculous, when would not be so sadly. It is not an absurd fiction, and quite candid stories are absolutely normal people, which I recently had to lecture on contemporary art. They were voters, and I am a candidate for Deputy of the Moscow city Duma, and because they knew that I reluctantly answer all their questions and not be offended, then confided.

However, Shilov people love, not take away. And at the sound of the name Glazunov revived. However, Zurab annoying, but then a special case: the urban environment any more or less decent man is cherished. Recalls, for example, in his youth as he walked to the girl on the Manezhnaya square, but now they all have been dug, sculptures've made and boutiques were opened. There is a certain nostalgia, and in this case it works against Tsereteli, or, for example, Shemyakin.

As for the "Museum"and not monumental art - people have no criteria other than "the traditions of Russian realism". Thank God, in Lavrushinsky lane in the child was taken by almost all. It turns out that the viewer instinctively grasped as a straw, reminiscences of childhood.

And for that he still missing? The press praised all - how much is "customized" published in the Central newspaper or on TV, we know. That sellers of paintings extolling any goods in which the buyer is at least delayed for a second opinion, we also know. Familiar artists or art critics, who can "tell"is not every viewer.

Hence, there remain serious exhibition, where the idea is that you can become acquainted with the works of artists and their biographies, and something for themselves "sort".

This is the idea. Why, in reality, the contemporary art exhibitions is empty?




But the fact that in reality the vast majority of exposures did not tell the audience. On nah no guides or directories, or even instead of the names of the authors are bureaucratic, impersonal initials. In short, the exhibition "blind".

You can talk about the traditions of the great designers - Boris R. Wigner or Michael Vsevolod Ivanov, " but today it is not that a little closer to the heights of their work exposure. Now forgotten (or rather, are ignored) the most elementary basics, and shows not even done that in principle, available to first-year student of the art faculty.

Think very unfortunate incident that occurred at the beginning of 2002 in the Tretyakov gallery, where was held the exhibition "women of Russia" - artists from XV century to the present day. Good, well-built and hung exhibition, but it was not explications, no guides or consultants! The audience walked among hundreds of works, blankly stared in "asexual" plate type "Exter AA" and nothing at all do not understand. And what can be understood when the plates did not specify any years of birth, or very brief curriculum vitae - and yet how important it is for the viewer's perception that, in what era created a masterpiece!

Well, any layman distinguish gold embroidery XV century of modern art. But as he distinguish between "Popov PS" from "Verevkin MV", and that, in turn, from "Kirtsova E.V."? Is the acknowledged master of exposition case Nina Glebovna Delovoy was difficult to ask programmer to write on the tablets at least "Love Popova, 1889-1924", "Mariam Verevkina, 1860-1938" or "Alena Kirtsova, 1954"? Interestingly, not offended would Nina Glebovna, if I in this article called it "Divov N.G."?

Okay, suppose that the exposition suddenly wanted things to be "uniform" - as in the files of the passport office. But if you want to imitate the passport office, write to the floor plates of the artist - in fact there are names which would not understand, citizen wrote a picture or a citizen. At the exhibition "Women of Russia" though it is clear that all female, and what to do about the exhibitions, which are attended Nazarenko YEAR, Steinberg MET, Goltz N.G., Kantor, MK Kaluga or EV?

Repent, the last of the artist (artist?) I do not know, although I saw him (her?) the picture on the youth exhibition of Moscow artists Union and received a very positive impression. So we tried to guess at the Kuznetsk, 11, along with several critics and viewers, who is (are?) Mr. (MS?) Kaluga E.V. and how much he (she?) it may be years. It would seem that it was worth the exhibition organizers to write it on a plate? And as for exhibitions USDA duty consultants not, and ask there was nobody.

Yes, there artist Central Kaluga E.V. - a fate befalls all, who takes part in large-scale exhibitions of artists ' Union of Russia, the Moscow Union of artists and Union of artists of St. Petersburg.

It's time to confess and repent ": namely, I once put in circulation in relation to such exhibitions term "mass grave". I apologize, but my words don't refuse: how else can you call a thousand works, placed in three rows on the walls of the huge halls of the Central house of artists, where about each Creator is known only that he "Animals E.I. or I.V. Sorokin"? About those heroes who lie in these mass graves, and that you know more: military rank, name patronymic, year of birth...

It turns out that a huge crowd, which meets at exhibitions of creative unions in the Central house of artists, has no relation to the audience - just one of thousands of participants leads friends and relatives. People meet, bowing, said the solemn voice, "the cuckoo rooster praises for what he praises the cuckoo", and then - silence. Viewers with horror run through "mass graves" and hurry to leave these dark places.

And for exiting the CHA waiting for them... right, friendly embankment, where everything and tell, and show and sell. What little kitsch inside the CHA? Gallery "zero", "Collection Yakimanka", "Alpenrose", "Elena" is constantly rented halls, and their smart and friendly owners differ considerable commercial talent.

And not in vain gallery of Karina shanshieva almost entirely shifted to the sale of dolls - and what could we do if, for example, work Nesterova hangs on the wall for years and never sold? One of two things: either consciously move to kitsch painting scenery and homegrown expressionism, or completely change the profile of the gallery. And, paradoxically, Karina fellow, that was not afraid to make this choice is not in favor of izohaltury.

If you fall last Bastion of true art in the Central house of artists gallery "Les Oreades" and "Harmony of contrasts" - it will be quite sad, although the situation will not change fundamentally. Worse still is probably nowhere. Or is there?..




But we got away from the topic of "blind" exposures. A couple of months ago I sent out a letter that I consider it my duty to bring this almost completely.

"The culture Minister of Russia Mikhail Efimovich the Shvydkoi, Director of the Pushkin Museum to them. A.S. Pushkin, Irina Antonova, Director of the State Tretyakov Gallery, Valentin A. Rodionov, Director of the State Hermitage Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky, Director of the State Russian Museum Vladimir Alexandrovich Gusev, the President of the Russian Academy of arts Zurab Konstantinovich Tsereteli, Chairman of the Board of the Union of artists of Russia Valentin Mikhailovich Sidorov, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Confederation of unions of artists to Masato the Mahmudovich Fatkulina, the Director of the State Institute of art Alexei Ilyich Komech, Director of the research Institute of theory and history of fine arts of ARTS Viktor Vladimirovich Venclova, Director of the Russian Institute of art history Tatiana Alexeevna Klavinas, President of the Association of art historians Alexander Ilyich Morozov, President of the Academy of art criticism Anatoly M. Kantor, Director of the Central House of artist Mikhail Ionovich Corciano, the Director of the Central exhibition hall "Manege" Stanislav Yurievich to Karakash, Director of the St. Petersburg Central exhibition hall "Manege" Dina Alexandrovna Hail, heads of Russian regional unions of artists.


Dear Sirs!

I appeal to You, the leaders of major organizations, leading Museum, exhibition and artistic activities, expressing extreme concern about the loss of contemporary Russian art of its educational role.

Unfortunately, not all the problems associated with the unprecedented decline of public interest in the visual arts, can be explained by "uncivilized market". Not the last role in this situation is almost universal loss exposure culture.

Remember: more recently, during the Soviet power, no large-scale exhibition is not done without the directory. Mandatory settled down excursions, in each room hung detailed explication. Even apartment exhibition "underground" is actually passed on a similar scheme, only the "explication" were personal, "trusting" the relationship between the viewer and artist.

In our time these seemingly "basics" exposure culture universally ignored. Examples of "blind" exposure can result set. Especially upsetting is the fact that the plates to work instead of the name initials - in relation to the artists is not only clerical personal responsibility, it is elementary lack of respect. Most often this way build their large exposure creative unions - and the exhibition of thousands of artists and works are for spectators impersonal, and, in the end, do not perform their educational role. However, the "sighted" and the second part of the state Tretyakov gallery "art of the twentieth century, and new museums, ARTS, and most of the booths at the "art-salons".

But modern art argues that in an era when evaluating works of art from the point of view of the academic canons of art, gave place to semantic-discursive assessment of the work as first language of self-expression of the artist, the relevance of serious preparation of exhibitions does not decrease, but increase. For the work should be tracked personality of the artist (subject-object unity of the artist work), otherwise the unprepared viewer is reasonable to have the feeling of "permissiveness" and "egalitarianism" recognized masters with nimble "marketeers".

Share and personal experience. During my election campaign in the Moscow city Duma in late 2001, I repeatedly read the voters lectures on modern Russian art. A non-professional audience of different age groups reacted negatively to the reproduction Andronov, Zverkova, Zlotnikov, Kabakov, Nesterova, Nikonov, Popkov, Starzhenetskaya, Yukina and other great masters, and the arguments of a century ago - "but life is not so." And only after a more detailed analysis of work and get acquainted with the biographies of artists became clear to the audience deep psychological background of their work and attitude changed in a positive way.

Dear Sirs! In connection with the foregoing offer informal (and possibly formally) to take the following necessary conditions for any temporary or permanent, exposure in any Museum, gallery or exhibition hall of the state, municipal or private:

1. Each offered work should have a sign:

-            at least - with the title of the work, the surname and first name of the author;

-            at best - with the title of the work, the surname, name, patronymic of the author and the necessary biographical information. The latter may refer to several papers.

2. Each exposure should always be:

- at least - consultant;

- as maximum - guide.

3. Each exposition should have:

- at least - wall explication;

- as a maximum - directory.

Note that the additional financial cost to the organizers of the exposition will be negligible compared to the enormous increase in educational effect. If the purpose of the exhibition is to sell papers, and in this case, the adoption of such requirements is a substantial increase in sales.

To start such prerequisites can be taken within the competence of each of the organizations leading Museum and exhibition activities. In the short term and possibly taking on this issue a joint statement.

The Union of artists ready with Your prior agreement to carry out organizational work on preparation of such statements.

I will be glad, if we manage joint efforts of these necessary conditions to expand, implement and be convinced of the necessity of their adoption by private galleries.

With respect and best wishes,

The Chairman of the Professional Union of artists Sergei Zhirinovsky Zagraevsky".




And what was the reaction of those to whom this letter was addressed?

To say that no, it would be unfair. Almost immediately sent a response to the Russian Institute of art history in St. Petersburg - its Director Tatyana Alekseevna Klavina supported our initiative and proposed to initiate the development of methodical recommendations for exhibition activity.

In fact, apparently, Tatyana Alekseyevna have to reinvent the wheel, because in Soviet times, these guidelines were. However, they are now happily sank into the depths of the Ministry's archives, and we are certainly well invent a Bicycle and develop recommendations. What next? How to convince all the other art organizations, and the more private galleries, should they follow?

On this subject I have received quite a typical response from the Director of the Central house of artist Mikhail Ionovich Cerchiara, limited to the fact that the initiative is fully supported, Central house of artists and art historians as much as possible always tried to instill artists and gallery owners exposition culture. But no real levers of influence at the CHA not as rooms for rent, and Gale is%8

It is true, and the last Art-Salon in the Central house of artists is shown: where gallery owners "listen" to the organizing Committee, hung, and biographies of the artists, and explication. In my experience, the audience is most delayed in these galleries - and this confirms the need for "turning the display facing the audience.

But then - silence. No one responded to the letter.

However, I have no doubt that "receipt in the absence of leverage," sooner or later in some kind of get and from the Ministry of culture and art organizations. But why the silence of those directly involved in the work of exposition?

I'm ashamed to say, at first thought that they have no time or, at least, anyway. And then I called the head of one of the regional branches of the Union of artists of Russia, with which I have old friendly relations, and expressed about my writing is something that can be briefly characterized by folk saying: learn wife soup to cook.

I asked to justify what has been said and heard about the following: "what are you, Sergei, don't know what the rush to make alliances exhibition? Who's going to think that writing on the plates? What are there guides - you don't know what the salary of our employees? What directories - you don't know how much edition?.."

Can't say that I lost the gift of speech - these arguments do not stand up to scrutiny, and no reply was sin. Really, really hard instead of initials to write the name and year of birth of the artist - which, by the typist's hand fall off to print five extra letters? Is it so hard to hang on the wall at least a press release, which is printed in any case? Do not collect money from the artists not to drink, a snack on the opening day, and the publication of at least a simple, even in black and white directory?..

But I doubt I persuaded my companion, as I heard a question: why all this, if the exhibition will hold, and all artists will be happy?

And his words, he was soon matched by action: conducted a large-scale exhibition of abstract art, which hung on the wall beside the work of "D. Plavinsky" and "Irina Nakhova. And since the first picture was two times less than the second and written much less flashy colors, very few spectators there were quite a reasonable belief that "Dylanesque" - neki the

And what about "raising role of such exhibition?

However, let's not throw in the creative unions too large stones. Group exhibition, held even for a "tick" is still an event that, at least, gives the artist to feel among colleagues, and this is a kind of "sweetening" of the pills that work with the "mass graves" are never sold. So we assume that the creative unions hold their exhibition solely for the amusement of artists - something like a pleasant "cabal".

But what holds its exhibitions, such as "Moscow center of arts" on Neglinnaya? Pretty well formed and hung exhibition "the Jack of diamonds" - and again: Aventuras, RFL, A. Milman... a legend - Yes, posted. On the history of "Jack of diamonds" head of the gallery Marina Loshak enough half a page. Briefly, but clearly there?

Well, Aristarchus Lentulov, Robert Falk, Pyotr Konchalovsky, knows almost everyone. But the past is not so "popular" Lev Bruni and Adolf Milman people were not stopping - primarily because Ms. Loshak offered viewers a faceless and asexual beings, identified as "A. Milman," and "La Bruni. Thank God, at least wrote initials, not after the last names, and before them - still intelligent person...

And such "blind persons" exposition without number. Sometimes, though it is absurd that a biography of the artist can not even look at his personal exhibition! An example is the recent "personalka" Natella Toidze in the Museum of modern art at Petrovka, 25.

And the last "Art-Manege" (December 2001) set a sad record: more than half of the "personal" stands had no biographical or the art of information about artists. There were even some sverhoriginalnye gallery as "Together", are not worthy of the audience information about the work of the artist looking at them from the walls. But Petr Bronfin %E

So there is a rhetorical question: for whom make such exposure?

It is clear that no one, except the organizers themselves.




I think that the current state of Russian artistic culture can be described as spiritual autism.

Reasons for this state of plenty, and you can list only some of them.

First, the market principle of "every man for himself" is not able to work in all segments of the market. If we are talking about the owners of stalls, selling cigarettes and vodka, perhaps. But as soon as we move to more sophisticated goods - here is no longer possible without a certain corporate actions directed on formation of "the Guild's image. Russian financiers and investors have realized this a decade ago, oil - five years, but commercial galleries are not yet understood and still live on the wolf's principle: "you today, and I have tomorrow."

Secondly, those organizations, which God himself commanded to deal with the issues of forming the image of the world of art among General public - the "old" creative unions - was keen on lease of premises, getting to them in the inheritance from the USSR artists ' Union, and forgot about everything. The same applies to the Russian Academy of arts, although the reasons there's a little different today, all of ARTS works on the image of only one person (on behalf of Zurab Tsereteli), and all other problems other artists were "overboard".

Third, we are in a youth too well versed in the words of the poet Pushkin:

"Shut up, senseless people,

Journeyman, the slave needs, worries!

Obnoxious me thy murmuring bold,

You're a worm of the earth, not the son of heaven,

You would use all its weight

Idol you appreciate Belvedere"...

And forget about the other - the crowd:

"...Are restricted by the club in us vices.

You can, middle loving,

Give us a bold lessons

And we listen to you!"

And here the reader (in this case the viewer) at every step hears:

"Go away - what's the matter

Poet peace to you?"

Poet, indeed, nothing to the crowd there is not and cannot be otherwise it ceases to be the Creator himself is transformed into "the journeyman, the servant of the needs, concerns". But there is another hero another poem - the bookseller, and had some potential buyers to work there.

"Not for sale inspiration,

But can the manuscript to sell".

And this requires a certain set of "marketing activities", which includes the formation of corporate image.

And what is the attitude to this problem of modern "booksellers" and, therefore, what today this image, we have already spoken. Image simply don't have the art world in the "out". That is no longer sold the manuscript (in our case - works of fine art, though the writer the world problems are the same).

So what to do?

In General, nothing new and nothing special is%

"Only a" drop corporate hubris and try to purposefully engage the viewer in the artistic life.

And if such an "important task" put yourself every expositioner, every gallery owner, every journalist who writes about art then a chance of cure "autism", which today is the world of Russian art.

Otherwise the situation will continue to get worse and worse, we will again and again optimistic to state that "the worse there's nowhere, here will be held a black bar and all, and then again and again to understand that the band, which we thought was black, in fact, was white...


Moscow, 2002.


  Sergey Zagraevsky



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