“Komar & Melamid” exhibition views. Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow. 2019


Artists: Vitaly Komar, Alexander Melamid

Curator: Andrei Erofeev with the participation of Joseph Bakstein

Exposition Design: Ilya Voznesensky, Irina Korina

Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow

22.03.2019 — 09.06.2019

Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid stand among the main figures of Soviet unofficial art, having created Sots-Art, an artistic movement that played ironically with the aesthetics and ideological clichés of socialist realism. Renouncing their own visual system and understanding of art as a plastic language in favour of a project-based approach to the creation of artworks, the two borrowed images from Soviet art and everyday life to construct new meanings from them. The “Komar & Melamid” exhibition, Russia’s first museum retrospective of the artists, was prepared by the Moscow Museum of Modern Art in conjunction with the BREUS Foundation, an international cultural organisation. The exposition, covering the entire history of the artistic duo from 1972 to 2003, was divided into two parts — the Soviet and the American periods. In participation with curator Andrei Erofeev, the artists represented themselves through the combined fictional character Komar & Melamid, who consistently discredited Soviet and Western art on his way towards a new international style. The design of the exhibition, reminiscent of theatrical scenery, was executed by the artist Irina Korina and architect Ilya Voznesensky in such a way as to better immerse the viewer in the historical context of the works displayed.