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Andrey Grositsky's Last Works
12.12.2017 – 21.01.2018
The pop/off/art Gallery presents an exhibition of the last works of Andrey Grositsky, a cult figure of Nonconformist art. As a prominent representative of the circle of artists of unofficial art of the USSR, Grositsky is considered to be one of the reformers of the imagery of contemporary Russian painting. This exhibition of his last works is the first since his death. The pop/off/art Gallery organised Andrey Grositsky’s most important exhibitions: in the Tretyakov Gallery, a retrospective in the Museum of Moscow, as well as his first solo exhibition in Europe at the pop/off/art Gallery’s branch in Berlin.
Grositsky’s art is connected with Russian Nonconformism. His style and worldview were formed in the 1960s within the circle of artists of the Moscow underground – Ilya Kabakov, Eric Bulatov, Ivan Chuikov, Boris Turetsky, Yuri Zlotnikov. In European contemporary art Grositsky is rightly called "the poet of things". He has always been distinguished by his extreme individualism of form and language; the artist studied the problematics of painting after the radical change in its language in the 1960s. According to Sergey Popov, the art historian and founder of the pop/off/art Gallery, Andrey Grositsky "created his own world in painting. Over several decades of intensive work, he caused "an almost silent "revolution" in the nature of painting". Critics associate Grositsky’s art with Pop Art, while stressing its national character, which is devoid of the directness of classical American Pop Art. The main focus of his work was always the image of a thing – in all its diversity from the utilitarian to the sublime. The art of Andrey Grositsky is inherently symbolic and metaphysical. From the early 1970s he developed his own imagery, built on the relation between space and the object. The artist’s painting is very recognisable, not only in Russian art, but also on a worldwide scale.
The exhibition "Exultant Colours" will feature Andrey Grositsky’s last paintings, which he created in this decade. Some works will be exhibited for the first time – in particular, the 2015-2016 paintings from the author's collection, his drawings done in 2017, as well as the artist’s last unfinished painting. In his last works Grositsky managed to unite, within a single picture, familiar objects that he painted throughout various creative periods. In his late period the artist paid particular attention to contrasting qualities. Soft and hard, the naturalistic and the abstract transform into practically tangible images. Grositsky managed, through the expressiveness of objects, to immerse them and the viewer in a special metaphysical reality. At the same time, his painting is characterised by the vividness of the colour solution and positive motifs, which became a new visual element in his last works.
Andrey Grositsky (1934 – 2017) was born in Moscow. In 1959 he graduated from the Moscow State Institute of Art n.a. V. I Surikov. From 1962 to 1994 he taught at the Remote Public University of Arts (ZNUI) with M. Roginsky, B. Turetsky, I. Chuikov. In 1968 he became a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR, but continued his extremely individual search in painting and soon began to take part in apartment exhibitions of unofficial art. In 1975 his works were shown at one of the first exhibitions of "forbidden" art in the "House of Culture" pavilion at VDNH, and the year after that Grositsky participated in the "experimental" exhibition in the hall of the Moscow branch of the Union of Artists (MOSH), along with P. Belenok, A. Slepyshev, O. Tselkov, M. Roginsky and others. In the era of Perestroika Russian museums began buying Grositsky’s works. In the latter period he began to exhibit regularly. Today the artist's works are in the collections of many major museums (including the Tretyakov Gallery, the Russian Museum, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Zimmerli Museum, the USA), as well as in the largest private collections and foundations in Russia and abroad. In 2007 Andrey Grositsky had a solo exhibition in the Tretyakov Gallery, and in 2015 – a retrospective in the Museum of Moscow. The artist died in Moscow in the autumn of 2017.