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Arkady Petrov
Black eyes, white chest

21 October — 09 December 2020
23 pop/off/art gallery

Arkady Petrov
Black eyes, white chest


Pop/off/art gallery presents works of Arkady Petrov "Black eyes, white chest". The aim of the project is not only to acquaint the viewer with the new pictorial works of one of the most famous artists of the "Seminary" generation, but also to demonstrate the vector of Petrov's plastic language development, whose manner of painting has been repeatedly changed throughout the whole creative path.

The new works on display have a complex pictorial surface, typical of Petrov's series of 1990s, but with a bright color palette close to his early period. The title to the exhibition was a line of Gypsy romance, which can be seen on one of the women's portraits.

The image of a woman is still in the center of the artistic universe of Petrov. He closely watches the plasticity of the female body and, despite the standards of the beauty industry, sings it with all its unique features. In his art he refers to the aesthetics of the image of a woman in primitive culture, where the mother is associated with the earth - the source of life, and therefore has hyperbole forms. Petrov plunges into anthropological studies of African ritual masks, monumental plastics of Indian temple architecture, erotic Japanese engraving and develops these images in his works. Bringing the form to the sign, abandoning the three-dimensional realistic image of figures, the artist follows the principles of logic of ancient peoples. Petrov's interest in the life of a "little man", an inhabitant, who is in the heavenly ignorance, remains unchanged. Miners, workers, mothers with children and provincial beauties are the heroes of his plots. Before us unfolds the "Arcadia of Everyday Life" (a definition precisely chosen by art historian Sergei Popov in his article devoted to the artist), in which a man reconciles with himself and the world around him.

Arkady Petrov was born in 1940 in the village of Shakhty Komsomolets near Gorlovka, Donetsk region. Having spent his childhood years in a distant mining province, he moved to Moscow in 1957. After graduating from the art school "In Memory of 1905," in 1963-1969 he studied at the Moscow State Art Institute. In 1963-1969 he studied at the Moscow State Art Institute named after V.I. Surikov. In the 1970s, his original style manifested itself in monumental orders, while easel works of the artist rarely held official exhibitions. By the mid-1980s, the situation was paradoxical: Petrov was perceived as one of the key creators of the generation, while his only solo exhibition in Soviet times was barely allowed by the authorities. Fame comes to the artist at the turn of the 1980s-1990s: he creates large-format paintings, many of which become an event in the domestic art world, takes part in significant international exhibitions. Until now, Petrov is constantly evolving in painting and object, however, remaining faithful to his chosen subjects. Petrov's works are kept in such collections as the National Centre of Art and Culture Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), the P Museum. Ludwig Museum (Budapest, Hungary), Ludwig Forum for International Art (Aachen, Germany), Jane Wurhees Zimmersley Museum, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA), Museum of Modern Art (Seoul, South Korea), State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow), in many status private collections around the world. The artist lives and works in Moscow.

Pop/off/art gallery was founded in 2004 in Moscow by art historian Sergey Popov and represents Russian and international authors, focusing on artists of post-Soviet space, Eastern and Central Europe. It is among the top-5 Russian galleries (according to Forbes) and the top-500 galleries in the world (according to Blouin Artinfo). Takes part in the largest fairs of contemporary art in Europe. The gallery has organized several dozens of museum projects in Russia.