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ARKADY PETROV

6 february 2008—30 march 2008

The exhibition contains more than 70 paintings and sculptures of artist from the Russian Museum Collection, Moscow private collections and the artist’s collection. He created his art works for almost 40 years. The exhibition presents the artist’s oeuvre in retrospective development.

Arkady Petrov is correctly ranked among the artists of the 1970s. His art, as well as the art of the leading representatives of that generation, is metaphorical, mythological, allegorical, ironical and even sharp with regard to the reality. The main themes of Arkady Petrov’s art are: life and culture of Soviet province in the middle of the 20th century, life of “ordinary Soviet human” as a special case of “humble human”. The images of Petrov’s art absorbed everyday culture of after Stalin’s epoch, time of the artist’s childhood and adolescence, but they are created at the least two decades later. The proper pushing aside, analysis and adequate representation couldn’t emerge without this temporal distance. The artist re-examines stereotypes of Soviet society looking at them in the light of kitsch subjects, images of mass native culture – from painted aniline post-cards to portraits of Alla Pugacheva. Petrov transforms an impersonal aesthetics of kitsch in gallery of heart-felt human characters, naive and epic at the same time, in the unique for Russia historical period.

The works of artist are housed in the Museum Ludwig (Cologne, Germany), the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Soviet Nonconformist Art, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey, the USA), National Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul, Southern Korea) and many Private Collections all over the world.

The Russian Museum is the first museum that acquired the artist’s canvases in the beginning of the 1980-s already, in the period of almost total prohibition on the showing of his art works, and it’s the first museum that demonstrates valuable museum retrospective of Arkady Petrov.

The exhibition was organized in collaboration with pop/off/art Gallery, Moscow.

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