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Vladimir Viderman. Simulacre of The Sign.

3 september 1999—27 september 1999
The exhibition is curated by the Contemporary Art Department of the Russian Museum, which has, over the past few years, attempted to present the geometric tradition in contemporary Russian and foreign art. Vladimir Viderman's exhibition continues this strategy and presents a personal version of geometrism corroborated by the author's own experience.
Vladimir Viderman was born in Leningrad in 1945. In 1971, he graduated from the Vera Mukhina School of Art and Industry. He has contributed to a number of group exhibitions since 1974, including the shows at the Gaz Palace of Culture (1974), Nevsky Palace of Culture (1975), Chagall's Successors (Turku, Finland, 1990) and Kunstmarkt (Dresden, Germany, 1996-97).

Despite the fact that Vladimir Viderman was a contributor to the first non-official Soviet art exhibitions, his contact with the Gaz and Nevsky trend and his membership of the Association of Experimental Fine Art had little impact on his own creative evolution.

Viderman was no underground artist and opposition to the semi-official organs had no value for him. Being an introvert person, Viderman had more interest in plastic, rather than political, ideas. Even his works of the 1970s were dominated by the concept of plastic drama.

The 1980s were a kind of classicist period for the artist, when his ideal was a turning away from all connections with subject.

The present exhibition reflects the artist's oeuvre in the 1990s. The exhibition is not retrospective, though it could be called a project show, i.e. the working through of a concrete idea resulting from previous development.

The version of geometric tradition offered by the artist has an upper layer - dynamic and "whisked" compositions of an abstract nature. Some signs actively force their way through the self-sufficiency of these structures. These are the simplest irritants, like road signs, which need to be decoded and interpreted. The signals turn out to be false, however, and leave us with a fraudulent sign - the sign-simulacra. The presence of this sign is indication that the geometric tradition has psychedelic and manipulative impact.

The exhibition presents some eighty works produced by the artist over the past decade, including Eclipse on a Striped Background (1987), Hamlet (1995), Remembering Antiquity (1996) and Juggler (1997). The exhibition was organized with the Ludwig Museum cooperation.
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