Treivas Architecture Buro

Andrey Bartenev. Say: I love you!


The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presented an extensive retrospective exhibition of Andrey Bartenev, an artist whose work is a synthesis of fine arts, performance, theatre, dance and music.

The 19th-century neoclassical mansion at Gogolevsky boulevard was divided with white and emerald colours into two zones, North and South, forming the opposition of cold and warm elements. Another spatial division was chronological and presented two major time periods.

The left wing of the museum focused on the 1990s, a time when Contemporary Art began to emerge in the new Russia and the artist directly participated in the process. This part of the display revolved around the Snow Queen project (1993), an avant-garde take on an Andersen’s tale. Another iconic work of the period was the Botanic Ballet (1992) portraying the metamorphoses of nature as inspired by the artist’s memories of his childhood in the transpolar town Norilsk with its contrast of black night and white snow. This section also comprised of an extensive video archive documenting over 50 performances by the artist.

The right wing of the museum focused on the 2000s, a period of large installations and kinetic sculptures. A single room was dedicated to each work, with one of the installations created on site especially for the exhibition.

The exhibition revolved around the theme of motion: the works rotated, scintillated and produced sound, morphing into a single mechanic organism orchestrated by Andrey Bartenev.

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