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Yuri Albert


Evening at Skaryatinsky: Yuri Albert
May 11, 2011

Going on ahead, I would say at once: Yuri Albert is an artist whom I love, respect and value very highly. Let that suffice for the present. More about it later. Now to the matter in hand.

I made Yuri’s acquaintance a long time ago, at the start of the 1980s
. In fact, if my memory serves me right, precisely in 1980. I think it was in the summer. And I think it was at the very time when an idiotic inflatable bear drifted above his and my native city, floating up and down under the clouds as a symbol of the shameful, ambiguous and to us utterly alien celebration, which was called the 1980 Olympic Games. We experienced those days as both comical and repugnant. But we had a full understanding by that time of just where we lived.

If I remember correctly, it was at Andrei Monastyrsky’s apartment that I was introduced to a slight young man, towards whom I immediately felt well-disposed on account of his manner of communicating, which combined self-respect with the most complete good will. Such a combination was a rarity at the time and is even more so today.

In all the long years we have known each other and been friends Yury Albert has never once disappointed me
. He has always been even-tempered, friendly and – what is most important – remarkably consistent, humble and committed in the pursuit of his art. I have seen him grow steadily as an artist and a thinking individual, without agitation or external pathos, and without abrupt and vain oscillations.

It is important to know that Yury Albert is a conceptualist
. Honest, tranquil, and confident of having made the right choice. He has been a conceptualist and remains one, despite the frequent nervous spasms of friends and colleagues who cry out in their sleep: “Conceptualism is dead! We don’t exist! Forward! Back! Onwards to new shores! Onwards to old shores! Whatever!"

Nervous people – what can you do? It is something I have been guilty of myself

But Yuri doesn’t shout and flap his wings
. He lives and works. He communicates with people, loves art and loves his friends. And he also loves his friends’ art.

And he is infinitely right
. Because, as Victor Shklovsky said long ago, "It is a mistake to try and get into the world of great literature, because great literature will turn out to be right where we are – standing and calmly demonstrating that this place is the most important place".

Lev Rubinstein


121069, Москва, Скарятинский переулок д.7
тел.: +7 495 691 34 07 факс: +7 495 691 25 63
121069, Moscow, Skaryatinsky pereulok 7,
tel: +7 495 691 34 07 fax: +7 495 691 25 63
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