German curator enters Russian territory at Venice

The Art Newspaper / 01 March 2013 German curator enters Russian territory at Venice
Russian journalists, curators and collectors descended upon the Stella Art Foundation in Moscow last night (28 February) to discover curator Udo Kittelmann’s plans for the Russian Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale (1 June-24 November). Over a lavish dinner awash with Russian delicacies, the director of the State Museums Berlin, told the assembled art crowd that eyebrows were raised in Germany when he was appointed last year to present a show of works in La Serenissima by Vadim Zakharov, a founding member of the Moscow Conceptualists in the 1970s. But the decision to take the Venice project on board was an easy one says Kittelmann, as Zakharov is a trusted colleague. In a press statement, Kittelmann says: “As a curator, one must be truly convinced of an artist’s work in order to follow his career continuously for the past 20 years. I have followed Zakharov through mythical Elysian Fields and met much resistance with him as we erected together [in 2003] the monument for Theodor W. Adorno at his place of birth, Frankfurt am Main [the memorial was repeatedly damaged by vandals].” The glamorous patron Stella Kesaeva, commissioner of the pavilion and the founder of the eponymous foundation, hired Kittelmann last year.