Stella Art Foundation presents an exhibition by Yuri Albert which is a part of the final part series of the “triad” of projects put on show by the Cupid Creative Association on the Foundation’s premises (the second part of the project was on show in 2011-2012). Each part of the triad comprises a group exhibition and a solo exhibition by one of its members, in this case, by Yuri Albert.
This is how Yuri Albert describes his project: “In some sense, this installation further explores the theme taken up by my pieces made of ashes of book or the Elitist Democratic Art series: what is the content of abstract paintings — or any works of art, for that matter? What does an artist mean or is able to tell by them? And what do the viewers see on them?”
By his project Yuri Albert, as would befit a Russian artist, remorselessly sets before the public a huge range of questions concerning the nature of not only abstract art or art of modernism, but of any art. And he does it in a form of a deceptively democratic “amusement ride” which is impossible without the viewer’s direct involvement. Yuri Albert splits the exhibition space into the public/artistic and personal/workaday area. The main exhibition hall is reserved for the former. What is put up on show here are symbols of “high art”: large white canvases operating as empty containers intended to be “filled” by the viewers themselves who happily go without any artist. The latter area is located in the adjoining, much more unpretentious room featuring numerous texts from the authors’ social networks posts. This way, the public and the artist flip their roles: the public creates the art and is responsible for its contents, while the artist quietly lives his private life, reflecting on this life — including art, of course. Both the public fully engaged in the art production process and the artist reflecting on life with art are only busy writing texts rather than doing any painting.
It is true, the exhibition features one small piece actually painted by artist Yuri Albert himself. It represents the poet Pushkin, a palette and, most importantly, a brush in his hand, who, one might guess, uses the brush to write his poems instead of the quill. This painting, is, maybe, a clue to the whole project.
Yuri Albert (born in 1959 in Moscow). One of the leading representatives of the second generation of the Moscow Conceptual School. In 1974-1977 he was tutored by Ekaterina Arnold, in 1977-1980, studied at the Art and Graphics Department of Moscow State Paedagogical Institute. He has been a member of Avant-Garde Artists’ Club (KLAva) since 1987. Yuri Albert lives and works in Cologne (Germany) and Moscow.