Stella Art Foundation has been working with the artist and sculptor Sergei Shekhovtsov for almost 10 years, since the Foundation organized the author’s personal exhibition entitled “Straight Through”, which took place from December 6, 2014 to February 8, 2015 at the historical venue of the Foundation on Skaryatinsky Lane, 7. The bright project, which brought together sculptural objects of both military and household themes, set the course for further cooperation between Sergei Shekhovtsov and Stella Art Foundation: this autumn it resulted with the exhibition “Parsunas non grata”, where the author’s objects are presented in tandem with the works of Boris Orlov. Some sculptures were created by Shekhovtsov specifically for the new project, which became the first exhibition in the renovated space of the Foundation at Mercury Tower’s 2d floor.
Sergei Shekhovtsov joined those who already gave an interview to Boris Manner, senior curator of Stella Art Foundation, and shared his views on the Foundation’s legacy and possible prospects:
1.The Foundation did a lot over the 20 years of its work. How would you like to evaluate it and what can you say about the Foundation’s role in the development of Russian contemporary art?
Stella Art Foundation has played a very important role in the development and popularization of Russian contemporary art over a quite long period of working. The Foundation made exhibitions, showed installations, objects, sculptures of different artists, some of them are absolutely opposite: keeping your finger on the pulse, understanding how art breathes, moves, maneuvers is very important. I suppose the Foundation will continue to do the same thing.
2. What exhibitions and projects of the Foundation you consider to be the most impressive?
It is quite difficult to highlight particular projects, because, in my opinion, they were all quite solid, starting from conceptual statement and ending with its presentation to the public. Thanks to the Foundation’s team for this: they work very competently with artists and help them implement all ideas. I also would like to draw attention to the Foundation’s work with exhibition projects that took place abroad. For example, these are the organization and financing of biennial projects, major exhibitions in state museums (for example, Boris Orlov at the Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum).
3. The Foundation has changed its location and opened the new space in Mercury Tower. The new venue is almost 10 times larger than the space on Skaryatinsky, which allows the Foundation to embody any wide-ranging project with its own resources. What would you like to advise to the Foundation’s team regarding these changes?
The Foundation has changed its location and now “the new space gives the new meanings,” this is true. The area has increased, which allows you to maneuver and make large group exhibitions. And for organizing an exhibition of an individual artist, for example, it also allows you to show more works, which is especially important because interaction with space is probably the most difficult, but at the same time the most significant statement for the artist.
I would like to advise the team to continue their tandem work with artists, curators and help art to develop. Well, this is what the Foundation already does all these years.