Urban formalism

As a matter of fact, in Russia Minimalism did not happen as a social event and as a declaration of a new modus vivendi – that is to say how it was in the West. It also did not take place as part of modern art in its broader sense. This is why in Russian one single word “sovremenniy” means both “modern” and “contemporary”. 

At first sight it seems paradoxical that the openness of the Russian society of the past 15 years brought the appearance of a new elitarian art, as Russian formalism is considered to be now. However, it is a rather coherent and natural event, if we speak from the point of view of the logics of the art process in the 90s and the beginning of the new century. The secretiveness and distance from social life of the Moscow conceptualism provoked in the middle of the 90s an oppositional wave, the so-called “radical art”. The confluence of the latter into political practice caused the tendency of the artists to come back to the field of professional values, that is what you find in Russian Post Minimalism. Consequently, history developed itself as thesis, antithesis and synthesis.

We cannot say that Russian Post Minimalism is the result of appropriation or that it was born looking at the Western examples. We can assert that firstly because the majority of works shown in the exhibition were created three or five years ago, that is to say simultaneously with international post minimalism.