Open Gallery
Moscow, Trubnikovskiy lane, 22 building 2
+7(495) 772 2736
+7(499) 530 2727
opening hours:
Wed-Fri 15:00 – 20:00
Sat 12:00 – 18:00

Igor Shelkovsky

 

Igor Chelkovski’s best know and widely respected contribution to the Russian contemporary art is his magazine “А-Я” (“A-Z”). Published in France after Chelkovski emigrated there in 1976, it was the best Russian-language magazine on contemporary art ever published in Russia (then Soviet Union) or abroad. Between 1979 and 1986 eight issues with color illustrations and texts penned by Boris Groys, Vladimir Paperny and Ilya Kabakov were released. Not only did the magazine introduce Russian contemporary art to the international public, it allowed the artists themselves to find out about each other’s work. The magazine created a common playground, a unified context for working artists and critics. Unlike most Russian periodicals published abroad, “А-Я” did not have a political agenda and was focused solely on art. No words were wasted to describe such obvious things as the potential danger of being an independent artist in the Soviet Union. Understandably, Chelkovski the publisher kept Chelkovski the artist in the shadows. Thus Chelkovsky was one of the few artists of his generation the magazine never wrote about. Yet he never stopped working as an artist, and continues to do so. His works have the same perfectionist pedigree that his magazine did. Being true to formalism in the best sense of the word, Chelkovski has never been drawn to themes that have their center of gravity outside of pure esthetics. Even his giant milk carton does not seem to have been an exercise in pop or sots art but rather the exploration of a perfect shape – in those days milk was sold in pyramidal packages. Chelkovski’s paintings and sculpture could be called minimalist, but his minimalism is never cold and removed. It always has a crafted, hand-made feel. He loves construction toys, and their building blocks are frequent motives in his art. Chelkovski does not deconstruct the world and leave it in pieces. What he likes, is not taking things apart, but putting them together. He assembles a new world, clean-shaped and orderly.

Irina Kulik  

 

1937 Born in Orenburg, Russia.  
1954–1959 Student at the 1905 Art School
1962–1966 restorer of frescoes and icons at the Moscow Kremlin and in Novgorod
1971 Began working as a sculptor
1976 Immigrated to France
1979–1986 Editor of the “А-Я” magazine
Since 2001 lives and works in Moscow and Paris


Principal exhibitions

Personal

1990 Holst Halvorsen Gallery, Oslo; Clara Maria Sels Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany
1991 Forum Lindenthal Gallery, Cologne, Germany
1993 Clara Maria Sels Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany
1994 Clara Maria Sels Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany
1995 Oliver Schweden Gallery, Munich, Germany; Clara Maria Sels Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany; La Base Gallery, Paris, France
1997 Centre Culturel Gallery, Elancour, France; Clara Maria Sels Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany; Forum Lindenthal Gallery, Cologne, Germany; Weiller Gallery, Paris, France
1999 Delire en formacion Gallery, Paris, France
2000 Delire en formacion Gallery, Paris, France; Forum Lindenthal Gallery, Cologne, Germany
2001 Cassandra Gallery, Drobak, Norway; Karenina Gallery, Vienna, Austria
2002 Weiller Gallery, Paris, France; Karenina Gallery, Vienna, Austria
2003 Fine Art Gallery, Moscow
2005 Fine Art Gallery, Moscow
2006 Era Foundation, Moscow; Fine Art Gallery, Moscow
2007 Forum Lindenthal Gallery, Cologne, Germany; Fine Art Gallery, Moscow; Weiller Gallery, Paris, France
2009 “Red, White, Black”. NCCA, Moscow; Weiller Gallery, Paris, France; Fine Art Gallery, Moscow
2010 “Imaginary House”, Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow 

2013. "Igor Shelkovsky. The Continuity of Change". Moscow Multimedia Art Musem, Moscow

2014 "Reflections about Future". Fine Art Gallery, Moscow


Group

1977 May Salon in Paris; “New Soviet Art. Unnoficial View”. Venice Biennale, Italy
1978 “Dissidents”. the museums of Lodi and Turin, Italy
1979 “Twenty Years of Unofficial Art”. Bohum Museum, Germany
1995“From Gulag to Glasnost”. Zimmerli Art Museum, New Jersey, USA; “Documenta”, Kassel, Germany
1999 “Transparency”. Institute Cochin, Paris, France
2002 “Abstraction in Russia. 20th Century”. State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
2003 “Moscow Abstraction. Second Half of the 2oth Century”. State Tretyakov Art Gallery, Moscow
2004 “New Acquisitions”. National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow; “Documenta”, Cassel, Germany
2010 The City”, Open Gallery, Moscow; “Male Principle”, Open Gallery, Moscow
2011 “Nail heads up ”. Gallery “Kovcheg”, Moscow                                                                    

2012 "LXXV Generation's Coordinates“, NCCA, Moscow
2013 "Russia XXI. Contemporary Russian Sculpture". NCCA, Moscow


Collections

State Tretyakov Art Gallery, Moscow
State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
George Kostacis, Greece
Centre Pompidou, Paris
Zimmerli Art Museum, New Jersey, USA
Contemporary Art Museum, Vienna, Austria  

From the series “City”. 2008 – 2009. Acrylic on wood

From the series “City”. 2008 – 2009. Acrylic on wood

From the series “City”. 2008 – 2009. Acrylic on wood

From the series “City”. 2008 – 2009. Acrylic on wood

From the series “City”. 2008 – 2009. Acrylic on wood

From the series “City”. 2008 – 2009. Acrylic on wood