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

Avdey Ter-Oganyan

 

9th of December 1961. Avdey was born in Rostov-on-the-Don.
In 1976 he entered an art school and studied under the tutelage of sculptor Boris Ivanovich Mygas, whose lessons Ter-Oganyan considers his only artistic school.
1978 – 1982 Studied in Rostov-on-the-Don in the art school n.a. M.B. Grekov, in the department of painting and pedagogy and then the theatre department. He was twice expelled for his “avant-gardism” and did not get a diploma.
1980 First solo exhibition in club “THIS”.
1984 – 1986 Lived in Bulgaria with his Bulgarian wife Marianna Markova and worked on a sugar mill.
1987 Participates for the first time in an exhibition in Rostov “Portrait of Raphael Santi”.
1988 Participated in a one-day exhibition “Swash” in Taganrog organised by Yuri Shabelnikov.
1988 Participated in an exhibition of a pioneer group “Zhupel” in the Union of Artists Exhibition Hall on Gorky Street.
1988 September Organised an independent gallery “Progress” in a corporate toilet. After the first exhibition “Provincial Avant-Garde” the gallery was closed down.
1988 Organised “commercial performances” and used to sell paintings on Arbat Street in Moscow.
1989 February At the exhibition “Italy has a Form of a Boot” in Rostov Union of Artists Exhibition Hall for the first time was presented the union “Art or Death”: Konstantinov, Koshlyakov, Nemirov, Slepchenko, Timofeev, Shabelnikov, Ter-Oganyan.
1989 Together with Nemirov he organises “An Exhibition which Does Not Count Because Everything is so Bad” in hotel “Youth”.
1989 Moved to Moscow.

1990
Participated at the joint exhibition with Valery Koshlyakov and Yuri Shabelnikov “Great Magicians of Art” in Peresvetov Street, where he presented his “Paintings for a Museum”.
Copies of Pissarro and Monet’s landscapes, “Flag” by Jasper Johns, several Duchamp’s’ urinals, Warhol’s Merlin Manroes and many other copies made before and after this exhibition were meant to compensate the 20th-century masterpieces of art lacking in Russian collections. It is evident that “an artist from province”, who never had a chance to see the originals, executed his works basing his knowledge on reproductions. The museum project was further developed in 1993 in the project of the gallery “Go Ahead!” or a mobile museum – a compact and portative institution, which can be fitted into a car and can, like a propaganda station, carry into masses the modernist culture embedded in tiny canvases. In 1992 for the mass consumer with modest resources who strives for the inaccessible art Ter-Oganyan made small photo-reproductions from reproductions – some in oval shape on plastic – in a photo studio where they were even coloured in a folk style to reinforce their attractiveness.

1990 Acted as a curator of exhibitions “Waiting to Rest” in the exhibition space on Petreovsky Lines and “For the Cultural Holidays” on Kashirka.
1991 Together with Konstantin Reunov organised a sale-exhibition: in the midst of an anti-alcohol company they were selling wine on the exhibition opening night.

1991
Together with Konstantin Reunov organised a non-commercial “Gallery in Trekhprudny”: the openings were organised each week for about two years – every Thursday at 7 p.m. There was a total of 96 exhibitions. Gallery in Trekhprudny became one of the key exhibition spaces in Moscow in 1990s and made way for the artists who continued to form the artistic scene in 2000.
Ideologist, gallery curator, author and co-author of many its exhibitions and performances Ter-Oganyan turned the Gallery into his personal, appropriated work. At this particular exhibition space as at all others Ter-Oganyan developed an essential for him issue of artistic alcoholism and its reflection in the artworks. In an action such us “Sea of Vodka” (together with Aksenov, Reunov, Koshlyakov, 1991) there stood a table with vodka with a painted sea as a background, “Mercy” (together with Reunov, 1991) is a reanimated reproduction of Rembrandt which depicts the beggars in the gust of contemporary homeless people, “Non-Fountain” (1991, together with Reunov and Kharchenko) was a performance when the endless flow of bear led to the only possible end – urinal which stood in the hall surrounded by the photographs of fountains. Wine-vodka subject matters were curiously joint with the methods of appropriation in painting in the project “Painter and his Model” (1994 – 1995). The artist acted as a painter who was firmly confident that one should paint from nature and having no other nature around him reproduced landscapes from the bottle labels.

1992 Exhibition “Still Life with a Candlestick” in the Marat Gelman Gallery.
1993 Action “Futurists go out to the Kuznetsky Bridge” which set the distance between the long-lasting outrageous behaviour and the present situation.
1992 Curator of an exhibition “Question of Art” at the L Gallery.
1994 Participant of the exhibition “An Artist instead of an Artwork”, Central House of the Artist.
1994 Fluchtpunkt Moskaw / Meeting Point – Moscow. Ludwig Forum, Aachen.
1994 travelled to Paris which was his first trip abroad.

In Paris the artist saw for the first time the works by Baskia, Jasper Johns and the others, which he had once already appropriated. There Ter-Oganyan found a formalist way which he employes till present: he started to leave a space free from imagery for the titles – in a way it is done when printing a reproduction – physically defining the distance between the copy and the original.
1997 3rd Biennale of Contemporary Art. Cetin, Montenegro.

1995 – 1998 Project “School of Contemporary Art” or “Avant-Garde School” has been developing for several years on Baumanskaya and later moved to the Trekhprudny. The young participants of the school trained themselves in “epatage” (1997) and learned to “throw away the classics from the ship of modernity” (1997); exercised in quoting by drawing sketches from urinal; trained in destruction; trained in behaving with powerful people, critics, curators – action “Licking of an Ass of the People you Need”. Organised as a joke project, the School became a smithy of talented young artists who later formed the group “Radek”.
The most effective action of the School members was a Barricade on Nikitskaya Street; the most scandalous – “Young Atheist” at the Art Manezh (December 1998). Probably unexpectedly for himself Ter-Oganyan found the point of pain in the society which lost all its social orientation. After he was accused according to the chapter 282 (Fomentation of Hatred) and was threatened to be jailed, the artist was forced to emigrate.
1999 The artist asked for political asylum in Czech Republic; lived in a refugee camp.

1999 Solo exhibition “10 years in Art”.
2000 Moved to Prague.
2000 Personal exhibition “Gallery “Go Ahead!” in the NOD Gallery in Prague.
2001 Participated in exhibition “Crazy Clone” in Central House of the Artist.
2002 Gets the refugee status.
2003 Solo exhibition “Yves Klein” in Display Gallery in Prague.
2004 Moved to Berlin.
2004–2007 Manages the gallery “Go Ahead” in Berlin.
Sends his paintings to Moscow – mostly copies of formerly made copies; organises performances in Berlin gallery, which develop the ideas of relationship between art and reality.

2004
Project “Radical Avante-Gardism”. Primitive abstractions with quotations from Russian Constitution (“This Work Aims to Provoke National Hatred”, “This Work Aims to Humiliate National Dignity”) were made under the impression of the sentence he received after the exhibition “Careful, Religion!”.

2005 Participates in exhibition “Russia 2” with a series “Radical Abstractionism”.
2005 Retrospective in Stavanger, Norway.
2005 1st Turin Triennial, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, Italy.
2006 Russia! S. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.
2007 Returned to Prague

2008
a joint exhibition with Zoya Cherkasskaya in M&U Gelman Gallery “Olga Sviblova is Shit or the End of Critical Discourse”. This harsh analysis of contemporary artistic scene, which sums up several decades of development of Russian art, Ter-Oganyan dedicated to the curator of the last Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. By means of a big installation (comics, slogans, caricatures, portraits, copies of paintings) “in an easy and informal manner the exhibition points at the key diseases of contemporary Russian art and its key representatives: corruption, careerism, bribery, stupidity, mediocrity and others”.

2009 participated in exhibition “Russian Letterism”, Central House of the Artist.
2009 Participated in retrospective of a group “Art or Death” at the State Museum of Contemporary Art at the Russian Academy of Art, Moscow.

2010
Solo picket-action in front of Louvre with a sign “I demand my paintings to be taken out of the Louvre”. First the artist faced the reluctance of Moscow bureaucrats to allow his paintings from the series “Radical Abstractionism” to travel abroad. In solidarity with his colleague, emigrant artist Oleg Mavromatti, Ter-Oganyan demanded to exclude his works from the exhibition “Contrapunkt. Contemporary Russian Art”.

Untitled. 1980s. Guache on paper. 72 x 52 cm.

Untitled. 1980s. Guache on paper. 72 x 52 cm.

Man on the seashore. 1982. Oil on hardboard. 74 x 59 cm.

Man on the seashore. 1982. Oil on hardboard. 74 x 59 cm.

Stilllife with a coffee pot and a mandoline. 1984. Oil on hardboard. 71 x 65 cm.

Stilllife with a coffee pot and a mandoline. 1984. Oil on hardboard. 71 x 65 cm.

Untitled. 1980s. Guache on paper. 76 x 57 cm.

Untitled. 1980s. Guache on paper. 76 x 57 cm.