pop/off/art gallery presents a personal exhibition of one of the founders of the social art movement, a classic of modern art, Rostislav Lebedev, «Lists are black». The exhibition will feature both works from the 1980s–2000s, as well as new paintings created for the exhibition. The project will become a study of topics that were taboo or criticized by the institutional and professional community at different periods of the artist’s life.
Most of Rostislav Lebedev's works were created outside the official scene of art, and as a result were not exhibited. The name of the project refers to a tool in the fight against unofficial art in the USSR: the creation of lists of artists and works rejected by Soviet ideology.
Today the project addresses the ideas of social art, including through images of modern mass culture, understandable to a new generation of viewers. The exhibition will feature works with recognizable Lebedev techniques: turning to the classics of world painting and combining them with iconic images of pop culture, overt borrowing, quoting, repetitions with the addition of ironic and parodic elements. One of the central blocks of the project will be the “DOOM” series, in which Lebedev partially reproduces the paintings of Soviet socialist realists and supplements them with interface from the cult computer game “Doom”. Strategies for mixing different languages will also find themselves in other works. For example, in combining landscapes by Deineka or “Dance” by Matisse with exploding planes from Lichtenschein’s paintings. Also on display will be a never before exhibited series of works from Rostislav Lebedev’s “Black Project,” in which he paints parts of the canvas black, showing the disguised nature of the theme he is ironizing about.
The discovery of new motifs will allow us to talk about the unstoppable mental work of the master, embodied on canvases and in objects that will again appear as a reflection of reality. The works will be grouped into block lists, according to subjects that were ever hushed up or overlooked, but were always somewhere nearby.
Rostislav Lebedev was born in Moscow in 1946. He graduated from Moscow State Pedagogical University from the faculty of Fine Arts and Graphics in 1969. At the turn of the 1970s he joined a group of artists, later known as the “Ulitsa Rogova group” – according to the location of the studio of one of them, Boris Orlov (the group also included Dmitry A. Prigov, Igor Shelkovsky and others). In the atmosphere their studios and several apartment shows in the begining of the 1970s, they developed the “meta-art” method which formed the basis of the “Sots Art”. Except for Lebedev and Orlov a number of Moscow artists joined the same movement, including A. Kosolapov and L. Sokov, as well as D. Prigov and V. Bakhchanyan. The term itself belongs to the duet of artists V. Komar and A. Melamid, who applied it to their exhibition in 1972. Over the course of several decades, Lebedev’s aesthetics has repeatedly changed. Nevertheless, he remained true to his critical and ironic method, often translated into an archive or a research work. Lebedev's works could be found in significant museum collections, as well as in private collections and foundations around the world. Lebedev is based in Moscow.
Pop/off/art gallery doesn't review or accept new artists portfolios