The circle of times and a crack in the sky: Velimir and Vera Khlebnikov's Steppe

Stanislav Azarov, Yulia Kartoshkina, Tamara Shipitsina and Maria Ivanova
Pavel Kuznetsov's House Museum
12.08. - 18.09. 2022

About this exhibit

Together with the House-Museum of Pavel Kuznetsov, we present the works of Stanislav Azarov, Yulia Kartoshkina, Tamara Shipitsina and Maria Ivanova – participants in the art project “The Circle of Times and a Crack in the Sky” and a creative expedition to the homeland of Velimir and Vera Khlebnikov, which took place at the end of spring this year.

We must say that this project has become a rather bold experiment – both for the organizers and for all its participants. On the one hand, “The Circle of Times and a Crack in the Sky” is a continuation of the long-term plein-air project of the Seven Winds Foundation, in which dozens of artists from different cities of Russia have already taken part and that has already been shown at several exhibition venues (also here, in Saratov House-Museum of Pavel Kuznetsov). On the other hand, it was a completely new undertaking by our foundation, both in terms of organizational form and location.

We made a trip to that amazing place where Velimir and Vera Khlebnikov were born, where the chairman of the globe spent his childhood — to the emptiness of the Kalmyk steppe filled with countless shades of color and light. We offered the artists as open-air locations the very boundlessness in which Khlebnikov’s worlds arose and seriously limited the time of work on each location.

All the impressions were extremely tightly packed and revealed by artists gradually – for someone during the trip itself, and for someone else – over the next months. In principle, we were also ready to accept the fact that the expositional result of our plein-air practice could be a certain visual version of 4′33″ by John Cage (i.e., densely archived impressions will remain somewhere in the memory buffer and may not be embodied in the real art objects). But already the first review of the project artworks in LOFT1890 showed that this was not so. And we have started putting together an exhibition.

The structure and layout of the exhibition “Circle of Times and a Crack in the Sky”, we present to the Saratov public, largely follows the principles of building a synthetic Khlebnikov’s super story “Zangezi”. That’s a superset of independent elements – “planes”, “multi-colored stones and equal-sized words” of each artist.

The works of Stanislav Azarov show the boundaries of objects and structures in the boundlessness of space and time, old (and even destroyed) objects in Azarov’s prints do not have a “time stamp”, they are build/created where the perception of time is devoid of speculative statics and does not require banal metaphors. Picturesque sketches by Yulia Kartoshkina give the viewer a vivid and “most literal” idea of ​​the places and people that the participants of the creative expedition met. We must say that a series of (almost) monochrome works by Yulia Kartoshkina, created for this project, take the perception of her work beyond the usual neo-primitivist paradigm due to the combination of a pure “naive” style of painting and the color space of grisaille. Fine works by Maria Ivanova with a high density of graphic strokes, picturesque depth and complexity of color space provide an opportunity for a detailed perception of the color, light and shadow of the places (and times) we have visited. Three non-Euclidean lines crossed in Tamara Shipitsina’s painting and print graphics, which became the semiotic axes of the entire project – the very space of the steppe (as it is), the evidence of time, visible due to the Doppler color shift, and that spiral of events, meanings and words that we find in the texts of Khlebnikov centuries ago and which we are confronted with right now.

The art curators of the entire project were Victoria Kharitonova and Nikolai Malygin, the curator of the project in the Republic of Kalmykia – Lyudmila Moshuldaeva. Nikolay Fomin and Alexey Shulyakov took part in the expedition part of the project. The exposition part was prepared by the Seven Winds Charitable Art Foundation together with the staff of the Saratov Radishchev Museum of Fine Arts Olga Belskaya, Natalia Tarakanova and Olga Kostryukova. The exhibition is held within the framework of the project “Museum-Laboratory. House Museum of Pavel Kuznetsov as a field for artistic experiment” with the support of the Presidential Grants Fund.

  • Concept: Nikolay Malygin

Exhibition curators


Exhibition partners

  • Saratov State Radishchev Art Museum