Moscow City Government
Moscow City Department of Culture
Russian Academy of Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art

Alexander Yulikov. Post-Suprematism
А. Юликов Сдвиг желтого, х,м, 1994
А.Юликов. Распадающийся Черный квадрат, 4 части, х,м, 1983
А.Юликов. Желтый прямоугольник. 3 части, х,м,1989
А.Юликов Динамическая композиция, 3 части, х,м, 1989
Date: April 18 — June 18, 2017
Venue: MMOMA, Gogolevsky 10

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents «Post-Suprematism» — a retrospective exhibition of the prominent exponent of geometric abstraction of the second half of the 20th century Alexander Yulikov. The exhibition for the first time presents Yulikov’s work, which due to its nonconformist nature remained in the shadow of the official aesthetic during Soviet times, to a broader audience and follows the curator Andrey Erofeev’s thorough research into the artist’s oeuvre.

The exhibition presents more than 100 paintings and graphic works sourced from both museum and private collections. Tracing the evolution of the artist’s visual language from early works — in which he frees himself of principles of academic art that he adopted during his apprenticeship and explores the legacy of Russian and Western modernist painters — to his more recent pieces, the exhibition will focus on geometric abstraction — the strand that dominated Yulikov’s work for the past 30 years.

Pushing the boundaries of Soviet art together with nonconformist artists of the 1970s Yulikov was among the few to work in the vein of pure abstraction. Although drawing from works of avant-garde artists of the 1920s, in contrast to these pioneers Yulikov considered the abstract language not only a means of artistic expression but also the subject of his work. In his use of abstract art as a linguistic system capable of communicating formal compositions and sensuous experiences Yulikov reveals an affinity with European geometric abstractionists and minimalists, but what distinguishes the artist is that his main interest lies in suprematism. Drawing on and recasting the legacy of Malevich, Yulikov, on the one hand illustrates the failure of the avant-garde utopia by deconstructing the content and formal language of his predecessor’s work while on the other hand asserts the invaluable role of geometry as one of the eternal and universal languages of humanity.

The curator engages the viewer in an intellectual game with Yulikov’s visual language. Each of the ten sections of the exhibition emphasizes a particular aspect of Yulikov’s work revealing the means by which he frees painting from its traditional functions to encourage viewers to project their own meanings and senses onto them.

Alexander Yulikov was born in the village of Vyatskie Polyani in Kirov Oblast, to which the artist’s family was evacuated from Moscow after the outbreak of the Second World War. From 1944 onward the artist has been living in Moscow. Alexander Yulikov studied in the Moscow Art College of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1954-61), the Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts (1961- 66) and the Moscow State University of Printing Arts of Ivan Fedorov (1966-69). Yulikov was a member of the Moscow city committee of graphic artists (from 1969) and of the Union of Soviet Artists (from 1986).

Yulikov’s works are featured in public collections including the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the State Russian Museum (St Petersburg), the Ludwig Forum in Aachen (Germany), the Zimmerli Art Museum (New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA) as well as in private collections.

Solo exhibitions: «Hair Cropping» (performance, Leonid Sokov’s studio, Moscow, 1976), «100 Sheets» (House of Medical Workers, Moscow, 1987), «Graphics» (United Nations Secretariat Building, New-York, USA, 1989), «Painting» (Galleria Bronda, Helsinki, Finland, 1989), «Painting» (House of Soviet Immigrants, Jerusalem, Israel, 1990).

Andrey Erofeev, art historian, curator. Andrey Erofeev was born in Paris on June 25, 1956. In 1978 Erofeev graduated from the Department of History of Art at Moscow State University and in 1984 acquired the «Candidate of Art History» degree after having defended the dissertation «The ‘Mir Iskusstva’ Artistic Movement and Russian Culture of the early 20th Century». Throughout his career Erofeev has worked as an architect, research fellow and served as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Russian and Soviet Architecture in the Central Research Institute of the Theory and History of Architecture. Erofeev was the Head of the Contemporary Art Department in the State Museum-Reserve Tsaritsyno. During his work in Tsaritsyno Erofeev amassed a collection of contemporary nonconformist Russian-Soviet art, comprising more than 2000 pieces. From 2002 to 2008 Andrey Erofeev served as the Head of the Contemporary Art Department at the State Tretyakov Gallery.