Kandinsky award exhibition opens in Moscow

­Russia’s showcase contemporary art award – the Kandinsky Prize – is exhibiting works by its nominated artists at Moscow’s Central House of Artists. A jury of professionals will make the final decision on this year’s top projects.

The longlist, which totals some 40 names, will shorten drastically by the end of October when a jury will announce the names of the finalists. Winners in five categories, including Project of the Year, Best Young Artist and Media-Art will receive impressive cash prizes of €40,000, €10,000 and €7,000 respectively.  

Businessman Shalva Breus, the founder of the award, told Ria Novosti news agency that over the five years of the prize’s history it has managed to preserve one of its main principles – self-nomination by the participants. However, many critics do not agree that Breus’s principle is an advantage.

Many names reappear year after year as very few new figures are emerging on Russia’s contemporary art scene.

Several artists participating in this year’s exhibition project are rethinking their Soviet past. The display opens with a conceptual work by one of the brightest representatives of Moscow’s contemporary art school, Ivan Chuikov. His installation revisits the theme of borders between periods – the Soviet era and modern Russia this time.

Gigantic sculptures, one by Irina Korina and another by Aleksey Kostroma, were given separate places at the display due to their size and scale. Korina’s statue made of colored plasticine imprisoned in a wire box was placed apart from other works, as was Kostroma’s huge light ball UNO made of plastic bags.

Other significant names represented at this year’s exhibition are Yury Albert, Natalya Turnova, Igor Chirkin, Aleksey Podkidyshev, Recycle and others.

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