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© Photo Courtesy of Gridchinhall

Visit the modern art dacha

by Elena Sorokina at 14/04/2011 21:34
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23 Tsentralnaya Ul., Dmitrovskoye village, Krasnogorsk district, Moscow region, (495) 635 0222, (909) 634 5512, www.gridchinhall.ru
Open Fri.-Sun. noon-8 pm, other days by agreement Free entry

A trip to the countryside with a gallery visit on the way sounds like an ideal weekend outing – but how to do it in Moscow must be one of the city’s best-kept secrets.

© Photo / Courtesy of Gridchinhall
A red man from Pprofessors’ ‘Red People. Art Constructor’

The contemporary art complex Gridchinhall in the village of Dmitrovskoye might be difficult to find, but once you get there you can’t miss it – just keep an eye out for the red wooden man on the roof.

The wooden man is a part of the “Red People” collection made by artists Andrei Lyublinsky and Maria Zaborovskaya of the “Pprofessors” creative group. Ten red people – each made of 13 wooden blocks, but all of different sizes and in different poses – are spread around the territory of this out-of-town art-space, having extended their residency after Pprofessors’ 2010 exhibition “Red People. Art Constructor”.

Gridchinhall was founded in autumn 2009 and can be described as both an exhibition hall and an artists’ residence, because it allows artists to work on projects while living in the beautiful surroundings of Podmoskovye countryside near the elite Rublyovka area.

Apart from serving the purpose of making and showing art, Gridchinhall fulfils the practical purpose of housing its owner – art collector Sergei Gridchin. Besides other, more elite real estate, Gridchin also owns a small wooden house that was originally built in 1920s on the presentday territory of Gridchinhall. Several years ago he disassembled the house and relocated it deeper into the yard, repairing it “just in case”. He was thinking of housing chickens there, but changed his mind and settled in it himself. Gridchin turned the house into a cosy country-style – with red wooden people in the living room.

© Photo / Courtesy of Gridchinhall
Sergei Vorontsov’s exhibition ‘Stoit’

In an interview, Gridchin spoke of how the artists from Pprofessors put a huge red wooden man sitting on a wooden chair in an open field right by a road leading to some of the Moscow region’s poshest neighbourhoods. The red man’s legal status may have been questionable but still he sat there for several days, attracting public attention. A similar action featuring the “Red People” was held in the city of Perm last year. Four red wooden statues were erected in Perm’s public places, provoking a huge scandal. Sometimes scandal is needed, Gridchin believes – “it keeps the art-world alive”.

Other projects hosted by Gridchinhall have been no less provocative. One example is Dmitry Kawarga’s 2010 installation “Kulik’s Hair”, featuring a hair from the beard of scandalous artist Oleg Kulik and a 400-metre plastic tube. “We don’t depend on anyone,” Gridchin said.

“We don’t look for anybody’s opinion, so we can afford to do noncommercial, experimental art.”

The whole idea of Gridchinhall can be called an experiment.

“It’s hard to predict anything in a situation like this. I made a start and I watch the project’s development depending on what’s going on there,” Gridchin said, turning towards the window to look in the direction of Moscow.

Here in Dmitrovskoye, there is little to remind you that only 37 kilometres away is the Kremlin and, all around it, a huge city living its hectic life – but it’s obvious that the state of modern art is deeply connected with politics, economics and the social life of the city.

© Photo / Courtesy of Gridchinhall
From Oleg Khvostov’s exhibition project ‘Absolute Painting’

“Culture in general, not only art, is very responsive to what is happening, but way too often neglected,” Gridchin said. “So I’m looking for some new ways for art to function, I’m experimenting, exploring new forms of supporting art.”

Gridchinhall recently hosted a project by Oleg Khvostov called “Absolute Painting”. Khvostov lived in Gridchinhall for more than half a year and created most of the paintings there.

On April 17, a new exhibition opens – Yulia Kosulnikova’s “Terzaniya Varvary” (“The Torments Of Barbara”). The 23-yearold St. Petersburg artist’s paintings depict semi-naked figures in awkward, at times sadomasochistic poses, illustrating “the dark thoughts in girls’ heads”. Like Gridchinhall’s other exhibitions, it’s sure to raise an eyebrow or two.


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