Between propaganda and frivolity
The pop / off / art gallery presents a solo exhibition of the classic of contemporary art Rostislav Lebedev "Between propaganda and frivolity", timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the master. The gallery will become an installed space, the connecting element of which will be the "Power vertical", which has received its material embodiment from the artist. The famous saying in its history: "Who are you, cultural workers with?" He organizes the conceptual series of the master in a special way and sets the acute character of the current agenda. The new painting and objects will create a single statement that will become a logical continuation of the artistic rhetoric of Rostislav Lebedev. "Between propaganda and frivolity" - a quote from the text "The Rebellious Man" by Albert Camus, a figurative description of the artist's position in conditions of constant choice and permanent search for something new. The concept of "propaganda" does not have a political meaning here, but rather becomes a method of artistic ideology, the purpose of which is to spread ideas and deepen knowledge. Frivolity is an autonomous gesture of the author, unaffected by the influence of the public or the professional community. The issue of freedom is the leitmotif of the art of Soviet underground artists of the second half of the 20th century, to which, of course, one of the founders of Sots Art, Rostislav Lebedev, belongs. In his opinion: "Any plot has the right to exist, and the artist's risk is always justified." Working with the folk cultural strata of Soviet and capitalist Russia, Rostislav Lebedev unites the categories of the high and the grassroots, outlining their boundaries of art, relying on the concept of M. Bakhtin's carnival. He forms a new ambivalent visuality, balancing "between propaganda and frivolity."
Rostislav Lebedev was born in Moscow in 1946. In 1969 he graduated from the graphic arts faculty of Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. At the turn of the 1970s, thanks to I. Shelkovsky, he met B. Orlov and D. Prigov, in whose person he found like-minded people. In the first half of the 1970s, the “meta-art” method became the basis of the “sots-art” direction, with which R. Lebedev (as well as a number of Moscow artists: B. Orlov, A. Kosolapov, L. Sokov, D. Prigov; the appearance of the term is attributed to the period of creativity of V. Komar and A. Melamid, who applied it to their exhibition in 1972). Participant of the most important group exhibitions of Soviet underground art. The artist's works were published in the famous magazine of unofficial Russian art "A – Z". Since 1994, a member of the Moscow Union of Artists. The artist's personal exhibitions were held in Moscow and New York. Works are kept in the collections of Center Pompidou, Musée National d'art Moderne (Paris. France), Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University (New Jersey. USA), Staatiches Lindenau Museum (Altenburg. Germany), Cremona Foundation (Minnesota. USA), the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), the Pushkin Museum im. A.S. Pushkin (Moscow), the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow), in large private collections and funds (Collection of Vladimir and Ekaterina Semenikhin, Moscow; Museum Art4, Moscow), as well as in large private collections around the world. The artist lives in Moscow.