The very fact that the prominent Russian artist of the late XIX-early XX century Vasiliy Surikov was born in Krasnoyarsk, and that later a number of his descendants and disciples influenced Russian Culture a lot, predetermined the city's status as one of the most significant places of the Country and Cultural Centres of Siberia
Here, in Krasnoyarsk, on the banks of the Yenisei River, a first museum was opened in a specially designed "Egyptian" style building. Than it was the Art Museum named after V. Surikov and then - Museum Complex on Strelka. The twentieth century engendered such talented and original local artists as Yuri Khudonogov, Andrey Pozdeev and Vladimir Kapelko (who later worked in Abakan). Perhaps the reason for it was not only "intelligent" cultural climate of the city, according to A. Chekhov, but also stunning and picturesque natural landscape of the Land.
The Yenisei River, mountains, taiga and "Stolby" natural reserve attracted to Krasnoyarsk a lot of tourists in the 60-80s. The most forward-minded were certainly shown the studios of A. Pozdeev and V. Astafiev. In the late Soviet times the city enriched with the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Fine Arts and the Art Institute. Since the mid-1990s, the Museum Complex on Strelka hosted Museum Biennale, which gradually evolved into one of the remarkable contemporary art festivals outside Moscow.
In the last decades of XX century the contemporary art in Krasnoyarsk was primarily associated with the name of Andrey Pozdeev (1926 – 1998). Andrey Tolstoy wrote: "Andrey Pozdeev belongs to those artists, whose role in national art becomes only bigger and vaster with time. It's not just because of the size of artistic heritage, but also because of the great diversity of techniques, motives and manners. His works are able to unite primitivism and sophisticated graphic art, deliberate flatness and conventionality with extraordinary vividness of his personal impressionistic vision". In the early 90s when it was popular to create the ratings of artists, Anatoly Kantor gave Pozdeev the top place. "Andrey Pozdeev is an extraordinary person and an extraordinary artist ... He is a already legend" later A. Kantor wrote.
Time has shown that Andrey Pozdeev is one of the greatest Russian artists of the second half of XX century, he is well-known by the professional community across Russia, and especially in his homeland Siberia. The artist became a legend and a hero of Krasnoyarsk and nowadays every citizen easily recalls two artists associated with Krasnoyarsk: V. Surikov and A. Pozdeev.
After the Andrey Pozdeev's death the city collected money and erected a monument in his honor. It is probably the unique case in the country's recent history. Pozdeev's works are presented not only in Siberian museums, but also in the Tretyakov Gallery, The Russian Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art in St.-Petersburg. His solo exhibitions were held the Russian Museum and Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art.
Krasnoyarsk artistic life knew periods of activity and periods of decline, but it has been regularly generating new gifted artists. So, after A. Pozdeev and V. Kapelko, in the late 80s and early 90s it was time for the archeo-art master Nikolay Rybakov to begin his artistic career. In his search of Siberian identity and Siberian style he combines ethnographic and archaeological materials, Neolithic art features and European painting achievements of the twentieth century. In 1991 he became a winner of the first and the last All Soviet Union Competition "Golden Brush". And last year at the exhibition of Russian contemporary art in the Louvre Nikolay Rybakov was awarded a silver medal. For many years the artist has been studying the Minusinsk Hollow ancient history, and recently he has been keen on historical and cultural researches of Manichees in Siberia. His attempt of artistic researches of Siberian history and archaic cultures met positive responses of the other artists. Still the contemporary works by the young local artists show traces of A. Pozdeeev and N. Rybakov's influence.
"Krasnoyarsk Contemporary Art" features also such representatives of academic art as the participant of the Russian Exposition at the Louvre Valery Kudrinsky, a corresponding member of the Academy and creator of plastic objects Sergey Anufriev and a professor and painter Victor Rogachev. Thanks to the Academy and partly athwart it, not only the elder, but also the younger generation of artists are engaged in painting. The most notable among them are Andrey Isaenkov, Irina Verpeta, and Alexandr Surikov.
The latter, a graduate of the Moscow State Academic Art Institute named after V.I. Surikov, being a citizen of Krasnoyarsk, was weirded to constant confusions and mixing up with his famous namesake. As a result, at the end of the 1980s, Alexandr wrote a series of works "Surikov". He made his own Dadaist versions of Surikov's major paintings: "Morning of the Strelets' execution", "Boyar Morozova", "Suvorov Crossing the Alps" and others.
Victor Sachivko, a master of Krasnoyarsk Contemporary art who acquired distinction at the Krasnoyarsk Biennale returned to painting practice few years ago and became the only non-Petersburg artist member of A. Florensky's post conceptual "Society of protagonists of drawing and painting from nature". His solo exhibition was held in the Borey Gallery last year.
The majority of the presented artists are of no repute to the St. Petersburg audience, except for the ones who are active on the Internet, such as a notorious and topical artist Vasily Slonov, who combines relevant subjects, poster manners, dark jokes and traditions of folk humor culture.
Despite the relatively modest size, the exposition overviews the most prominent representatives of Krasnoyarsk contemporary art and features fairly wide temporal and stylistic range.
The exhibition "Krasnoyarsk Contemporary Art" is a project of collaboration of Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art and Krasnoyarsk Romanovs' Art Gallery.
The exhibition is arranged under the project "Russia in Erarta".
Curator V. Nazansky