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Victor Pivovarov. The Steps of a Mechanic

21 June - 08 August 2004
The Mikhailovsky Castle

The personal exhibition of one of the founders of the Moscow conceptualism - Victor Pivovarov - "The Steps of a Mechanic" is a conceptual project of 8 parts. It shows the artist's oeuvre for the period of more than 30 years. In 1960s-1970s, Victor Pivovarov, as well as Ilya Kabakov, Eric Bulatov, Eduard Gorokhovsky and Andrey Monastirsky he designs the peculiar kind of artistic expression that for the first time since Russian avant-garde allowed to talk about the singularity of Russian art. Moscow artists, contrary to the Western model of Conceptualism, developed their own "literary" variant of Conceptual art. Its specific relationship between "word and image" became apparent in the form of albums, which also became a most significant contribution of Moscow artists to Conceptual art. Having graduated from the Moscow Institute for Polygraphy, Victor Pivovarov spent twenty years illustrating books and magazines for children. In the early 1970s, he made a series of paintings in the technique of nitroenamel on hardboard. He uses the same technique when creating his conceptual "Projects for a lonely person" in 1975. In the late 1970s, Pivovarov includes elements of abstraction in his figurative works. Pivovarov's paintings are characterised with an even surface which creates an effect of vacuum. Various characters appear to be "suspended" in this vacuum. In 1982 Victor Pivovarov emigrates to Czechia and settles in Prague. He takes part in largest international exhibitions. The first large retrospective exhibition of his works was held in the State Tretiakov Gallery in 2004. Now, slightly changed, it is shown in the State Russian Museum.