Critics’ Picks

View of Andrey Bogush & Nikita Alexeev, 2020, Osnova, Moscow.

View of Andrey Bogush & Nikita Alexeev, 2020, Osnova, Moscow.


Andrey Bogush & Nikita Alexeev

Kholodil’nyy Pereulok, 3 , Moscow, Russiabld 5 bld 5
July 11–August 6, 2020

For this two-artist exhibition, Osnova—a young gallery that recently decamped from the decaying, privately owned Winzavod Center for Art for new digs on the opposite side of Moscow—joined forces with the veteran Galerie Iragui to present an intergenerational pairing of Russian artists. Osnova puts forward several artworks by Andrey Bogush, including two tiny clay sculptures and four digital prints—relics from the short but noisy era of post-internet art, they combine photography, CGI geometric figures, and digital scribbles against simple backgrounds. Iragui contributes two series, both 2020, by renowned Conceptual artist Nikita Alexeev. One, “Sticks and Stones,” comprises twenty printer-paper sized drawings of a uniquely paired branch and rock against a field of pastel paint, captioned with questions redolent of the show's title: “WHY THIS SILENCE?” “WHY THIS RAINBOW?” “WHY THIS ICE?” The other, “Closer Farther Farther Closer,” offers sixteen oil-on-canvas pieces in which a monochrome layer of paint has almost obscured a Primitivist landscape of trees and houses.

Bogush, born in 1987, roots his practice firmly in technology of the moment, while the sixty-seven-year-old Alexeev once again demonstrates his long-held conviction that he has never been a contemporary artist. And yet he is, and has been for a while: Alexeev participated in the apartment exhibitions movement and worked among Moscow’s tightly knit samizdat scene during the late Soviet period. For years, he has tried to reproduce salon art as a conceptual gesture. And now, ironically, the artist has left his building.