You are currently viewing Named by Vasari. Gothic Art

11 December 2021 –
27 February 2022


Level 1

This exhibition is the first stage of a three-stage project Named by Vasari where the exhibits of the Pushkin Arts Museum and pieces of contemporary art will meet. This project and the festival of the same name held in the Arsenal since 2014 honours the name of the famous Italian painter, architect and art historian Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574). His book The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (1550) became the reference point for all what’s now known as art history. Vasari was the first to suggest the subdivision of the timeline of the history of art into three large periods, Gothic, Renaissance, and Mannerism, and the three parts of our projects are dedicated to these three periods.

Named by Vasari is the first try of a new method of creating projects in the Pushkin Arts Museum and its branches. The core of the exhibitions will be constituted of pieces from the Museum’s collection which are to be re-interpreted and combined with pieces of contemporary art so as to match perfectly the context of the town and region where they are being shown.

For the Pushkin Arts Museum the project Named by Vasari is of utmost importance since this time we are trying an absolutely new approach to creative interactions with our branches. The collaboration of curators from Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod has created a project uniting art’s great history and its contemporary stage with the Museum’s mission of global education and respect for the Russian cultural context. In addition, it’s a good occasion for showing those parts of our collection which do not often win attention of our viewers, that is, the stock of sculptures and casts which once was the beginning of the Museum’s collection. I believe that this project will strike a chord with everyone.

Named by Vasari. Gothic Art

Marina Loshak

Directof the A. S. Pushkin SMVA

The first stage of the project is the exhibition dedicated to Gothic period; the very period that in the eye of Vasari looked barbarian.

Since the Vasari time the stereotypical idea of the sullen Dark Ages had been perpetuated in the world culture, but our today’s perception of the Middle Ages is somewhat different. This was the period of urban development, foundations of universities, engineering and architectural innovations, and creative breakthroughs in diverse spheres of science and culture.

Thinking of the 13th century to which the Vasari Fest was dedicated in 2021 we found in it a lot of incidents of similarities and analogies with today, and realized that our interest in wider cultural contexts offers an opportunity of interpreting the exhibitions on the subject of old times by connecting them to the current artistic pursuit, and the other way round. This is how this exhibition was contrived. We do hope that it will inspire our viewers to make further research of art.

Named by Vasari. Gothic Art

Anna Gor

Head of the Volga-and-Vyatka Branch of the Pushkin Arts Museum (the Arsenal)

We’ve been supporting a diversity of artistic projects for a long while. For more than 10 years on our foundation’s initiative a large-scale festival Vyksa / Art-Ovrag has been held in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast which helps sustain the artistic environment of town through contemporary art. This is why it is with great pleasure that we support the new unique exhibition project of the Nizhny Novgorod Arsenal with which we have long established friendly partnership. The Project highlights interconnections between different culture periods and allows to understand better the contemporary art which at the end of the day does start out from classics.

Named by Vasari. Gothic Art

Irina Sedykh

Head of the Guardian Board of the OMK-Uchastiye Charitable Foundation

Some realities of the Middle-ages society do concern very much what is happening to humanity now, and Mediaeval motifs often appear in contemporary art. This is why it became possible to unite in one project the exhibits from the Pushkin Art Museum and works of contemporary art and help the viewers travel through time.

The exhibition unrolls itself in two spaces: the Basilica which metaphorically represents the spirituality of a Mediaeval person, and the Square which is the place of social activities. In the Basilica the pieces from the Pushkin Arts Museum collection are shown, and first of all the rare sculptures of which some are presented to the public for the first time, and several casts going back to the Gothic period. Works by contemporary artists initiate a conversation with the memories of the past by making their own subtle and tactful interpretation of the spiritual life in the Middle Ages. The conversation will be kept up in the Square where the contemporary art offers some representations of typical characters of the Mediaeval society for the viewers to compare themselves with.

The idea of the exhibition series: Anna Gor

Curators: Darya Kalashnikova, Yekaterina Kochetkova

Academic adviser: Vasily Rastorguyev

Presented works in the exhibition are by Recycle Group, Eugene Antufyev, Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin, Olga Kroyter, Andrei Kuz’kin, Mayana Nasybullova, Alexander Ney, Denis Patrakeyev, Tanya Pioniker, Vladimir Chernyshov, Nestor Engelke.

The exhibits are provided by the A. S. Pushkin State Museum of Visual Arts (Moscow), the State Museum ad Exhibition Centre ROSIZO (Moscow), the Triumph Gallery, Anna Nova Gallery (St Petersburg), and private collectors.

Architectural and artistic solutions of the installation have been developed by the renowned Russian artists Galina Myznikova and Sergei Provorov (Provmyza Group, Nizhny Novgorod) who in their art often address mediaeval subjects. The halls of the Arsenal will become the space of an installation in which a viewer is totally submerged into the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.

The Project was prepared with the help of STUDO T+T (Igor Shirokov, Elena Shirokova, Nizhny Novgorod).

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Named by Vasari. Gothic Art