Icons : West & East

30.09.16 – 17.12.16
Alexander Kosolapov was born in Moscow in 1943, and emigrated to the United States in 1975.
At the height of the Cold War, he developed an approach to reappropriation and diversion, combining symbols from Soviet political propaganda with those of American commercial advertising. The idealization of the masses is at work in both of those domains – for its purchasing power in the West and its productive power in the East.
Religious symbols, pop advertisement's imagery and major figures from western art history also enters into his practice of misappropriation, forming the structure of ideological systems that question him and make him react.
Kosolapov was a precursor in that kind of operation, which has since been taken up by many other artists and even by advertising… Yet he is still the object of censorship in Russia, and though he had been able to continue working there, at least in part, he recognizes that it has recently become impossible. We can also remark that recent events in the West have targeted artistic license and criticism of the sacred.
While Kosolapov’s practice visually resembles Pop Art, it does not have the same essence. Warhol wrote that democracy was the fruit of consumerism. Even so, caviar – as emblematic of Russia as Coca-Cola is of the USA – is a luxury product that has not modified the verticality of power, but is its very image. That is the whole intention and subtlety of Alexander Kosolapov’s work, which, through apparently simple operations, crystallizes the complex dialectic of the second half of the 20th century.
 
Alexander Kosolapov est né à Moscou en 1943, et émigre au Etats-Unis en 1975.
En pleine guerre froide, il développe un travail de réappropriation et de détournement, en combinant les symboles de la propagande politique soviétique et ceux de la publicité commerciale américaine. La déification des masses est à l’œuvre dans ces 2 corpus, pour sa force d’achat à l’Ouest, et pour sa force de production à l’Est.
Les symboles religieux, l’imagerie du divertissement populaire, ainsi que les grandes figures de l’Histoire de l’Art occidental s’ajoutent aussi dans sa pratique de détournement, formant la structure des systèmes idéologiques qui l’interrogent et le font réagir.
Kosolapov fût un précurseur de ce type d’opérations, aujourd’hui reprises par de nombreux artistes, et même par la publicité… Il est pourtant censuré depuis toujours en Russie, et bien qu’il ait pu continuer d’y travailler partiellement jusqu’à aujourd’hui, il témoigne que cela lui est devenu récemment impossible. On peut aussi évidemment constater qu’en Occident, de récents événements attaquent l’impunité artistique et les critiques du sacré.
Si la pratique de Kosolapov se rapproche visuellement du Pop’art américain, elle n’a pourtant pas la même essence.
Warhol a écrit que la démocratie était le fruit du consumérisme. Le caviar, aussi emblématique de la Russie que l’est le Coca-Cola pour les USA, est pourtant un produit de luxe qui n’a pas modifié la verticalité du pouvoir, mais est à son image. C’est tout le propos et la finesse du travail d’Alexander Kosolapov qui, par des opérations à l’apparence simple, cristallise la dialectique complexe de la seconde partie du 20 siècle.                                                                                                       
Born in 1943 in Moscow, Russia
Lives and works in New York
 
 
Solo exhibitions
 
2017     
Lenin and Coca-Cola
, Moscow Museum of Modern Art 
 
2016     
Icons : West & East, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva
 
2014    
Freedom of Vodka,
 Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva
 
2013    
Selected work,. Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva
 
2011    
Alexander Kosolapov — SOTSART, Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York
 
2010    
Galerie Vallois, Paris
 
2007    
Mickey, Kamasutra et autres…
Galerie Vallois Sculptures, Paris
 
2003     
Mickey-Lenin, Gallery of One Work, Moscow
 
1997     
Galerie Karenina, Wien
 
1994     
Galerie Vorsetzen, Hamburg
 
1993     
New Post-Communist Billboards oder Bilder aus dem Neuen Rußland, Galerie Inge Baecker, Köln
 
1991    
Ruth Siegel Gallery, New York
 
1990    
Berman Gallery, New York
 
1987     
Galerie Anne Friebe, Köln
 
1985     
Semaphore Gallery, New York
 
1974    
Central Exhibition Hall, Kuznetsky Most, Moscow
 
 
 
Group exhibitions

2019/20 
Les non-conformistes. Histoire d'une collection russe, MO.CO, Montpellier, France
 
2018     
And I will take you to paradise, 
Jugendstilsenteret & KUBE, Norway
“Unexchangeable“, WIELS, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Brussels, Belgium
 
2017     
Artgenève, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
 
2016    
«Kollektsia !», Centre Pompidou, Paris 
Summer show, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
NADA, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, New York
Artmonte-carlo, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
Artgenève, Art Fair, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
 
2015    
Artgenève, Art Fair, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
 
2014     
Post Pop: East Meets West, Saatchi Gallery, London
 
2013     
Another Look: Appropriation in Art, Nasher Museum, Durham, NC, USA
Artgenève, Art Fair  Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
Breaking The Ice : MOSCOW ART, 1960-80s, SAATCHI Gallery, London
 
2012     
Main Gallery, Russian Art of the New Millennium, New York
 
2011     
I love ALDI, Wilhelm Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen
The Present and Presence, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana
Museum of Parallel Narratives. In the framework of L’Internationale. MACBA, Barcelona
 
2010     
Decadence Now! Visions of Excess, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague
BLITZ. Galerie A.L.F.A., Paris
Glasnost: Soviet Non-Conformist Art from the 1980s, Haunch of Venison, London
Best of, Galerie Nathalie Obadia invites Artfact, Belgium
 
2009     
THROUGH THE PAST TO THE FUTURE, Alexandre Gertsman Contemporary Art, New York
Doors open day: a mansion — a gymnasium — a clinic — a museum. Russian art,
1989—2009, from the Museum collection. Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow
1989 Ende der Geschichte oder Beginn der Zukunft? Kunsthalle, Wien
The Thaw and the Time After — Moscow Artists 1958—2008. Part III, Perestroika (1986—1996).
Galerie Sandmann, Berlin
That Obscure Object of Art, Ca’Rezzoniko, Venezia
 
2008     
MEDIUM RELIGION, ZKM, Karlsruhe
That Obscure Object of Art, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien
Die Totale Aufklärung, Fundacion Juan March, Madrid
Russian Povera, River Station Hall, Perm
The Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Center, Moscow
GLASNOST / PERESTROIKA. DIEHL + GALLERY ONE, Moscow
Die Totale Aufklärung, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
Alexander Kosolapov, Wang Ziwei. Post-communist pop, Galerie Hussenot, Paris
Obscurum per obscurius. Tallinna Kunstihoone, Tallinn
Moscow — New York / Thaw Chelsea Art Museum, New York
Московский центр искусств на Неглинной. Аукционный дом «Сотбис», предаукционная выставка 2007, Moscow
 
2007    
Sots Art. Art politique en Russie de 1972 à aujourd’hui. La Maison Rouge, Paris
Forbidden Art — 2006. The Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Center, Moscow
Sots Art: Political Art in Russia. The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
THAW. Marble Palace, The State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg
 
2006    
Masters of Humor & Satire. Sloane Gallery of Art, Denver, Colorado, USA
Unlearn. Organized by Plug In ICA, Winnipeg, Canada
ESSENCE OF LIFE ART, Graphic Art of Conceptual Artists of Russia and
Eastern Europe (from artists’ studios).
Ludwig Museum in the Russian Museum, Marble Palace, Saint Petersburg
Artists Against The State, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York
Branding, Centre PasquArt, Kunsthaus d’art, Biel/Bienne, Schwitzerland
Revolution. Transit Art Space, Stavanger, Norway
 
2005   
RUSSIA 2. WHITE BOX, New York
Essence of Life — Essence of Art. The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
RUSSIA! Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Русский поп-арт. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Moscow Grafika: Artists’Prints 1961—2005. Selections from the Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art. International Print Center New York
Essence of Life — Essence of Art. Ludwig Museum–Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
ART MOSCOW. The Central House of Artists, Moscow
WARSZAWA — MOSKWA. 1900—2000. The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
See-Food. Sandmann, Berlin
RUSSIA 2. The Central House of Artists, Moscow
 
2004    
7 SINS — Ljubljana-Moscow. Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Warszawa-Moskwa / Moskwa-Warszawa 1900—2000. Zachęta State Gallery of Art, Warszawa
Printed light — photographic vision and the modern print. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT
Berlin-Moscow / Moscow-Berlin. 1950—2000. The State Museum of History, Moscow
 
2003    
SZENE MOCKBA (1977—1991). Galerie Eva Poll, Berlin
Berlin-Moscow / Moscow-Berlin. 1950—2000 Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
Ortstermin Moskau 1970 und die Zeit danach. Sandmann, Berlin
Caution, Religion! The Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Center, Moscow
 
2002     
Gefährliche Spiele. Sandmann, Berlin
 
2000     
New collection. Kupferstift Kabinet, Berlin
+ artist collection. Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Slavenia
Kosolapov, paintings. Museum of art, The Duke University, N.C.
 
1999    
Kunst im untergrund. Albertina museum, Vienna
Drama Lenin-Stalin Tragodie. GALERIE HOHENTHAL UND BERGEN, Berlin
 
1998    
Russlands Zweite Avantgarde. Museum Moderner Kunst, Stiftung Worlen, Passau, Germany
KUNST mit durch über SCHRIFT, aus Sammlung Kubler, Attersee, Austria
Pop-art, Sotz-art.Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota
 
1997    
Cetinjski Bijenale, Montenegro, Jugoslavia
 
1996     
HERE AND THERE, THEN AND NOW: CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS FROM THE FORMER SOVIET UNION.
National Jewish Museum , Washington, D.C.
 
1995    
Kunst im Verborgenen, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen am Rhein; Documenta-Halle, Kassel
Russian Jewish Artist in a Century of Change, The Jewish Museum, New York
Prospekts, The Chase Manhattan bank, Soho Branch, New York
Temporarily Possessed: The Semi-Permanent Collection. The New Museum, New York
 
1994    
Le Saut Dans Le vide, The Central Artist House, Moscow
Befor «neo» and after «post», Lehman college; New York
El Magico Mundo De Mickey Mouse. Madrid, Cuartel conde Duque; Barsellona, Palau Sant Jordi; Spain
Cetinjski Bijenale, Montenegro, Jugoslavia
ART COLOGNE 1994, Osteuropäische Avantgarde. Galerie Inge Baecker, Köln
 
1993    
The 3rd Minos Beach Art Symposium «Art in politics», Creta, Greece
Eastern Europian artfear, Galerie Vorsetzen, Hamburg
AMERIKANISCHE UND EUROPÄISCHE POP ART, II Teil. Galerie Inge Baecker, Köln
 
1992    
Sotz Art, Lenin museum, Moscow
Ex USSR, Groninger Museum, Groningen
 
1991     
From Thaw to Perestroika, Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo
Kunst, Europa: Sowjetunion, Ilya Kabakov, Alexander Kosolapov, Igor Makarevich.
Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover
Transpositions, Art Museum University of South Florida, Tampa
The Three Russian Artists, Anatoli Belkin, Ivan Chuikov, Alexander Kosolapov. Eva Poll Gallery, Berlin
Sezon Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
 
1990    
Art=Money?, The Gallery, New York
Art and Publicity, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
The Objects, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Schizo-China, Avangard Club, Moscow
Another Art Moscow 1956—76, The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
 
1989    
Transit: Russian Artists Between the East and West, Nakhamkin Fine Arts; New York City: Fine Arts Museum of Long Island; Central Exhibition Hall, Moscow; The State Russian Museum, Leningrad
D&D, Kunstverein, Hamburg
WIRKLICHKEIT ALS KONZEPT II. Galerie Inge Baecker, Köln
ART 20’89 BASEL/SCHWEIZ. Galerie Inge Baecker, Köln
FORUM HAMBURG DIE KUNSTMESSE THE ART FAIR WOLF VOSTELL. Galerie Inge Baecker, Köln
ART COLOGNE. Galerie Inge Baecker, Köln
Reagan: American Icon, Center Gallery of Bucknell University, Lewisburg; Humphrey Fine Art, New York; Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery, Reading
 
1988     
Hommage-Demontage, Neue Galerie-Ludwig Collection, Aachen, traveled to Wilhelm-Hack-Museum,
Ludwigshafen am Rhein; Stadtisches Museum, Gelsenkirchen; Provinciaalmuseum Hasselt, Belgium; Museum Moderner Kunst  Stiftung Ludwig Wien
 
Collections
 
The works are represented in different collection and museums including:
Centre Pompidou, Paris
Museum Of Modern Art, MOMA, New York
The Guggenheim Museum, New-York
The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
New York Public Library, New York
Kupferstift Kabinet, Berlin
Albertina, Wien
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York
National Jewish Museum, B’nay B’rith Klauthznik, Washington
The State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Museum of art, The Duke University, N.C.
Wihlhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen
The State-Zarizin Museum, Moscow
Zimmerly Art Museum, Rutgers, New Jersey
Art Museum University of South Florida, Tampa
Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
Museum Moderner Kunst, Stiftung Worlen, Passau