LOBBY x ULM
Continuing our off-site guest exhibition programme, on April 12 LOBBY, together with ULM Gallery, will present a pop-up exhibition entitled “Faces”. The exhibition brings together contemporary artists and the representatives of Soviet Nonconformism.
"Faces" - a joint project of ULM x LOBBY - comprises a series of portraits, featuring several works from the private collection of the gallery’s owners - Olga Geras’ko and Mikhail Baryshnikov. The works themselves differ in material and technique, size and colour, yet are united conceptually through the conditional rendering of the face and identity of their subjects. Abandoning idealised depictions of a concrete subject, the artists dissolve the human figure instead: a generalised rendering of one’s form and features.
The small clay busts by Emmanuel Picuard that float on thin metal wires, along with Natalia Vilvovskaya’s earthenware female nudes mounted atop of square pedestals epitomise two facets of a single artistic enquiry. Weightlessness and mass, line and volume. The sculptors experiment with the shape of the human body by modelling it with their hands.
Echoing the works of Ernst Neizvestny and his modernistic reading of the face as a mask, the portrait’s anonymity and abstraction are traced in the featureless types of Nikita Ghazaryan, the triptych of Ivan Zubarev, thin pencil marks of the profile portrait by Akhmat Bikanov’s and Veronica Moshnikova’s genderless colourful sketches. How is the human face structured? What defines an anatomic drawing? A clear answer no longer exists.
Anatoly Kamensky is the second representative of the Soviet Nonconformist movement featured in the exhibition. In his “Aquarium” cycle various modes of traditional portraiture are collided and layered upon one another: a full-frontal, a profile, and a three-quarter portraits merge within the pictorial frame. His pastel silhouettes enter the stratums of the collage space sparking a silent conversation.
Charcoal and papier-mâché are artistic tools that allow for an enlarged and generalised presentation of form, thus shifting focus to the entirety of the image. At the same time, the two techniques are defined by their texture: coarse yet smooth with a sketch-like quality. The charcoal portraits of Arsen Abdurakhmanov and miniature sculptural works of Egor Plotikov emit a sensation of incompleteness from within.
Art-buro ULM was founded by Olga Geras’ko in 2020, with the aim to immerse private interiors with character, and render the living spaces with an expressive quality by filling them with works of art.
The story behind the project’s name is as poetic and as inextricably linked to art as its mission. On a promenade through Paris, Olga found herself on Rue d’Ulm - home to École des Beaux-Arts. The place mesmerised Olga and left an imprint on her memory. The school itself is considered to be the citadel of French academic art. Among its alumni are Degas, Monet, Renoir, Serra and many other artists celebrated up until the day as the most significant figures in art history. These interconnections highlight ULM’s aim to select exceptional art.
Olga and her team search for unique works of art. The selected objects first become part of the gallery’s collection further entering the collections of their clients.
The following process has given an organic impetus for the formation of ULM Gallery, сo-curated by Mikhail Baryshnikov. ULM works with a broad spectrum of materials and authors. Only one rule is dogmatic - the works selected for the gallery are the works that the founders can envisage in their personal collections.