Alexandr Morozov
Alexandr Morozov

Artist.
Born in Lugansk, USSR in 1974.
Lives and works in St.Petersburg.
2002 — graduated from The Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg.
1999—2000 Educational program in Pro Arte Institute “Practicum. New Technology in Contemporary Art”. Prof. Alexey Shulgin. St.Petersburg.
Creates works of paintings, graphics, sculpture and installations. Works are represented in state and private collections.

Solo exhibitions

2015—"Cosa Mentale", Marina Gisich Gallery, St Petersburg
2014— "What Do You See?" ART re.FLEX Gallery, St. Petersburg
2014— "Garden", Library book graphics, St. Petersburg
2012 — “Factum”, Luda Express gallery in “New Holland” open air art space, St.Petersburg, Russia
2012 — “The Human Factor”, with Alexander Artemov, Algallery, St.Petersburg, Russia
2012 — “Cinderella Effect”, Navicula Artis gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia
2010 — “Radiation”, Navicula Artis gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia
2009 — “The Classical Garden of German Romanticism”, Botanical Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Selected group exhibitions
2015 — "No Time", a Special Projects of the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. WINZAVOD CCA (White hall), Moscow
2015 — The 3rd Ural Industrial biennial of contemporary art. Artist-in-Residence Program. Ekaterinburg
2014 — "Kommunal Ghetto" as a part of Apartment Art as Domestic Resistance exhibition" Public programs Manifesto 10, St. Petersburg
2014 — "Signal", "KB Signal", Saint-Petersburg
2014 — "Perceiving Art ", St. Petersburg State Library for the Blind, St. Petersburg
2014 — "Perceiving Art. Exhibition of Contemporary Art for Visually Impaired Children", The Arsenal building. Nizhny Novgorod
2014 — "Zoo-Zoo", The State Darwin Museum, Moscow
2014 — "Saving Venice" Gisich Gallery, St. Petersburg
2014 — "Drunk on the Centenary Еxhibition of Russian Аvant-garde", Borey Gallery, St. Petersburg
2013 — The 11th Baltic States Biennale of Graphic Art “Kaliningrad – Konigsberg 2013”. The Kaliningrad State Art Gallery. Kaliningrad, Russia
2013 —Art Prospect Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia
2013 —V Biennale "New ideas for the city." The Garden City. green urbanism, The Museum of Urban Sculpture. St. Petersburg, Russia
2013 — Season of St. Petersburg Art. Navicula Artis. Find into St. Petersburg. Kultproekt gallery, Moscow, Russia
2012 — Baltic Biennale 2012, Rizzordi Art Foundation, St. Petersburg, Russia
2012 — “BljuDo i posle”, St.Peter and Paul Foretress, Exhibition Hall of Ioannovsky (St.John’s) Ravelin, St. Petersburg, Russia
2012 — Nel Modo Russico, Ten 43 gallery, NY, USA
2012 — “ Conversion”, art-quarter “Quarter”, St. Petersburg, Russia
2012 — “ The Big Format”, Algallery, St. Petersburg, Russia
2012 — “ Ten Minus Nine”, 3H+K gallery, Pori, Finland
2011 — “ Total Contemporary” (video installation “ Gemuth”), loft Rizzordi Art Foundation, St. Petersburg, Russia
2011 — “ Appointed Art”, Modernariat gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia
2010 — “ Death Penalty. Pro and contra” (installation “ Submortem Experience Registration”), with Eugenia Ryzhkova, The Museum of Political History, St. Petersburg
2007 — “ Good/Bad”, Dostoevsky Museum, St. Petersburg
2002 — Festival “ Digital Art Days”, Kirov, Russia
2001 — “ Microfest 01 Pro”, Pro Arte Foundation for Culture and Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia
2001 — “ The Octopus” project, with Stanislav Makarov, Art Gavan' gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia
1999 — “ Divietodisosta”. Artezero gallery, Milan, Italy
1999 — “ Faces of the Holy”, New Academy of Fine Arts gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia

Curatorial projects
2013 — “ Taboo”, Kvadrat gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia
2012 — “ Prohibited”, Apartment Art exhibition, St. Petersburg, Russia
2010 — “ Three Rooms”, Modernariat gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia

What do we see when we see simple things? A captured instant, from which the ideas and substances that put us in touch with historical experience have been removed? A fragment of someone’s private life devoid of significance for those who have no involvement in it? A simulated political actuality shining through ordinary pictures and allotting us the role of viewers of media productions?

Or deceptions indicating the possible existence of some reality? We see beautiful flowers. Beautiful like those on vinyl tablecloths, on wallpaper, on greetings cards. We see a tramp curled up in one of the passages of the Metro. Poor wretch! We see a coat rack with the greatcoats and winter hats of officer cadets who have come for an excursion in the Marble Palace. Some people have all the luck! We see the Pope at prayer — and the dismantling of the monument to Stalin in Tbilisi. We see the room in a Japanese prison where death sentences are carried out — and a table used in burial services at a Lutheran church.

What is this kaleidoscope of mobile photographs, illustrations from the Russky Reporter magazine, journalistic shots recording epochal moments and haunting images that were so prized by Eugène Atget and Roland Barthes? In this melee of visual impressions and photographic records our life takes place. We live out our days flicking through glossy magazines, scrolling through Facebook, snapping sights that interest us on a mobile phone, channel-hopping on the TV and noticing out of the corner of our eye, between an illuminated billboard and an advertising video running on a huge plasma panel, the reflection of a puzzled face in the window of a passing bus. It sticks in the memory like some phantasm obscuring this visual confusion with a surrealist delusion.

Alexander Morozov’s multi-component painting captures this modern-day optical phenomenon, monumentalizing the arrested instant in large-format pictures. On one canvas well-worn shoes have arranged themselves ceremoniously and wonderfully in several rows in the entrance hall of a house in Istanbul. On another a woman tram driver emerges in an epic manner from the aniline semidarkness of a twilight street.

The freeze frames and haunting visions are also painted in egg tempera on gesso. They are iconic images of lost time. The panels record a recombination of visual idioms. The visible world becomes dissimilated. Objects are displayed next to some of the panels: a shaggy bat sealed up in acrylic glass; a demijohn on its side containing a handful of sand; a fragment of a column covered with keys. The world breaks down into fleeting images, disconnected pictures and items that seem to be a vision or surrealist objects. Alexander Morozov’s realism project is founded upon the defamiliarization of contemporary vision – setting aside the habit of seeing the world as it is represented by visual culture. The artist invites us to reconstruct for ourselves the meanings of this dis-integrated visible reality. Some participants in the project express their own insights and thoughts about how some of the depictions and objects might be interpreted. The viewer, too, assembles from the elements of post-conceptualist visual space that reality which he or she is able to grasp.

Alexander Morozov is attentive to the everyday, like the French Realists and the Russian Itinerants. He searches out in actuality an “objective” hallucinatory element in a way that was characteristic of the Surrealists. His analysis of the visual resurrects the alchemic painting of Sigmar Polke, reproducing the rhetoric of the illusory nature of photo-realism and photo- based painting. Alexander Morozov’s realism, like other modern and post-modern realisms — from the time of Courbet and Champfleury right through to Didier Marcel’s post-industrial installations — is utopian, since the artist’s dream of containing life in art is accomplishable in an imaginary space. And attempts to accomplish it are fraught with risks.

Realistic painting today is risky art. As a visual idiom reworking photography, cinema, video and other media it is not at all new a century and a half after the beginning of competition between artists and optical technologies. Meanwhile burning socio-political topics have been privatized by performance and video artists. With a brush and palette there would not seem to be many prospects Besides, the search for new realist conventions is not fashionable nowadays. Even if we were to imagine that art’s aesthetic attitudes to reality were once more to become a topical issue, people would probably talk about it in the language of assemblage in the manner of Arman or light installations à la Phillipe Parreno. Realist painting has dropped out of the set of genres and techniques in which a present-day artist can work and easily build a career. To practise it means to test the strength of the boundaries and conventions of contem-porary art that have become established in the course of the long debates about realist art that flared up time and again over the 19th and 20th centuries.

Yet a return to the issues around which that controversy developed is necessary if only because all those arguments have not brought clarity and understanding in the question of realism, not to mention that if they are ever settled at all it will be in the distant future. It makes sense to return to them at this precise moment because right now art is not addressing the past, as was the case in the post-Soviet period, when topicality implied a retrospective view of the previous historical experience. Nor is there nowadays a utopian fixed gaze into the future. Art is posed questions by current life itself with its hypnotic banality: the pattern of cracks on a re-assembled cup reminded one of the participants in the project of the map of Ukraine.