Appointing Gesture: The Worlds and Images of Dmitry Prigov

Perestroika by Dmitry Prigov
Sep 20, 2008 - Jan 18, 2009
Dodge Wing Lower Level

Poet, novelist, sculptor, draughtsman, musician, video and performance artist, thinker, and one of the most resonant and reasoned voices of a generation writ large, Dmitry Aleksandrovich Prigov (1940-2007) wore many hats in his lifetime, becoming a permanent (and, with his untimely passing, irreplaceable) fixture of the Moscow art world from the 1970s on. Having defined his own existence as the “life-long artistic Project DAP,” he contributed an entirely distinct body of work to Moscow Conceptualism. It encompassed a broad visual and intellectual span between almost irreconcilable poles. At one end of the spectrum, there is his wry deconstruction, in which the ideology permeating Soviet life as transparent language is given physical form, made into images that renders it palpable, visible, and vulnerable. At the other end, there is a profound engagement with the metaphysical, the transcendental, and the trans-epochal, which he created as a contemporary, friend, and member of the Sots-Art generation. The systematic thinker in Prigov was ever keen to uncover the deep cognitive structures and patterns that give individual lives their shape and order, while always allowing for a something that may exist beyond the limits of any system.

This exhibition brings together on a small scale many of the diverse elements of Prigov’s oeuvre, and strives to give a non-Russian-speaking audience insight into his vision of a vast world that had for its epicenter the turbulent cultural upheavals of the late- and post-Soviet Russia. Works presented include drawings, texts, visual poetry, objects, video, and photographic documentation.

Organized by Julia Tulovsky, Assistant Curator of Russian and Soviet Nonconformist Art

Dmitry Prigov
Perestroika, 1986-87
Ball point pen on printed paper
On loan from the collection of Norton and Nancy Dodge
Art © Estate of Dmitri Aleksandrovich Prigov/RAO, Moscow/VAGA, NY