The bizarre title of this exhibition drew me to the Saatchi Gallery on Sunday, as did the fact that it consists of new art from Russia – I am fascinated by anything Russian so Gaiety is the Most Outstanding Feature of the Soviet Union was on my must-see list.
This despite the fact that modern art is certainly not my forte. Still, I enjoyed my previous visit to the Gallery – rather to my surprise – and resolved to keep an open mind. Some of the exhibitions were lost on me, such as odd sculptures; some weren’t to my taste, but I could appreciate the thought that went into them and the humanity that lay behind them, such as Sergei Vasiliev’s photographs of tattooed prisoners and Boris Mikhailov’s pictures of the homeless in Ukraine, illustrating the disintegration of society in a post-Soviet world.
One of my favourite displays was this piece by Daria Krotova, bringing to mind the works of Dostoyevsky and Gogol and seemingly concerned with the recession and the culpability of those in positions of power.
I also loved these pictures by Valery Koshlyakov – made from cardboard and roughly-applied paint, they are striking and beautiful.
The exhibition is running until the 9th of June.
Breaking the Ice: Moscow Art, 1960-80s
While I was at the Gallery I also dropped in on the exhibition upstairs, which continued the Russian theme by displaying Moscow art from an earlier period. I found this harder to get into, but I did like this image which juxtaposed Lenin’s face with an easily recognisable advertising logo.
This exhibition is on until the 28th of March.