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The Looking-Glass and Through It

Exhibitions

The International Exhibition Project

«The Looking-Glass and Through It»

10 November 2020 – 31 January 2021

Within the framework of St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, the Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21st-Century Art presents the International Exhibition Project «The Looking-Glass and Through It».

Participants of the Exhibition Project are museums of Russia, as well as galleries, collectors and artists from Russia, Italy, France, Greece, Israel, Spain, the Czech Republic, and the USA. The exhibition includes most extraordinary and fascinating compositions devoted to the mirror and reflection motifs by over 130 artists; some of them have become symbolic for Russian art, e. g. Andrey Goncharov (1903-79), Yury Vasnetsov (1900-73), Aleksandr Vedernikov (1898-1975), and Mikhail Demidov (1885-1929), others, Daniel Rozin (USA), Arnaud Lapierre (France), Sergio Illuminato, Gabriele Zago, Dario Imbò (Italy), Gonzalo Orquin (Spain) are known all over the world for their daring experiments.

The exhibition occupies the entire space of the museum; it includes works of both classical and contemporary art. On the first floor, spectators will see a mirror “universum,” which reflects humanity’s infinite worlds of and their environment. The Mirror Can Tell You a Lot, is the title of one of the works by Ivan Akimov (1957-2011). Practically every work exhibited confirms this conclusion, no matter what genre it belongs to, portraiture, «nu» art or genre scenes.

Within the space, which has real mirrors changing the configuration of the interior, the spectator feels as if immersed in a different reality. Female images prevail, the so-called Venuses of the 1920s -80s, trying on hats (Trying on a Hat by Irina Yaroshevich; 1979), arranging their hair (Interior by Vasily Frolenko; 1977), doing makeup (Evening Toilet by Aleksandr Tsarev; 1997), preparing for an intimate meeting (At the Mirror by Yury Penushkin; 1987) or daydreaming immersed in the abyss of self-сonscience.

The second floor is devoted to the mystery of reflection. Here one can see still-lifes in which mirrors are not only an additional source of light, but also a proof of the existence of parallel worlds. Indeed, how can one explain a reflection in the picture without the character reflected  (Still Life with a Mirror by Lev Kramarenko, 1937).

The works of the third floor are characterized by a combination of a variety of materials: mirrors, metals, wood, textiles, paper, concrete; besides, the works can move  (Existence by Vladimir Andreev. 2017), sound (Seven mirrors. Nioxia by Dafna Nikita and Yorgos Taxiarchopoulos,  2020), exude light (Crystallization by Penelope Chiara Cocchi).

The inner courtyard of the Museum will also become a field of experiment in working with mirrors. A luminous 12-meter-high tree structure, shimmering with various shades of green, created by the famous French artist and designer Arnaud Lapierre will be the center of the open-air exhibition.