Sputnik Gallery launches 2011 with a group exhibition composed of works by artists who, for the most part, have been exhibited at the gallery. In fact, Versus could be called a retrospective.
Sputnik Gallery emerged in 2009 with a very brave and specific goal, to present to the demanding New York audience contemporary Russian photography. In an era of economic and ideological crises, the gallery sought to offer another perspective through the most documentary of art genres, photography. Sputnik Gallery came forth not only as a commercial gallery, but also as an art center, with the goal of showing the viewer another world through post-Soviet eyes. To that end, the curator and director expanded their exhibition strategy as widely as possible, included the photograph in every form and derivative in order to expose the many different faces of modern-day Russian reality, thinking, aesthetic and sensibilities.
In Versus, contemporary photographic methods contrast with traditional ones. Analog methods are juxtaposed with digital, contemporary lifestyles with old-world values, relics and symbols of past ideologies with ambitions of new traditions. Versus combines the dejected black and white photography of Oleg Videnin with the abstract and modernist works by Anton Litvin. The cynically glamorous, ironic and colorful pin-ups of Irina Davis are presented alongside the elegant hand-made works of Andrey Chezhin. Brilliant pop-art-like works by Boris Bendikov are exhibited with the psychedelic, hazy and romantic works of Andrey Vrady. The powerful and progressive work of Valery Katsuba and Vitaly Pushnitsky, both artists who will have future solo shows at the gallery in 2011, demonstrates Sputnik Gallery’s enthusiasm to present banal topics from a fresh viewpoint. But Versus is not only about different artists. It’s about combining completely different and unique universes that all reside within one country, speaking one language, but composed of many perspectives.