Mohammad Salemy – the curator of the "Off white" Charity Auction. Independent Berlin-based artist, critic, and curator from Canada. Salemy is the Organizer at The New Centre for Research & Practice. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and an MA in Critical Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia. Together with a changing cast, he forms the artist collective Alphabet Collection.
Cosmoscow Art Director
Cosmoscow Art Director Simon Rees is a former director of New Zealand's contemporary art museum, and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Prior he was head of programming and development at the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art (2011-2013). Mr. Rees is best known for his work at the CAC, Vilnius (2004–2011) and writing and curating in post-communist Europe; including for the prize winning national pavilion he led as commissioner for Lithuania at the Venice Biennale (2007). Mr. Rees has sat on boards and juries of a host of organizations and awards internationally, including those of the contemporary art fairs in Vienna (AT), Auckland (NZ), and Innovation Prize (Moscow). Simon Rees was a regular visitor to Moscow from 2005–2014 for the purpose of writing and research and inter-institutional collaborations, engaging with the city's most important exhibitions and events (including those associated with the Moscow Biennial).
Founding Director of the Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair; Founder of the Cosmoscow Foundation for Сontemporary Art
"The Off white contemporary art charity auction is our annual initiative which has been hosted by the Cosmoscow Foundation since 2017 with all the proceeds benefiting its programs. Each year, the preparation of the auction and the development of its concept is handled by a new invited curator. This year, it is Mohammad Salemy, co-founder and director of the New Center of Research & Practice in Berlin. I am sincerely grateful to Mohammad, as well as to all the artists and institutions that provided the works for the auction."
The artists involved in the 2020 Cosmoscow Foundation Off white auction exhibition have been making their work in a time of extraordinary isolation. The space of their 'studio' has taken on new meaning and their creativity has a new relevance as the world as we have known it has retreated from us; and a new digital and virtual world has advanced. Hence the theme of this year's auction exhibition: "new generative aesthetics and worldmaking".
Generative Aesthetics relates to what American postwar philosopher Nelson Goodman calls "Worldmaking," describing many ways of making worlds through aesthetics, science, philosophy and politics. The exhibition is broken into five themes expounding upon Worldmaking: Decomposition & Composition, Weighting, Ordering, Adding & Subtracting, and Metamorphosis.
Take these five steps with us at this year's auction exhibition and experience the artistic practices of worldmaking.
The project is devoted to the idea of subjective experience of presence, kinesthetic and non-kinesthetic affection, that a viewer perceives while interaction with a piece and that Makarov is researching not only in painting, but also through a videogame, that is used "as something like a workbench where the composition is being build". The narratives of his painting is composed of the photographs, taken during meetings, walks, sudden events, and 3d-objects that were modulated of those photographs, arranged in the videogame and then placed on the canvases.
Earthware (deer as artifact) Katja Novitskova (b. 1984)
UV transfer print on synthetic clay, nail polish, steel 83 x 64 x 3 cm 2020
Courtesy Kraupa-Tuskany Ziedler gallery and the artist
Estimate: €8 000 – 12 000
This work is created from an image taken by an automatic camera in wildlife context. The deer who triggered the camera trap, as well as the landscape as a whole, appear as glitchy visual artifacts in a low resolution matrix. The image that was captured to be data rather than 'a picture' is not meant to be seen by humans, but rather by a pattern processing algorithm. Earthwares is an ongoing series of works by Novitskova.
Tired American Senator Touching Grandfather Pavel Pepperstein
Ramin Nafikov's paintings take time; the illusion of absolute freedom and spontaneity is the result of months of work. Nafikov the artist is a product of two cultures, synthesizing the linear clarity and designer austerity of the Baltic schools with Eastern ornamentalism. However, his work is more than an encounter between two styles or an exotic collage. He presents images on the verge of their birth, deliberately underdeveloped in order to keep the world of his painting "immaterial and huge." The artist explains that the background in this work is an experiment meant to create a particular dynamic. The bowl represents balance and completeness, which take it out of solitude and into chaos, but also into a given rhythm of events.
Helena Roerich`s table mirror survived the siege of Leningrad in the house of L. Mitusova Alexandra Sukhareva (b. 1983)
Silver-gelatin print 247 x 375 mm Edition: 4/5
The document is a part of investigative work Comb in the grass supported by Garage Museum, Moscow
Courtesy of the artist
Estimate: €2 000 – 3 000
At the end of the Petrograd period of their life, the Roerich family left almost all their belongings to the Mitusov family in order to go to Central Asia and later to India. This photograph with the table mirror of Helena Roerich was taken in St. Petersburg, in the house where her cousin, Lyudmila Mitusova, survived the blockade. As a rule, during blockade such things led a life of an object for exchange, an object of economic relations directly related to survival. Obviously, these things did not meet the general requirements of the blockade pragmatics: they could neither be thrown into the furnace, nor sold.
"Et in Arcadia ego" is a catchy Latin expression that has long been featured in the works of various poets, writers and artists. Thanks to Theocritus and Virgil, Arcadia takes on the image of a mythical land of happiness where life is serene. By referring to the paintings of Guercino and Poussin, Filatov shows us that the reading of the inscription itself does not explain the meaning of the work, but brings the reader to the idea of the transience of life and the inevitability of death.
Bull-terrier Vika Begalska (b. 1975) Alexander Vilkin (b. 1982)
Oil on canvas 100 х 70 cm 2015
Courtesy of pop/off/art gallery
Estimate: €2 000 – 4 000
This work was made in 2015 for the personal exhibition of Vika Begalska and Alexander Vilkin titled "Those Who Have a Stomach". In "Bull Terrier" the authors carry on with their line of images related to the study of the ethical attitude of modern human society towards animals. Choosing the aesthetics of primitivism, the artists tell a story synonymous with Apuleius's novel "The Golden Ass", in which a young man in the guise of a donkey experiences various hardships and events, including sexual ones.
By creating a new language for reading space and referring to images of futuristic architecture Margo Trushina explores metaphors, communication and public participation. The sculpture made of polished steel demonstrates the artist's way of rethinking the place of man in the environment from the standpoint of modern ecological discourse and the philosophy of posthumanism. She becomes part of the space around her, simultaneously reflecting and distorting everything that surrounds her.
In my paintings and silkscreens words, I reassemble the modern Russian landscape from endless snow-covered or deserted spaces, a cloudy sky and words that seem to arise from nowhere, as if falling from the sky. In this picture, "Norm" is one of the slang words that have come into use over the past decade. The form of the word itself resembles the volumetric letters of a store advertisement.
Untitled (Still life with Gagarin's glove) Taisia Korotkova
Untitled (Still life with Gagarin's glove) Taisia Korotkova (b. 1980)
Tempera on gesso on wooden panel 27 x 49 cm 2019
Courtesy NK Gallery
Estimate: €5 500 – 6 500
The works from the "Museum of science and technology series" depict the imaginary collection of technological achievements of human civilization. This painting creates a dialogue between Russian space objects. The Russian machine explorer of the 70s on the right, the glove of Yuri Gagarin on the left and the small object is a uranium tablet.
Untitled (from the Progress Report series) Alexander Povzner
Dibond printing, painted steel 180 x 42 x 32 cm 2018
Courtesy Osnova Gallery
Estimate: €4 500 – 6 000
The concept of 'difference' is clearly presented in the work of Raúl Díaz Reyes through the simultaneous presence of a visually more 'blurred' form, and an element of sharper definition, with references to postmodern architecture. The union or, to be more precisely, the separation of these two elements, which finds equilibrium in the work of Reyes, generates surfaces without spatial restrictions or technical laws: the image is observed as a figure, and the image becomes part of it, generating new landscapes with different compositional possibilities. The resulting sign system is about sculptural abstractions, in which the boundaries of the processing of forms are played with greater tactility through the use of a variety of materials.
The art critic and curator Natalia Tamruchi wrote about Anna's painting: "She rips off the skin from things leaving just bare forms free of a changeable (and therefore false) color. She <...> wants things to be humble and ascetic, as if each of the collected objects has some more important purpose than to be useful." These words can also be attributed to the cold, refined, impeccable three-dimensional monumental metal creations that brought Anna fame, the Innovation prize and a ticket to the main project of the 53rd Venice Biennale.
Sculpture – Acrystal, acrylic 45 x 33 x 26 cm 2020
Courtesy Peres Projects
Estimate: €8 000 – 10 000
Richard Kennedy's multi-disciplinary practice is interested in relationships and navigating sexuality as it occurs at the intersection of class, race and gender. His professional background is in music and opera, through which he initially began communicating and elaborating these ideas. Considering opera through a language of African American experience, Kennedy disrupts the tradition of Western Theatre in order to generate new participatory modes of viewership.
Many Things Await Beyond Anywhere Door (Dokodemo Door) Takashi Murakami
This lot comes from a series of sculptures printed at home using a 3-D printer and representing figures that merge ethnic motifs from India, Africa, South America, Europe, and Poland. The prefix poly-, from Greek polus, means "much," "many", "multiple"; ethnic denotes affiliation with a particular culture, community, or nation. The sculptures deconstruct seemingly homogenous identity concepts.
A Smoker, from the Add On Faces series Lev Povzner (b. 1939)
Artist's cardboard, acrylic 67,5 х 83,3 cm 2019
Courtesy of the artist
Estimate: €4 000 – 6 000
Lev Povzner works in his own flat and uses domestic materials, painting on oilcloth and homemade cardboard. Povzner draws inspirations from the classics of Russian literature and from the prose of life in the Soviet utopia. Using surrealistic optical games – mirror reflections and paintings within paintings – he conveys the liberating power of psychedelia.
1) 8HJ8P243+24 2) 8HJ8P243+26 Aleksei Taruts (b. 1984)
Rubber, glue 1) 210 × 77 cm 2) 270 × 93 cm 2019
Courtesy of the artist
Estimate: €4 000 – 6 000 (for 2 works)
Reflections on these works were encouraged by a recent discovery of fossilized remains of Noah's ark. The discoverer is said to have seen a streak of light coming down through the clouds to point at an upland resembling a skeleton of a ship. Coordinates of that place actually serve as the names of the artworks.
Like a half-forgotten memory, four figures emerge through a veil of pale yellow, pink and blue spots. A hint of presence behind which silhouettes are guessed screened from the viewer by interference, strokes of glazes, spots, which can be interpreted both as a representation of a blizzard and as a metaphor for time obscuring the sensibility of memory.
Seven early versions of Satoshi cyclone, v-5 Alexander Plusnin
Seven early versions of Satoshi cyclone, v-5 Alexander Plusnin (b. 1981)
Graphite, polish, acrylics on wood 50 х 50 cm 2018
Courtesy of pop/off/art gallery
Estimate: €3 000 – 5 000
This work is part of the "Seven early versions of Satoshi cyclone" series (2018) which fits into a number of works by the artist in the technique of drawing on a wooden board. The title refers to the name of the creator of Bitcoin, who developed not only the most influential cryptocurrency, but also the principle of the distributed algorithm. The artist gracefully rhymes the power of nature and the penetration of the digital world into the real, referring to the traditional technique: an unusual base – a solid wooden board prepared according to medieval technology.
Screenprint on silver paper 70 × 50 cm Edition: 100 (numbered) 2015
Estimate: €1 000 – 2 000
Slavs and Tatars is an art collective devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. The collective's practice is based on three activities: exhibitions, publications and lecture-performances. In 2019, the collective curated the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts and their work was included in the main exhibition, "May You Live in Interesting Times," of the 58th Venice Biennale.
Pieces of Antiquity marble (x2) Jaanus Samma (b. 1982)
Marble 1) 13 x 7 x 7 cm 2) 12 x 5 x 5 cm 2020
Courtesy Temnikova & Kasela Gallery
Estimate: €5 000 – 7 000 (for 2 works)
Samma's work explores the national museum as a tool for establishing official versions of authenticity. In museum displays everyday objects and detached pieces of history become canonical documents; the many possible layers of meaning are fixed in an official arrangement, presenting an amorphous phenomenon as a defined and authentic event. The work explores some of the subjects that are often framed by norms, customs, ideals and the inevitability of their cultural context.
In 2019, the auction featuring 21 lots totaled €104,000. The event took place at the Education center of MMOMA, Cosmoscow 2019 Museum of the Year. Oleg Kulik's "Empire" (€13,000) and "The Golden Rain" by Natalya Gudovich (€10,000) became the top lots of the sale. Andrey Malakhov was the auctioneer and host of the evening. All the proceeds will benefit the Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art.
In 2018, the auction totaled €172,000 with 21 lots for sale. It took place at the DI Telegraph and welcomed 120 VIP guests. The event was hosted in partnership with Phillips auction house, the auctioneer was Ivan Urgant. All the proceeds benefited the Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art.
In 2017, the auction featuring 17 artworks by Russian and international artists totaled €118,700. It was hosted in partnership with Phillips auction house. The proceeds benefited the Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art for the first time.
In 2016, a work by Vladimir Fridkes titled "Svetlana Zakharova. Still Frame" was sold for over €30,000 becoming the top lot of the auction. For three years (2014 to 2016) the auction benefited the Naked Heart Foundation totaling €550,000 in general.