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Anatoly Zverev


Soviet Nonconformist Art from A to Z


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Rhinos at Turtle Races in Moscow

September 7, 2022 — January 15, 2023
0 — 400 ₽

AZ Museum, Moscow


The project is timed to the 85-year birthday of the legendary artist Dmitriy Plavinskiy.

Dmitriy Plavinskiy is one of the key figures of the Moscow Nonconformist art movement, who worked as a graphic artist within his own artistic method “structural symbolism”. It defined culture as a spiritual time that is forming based on the structure of portents and symbols. It’s remarkable, how naturally Dmitriy maintains the artistic dialogue with the contemporary world, and with masters of the Renaissance period. His art remains profoundly sensitive to the worlds most sudden changes.

The exhibition will feature etchings and paintings by Dmitriy Plavinsky from the AZ Museum collection and from other private assemblies. Main idea is to display the works from the art series “Turtles” and “Rhinos”.

The symbolism of turtles and rhinos is not accidental for the artist. Turtles embody a synthesis of the Russian, Ancient Greek and Chinese cultures, while a tortoiseshell symbolizes the structure of time, outer space, pulsation of energy that enlivens the whole world. Images of a rhino might be read as the artist’s dialogue with Albrecht Dürer. Plavinskiy got acquainted with the original work by the German master during his student years while visiting the engraving department of the State Pushkin museum. Since then, rhinos and turtles are the leitmotif of Plavinskiy’s artistic world.

CEO of the AZ Museum, Natalia Opaleva
“I was lucky to meet Plavinskiy personally at his last exhibition, in Chekhov’s house where the Gallery of Polina Lobachevskaya was located. An image of The Master remained in my memory, who fell into our lifetime from a different epoch — a scarf and beret on a person, emanating an extraordinary internal power…”

“Dmitriy Plavinskiy. A Book of Etchings” is an edition that is being prepared by the AZ publishing project especially for the exhibition opening. One of the authors of the book is Oleg Antonov, deputy head of the graphic department of The Pushkin State Museum. “Artistic thinking of D. Plavinskiy was mythopoetic. — Oleg states in the book, — His every following artwork was becoming a space both for creating a unique myth and expressing the artist’s personal worldview. Therefore, the majority of his works, despite being seemingly abstract, is profoundly tied up with Dmitriy’s bio. It’s worth underlining that this reference to his own biography is quite exceptional: it features a sort of a map by the artist’s life and internal universe.” For the first time, all the etchings by Dmitriy Plavinskiy will be published in one book. Also, as a part of the project, we plan a meeting with Maria Plavinskaya, art historian and the author of the book.

Polina Lobachevskaya, curator of AZ Museum:
“Plavinkskiy meticulously studied etchings by Dürer and Rembrandt in the graphic department of The Pushkin State Museum. It seems like he prepared his escape from both the official and nonconformist art movements to the past reality as the artist worked in the renaissance etching technique. There are three genius etchers of all times — Rembrandt, Goya and Durer”.

The photo series from the family archive of Dmitriy’s wife and daughter, Maria and Elizaveta, will become an important part of the exhibition. The majority of the photos is displayed for the first time. Besides D.Plavinskiy’s art works, our guests are invited to see the multimedia installation by Seraphim Infante, as well as the movie by Mikhail Shepilov and Alexandra Anokhina. These projects are created especially for the exhibition project.

During the exhibition “Rhinos at Turtle Races in Moscow”, the new AZ program for kids will be presented — our young guests are welcome to join an interactive quest, created by the AZKids curator Alexandra Volkova. The movie “Artist Dmitriy Plavinskiy” by Valeriy Zalotukha is also a part of the exhibition program. The work participated in the ArtDocFest in 2011 and won the “Lavr” prize.
Authors of the Project:
CEO of the AZ Museum – Natalia Opaleva
Author and curator of the project – Polina Lobachevskaya
Art director — Gennady Sinyov
Project coordinators — Natalia Volkova, Elizaveta Plavinskaya


video trailer


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