As the Museum of Everything makes its way around Russia (by our calculations they should currently be on route to Nizhny Novgorod), Moscow’s Garage is addressing a broader problem.
While prizes like ArtChronika’s Kandinsky Prize and the state-funded Innovation Prize are quick to recognize “Young Artists” (not flinching when these same “emerging talents” also clinch other nominations along mid-career artists), there is no support system to allow for truly emerging artists to develop.
Over the last two decades, the Russian art world as it stands is concentrated in Moscow, with little market existing in the provinces. The market in Moscow was incredibly isolated, with a circuit of galleries selling a circuit of artists to a circuit of clients for prices those artists would not be able to fetch outside the confines of this system (which is how an artist who has represented Russia in the Venice Biennale ends up having a first solo show in the states in a tiny Lower East Side start-up.) Now that system is famously collapsing, with several of the top galleries recently folding or “restructuring” as non-profits, whose exhibitions are underwritten by vodka sponsors.
In other words, it’s one thing to discover a new artist, quite another to support that artist’s development. A prize is one thing, but without the network of grants and commissions that feed artists in other parts of the world, enterprising young talents more often than not end up making palatable projects glorifying alcoholic beverages or luxury cars.
This is where the Garage steps in; echoing the funding structure that helped New York to explode, the organization will be offering monthly stipends of 20,000 rubles (roughly ) to young artists, in the hopes that those funds will allow them to concentrate on their work. Russian artists, from age 18-35, are encouraged to submit applications, available here.
Applications will be accepted through August 31, 2012.