Today, the Pirogov Loft – home to St Petersburg’s newest creative cluster, The Quarter – will reopen to the public as APERTO Gallery, a new, independent art center and gallery that echoes its namesake – Harald Szeemann’s influential addition to the Venice Biennale – by focusing its program explicitly on young artists, both Russian and international.
Full disclosure: we may be pretty biased here. We’re proud to say, APERTO brings together two of our past and present colleagues: Elena Yushina, the intrepid young curator responsible for every aspect of APERTO, and our daring and delightful former intern, Daria Irincheeva (who has recently been making news not only with a solo show at Brooklyn’s Reverse Space, but also through her work as one of the directors at Massimiliano Gioni’s and Maurizio Cattelan’s Family Business Gallery.)
Daria’s show – “Path through Long Grass” – will not only be APERTO‘s first exhibition, it will be Daria’s first solo exhibition in Russia. According to the show’s release, the work will deal with the post-Soviet heritage of “non-stop loss and disappointment”, but having had a taste of Daria’s work in Brooklyn, we are looking forward to how Daria manages to inflect these observations with a wit and whimsy (such as her perfectly-recreated faux full bookshelves or her hilarious recreations of the ubiquitous geological specimens, indicators of the former Soviet intelligentsia.)
While the space will function partially as a non-profit exhibition platform (future projects include a collaboration with students from Yale University and the School of Visual Arts, New York), other gallery artists include up-and-comers Kirill Makarov and Ruy Sanchez-Blanco. Additionally, “The Wall” promises a more creative attempt to incorporate educational programming (it’s opening statement combines reference to Pink Floyd with Neznayka (“Not Knowing”), the much-loved Soviet cartoon.)
We at Baibakov Art Projects know firsthand the difficulties of forging a new space in a country that is not always supportive – and sometimes downright suspicious! – of contemporary art. We tremendously admire Elena’s determination and commitment and we look forward to watching APERTO as it grows. Congratulations!