October 17th 2017
Yuri Albert and Algirdas Seskus: Materiality of The Book

Artists Talk: Yuri Albert and Algirdas Seskus on materiality of the book. Moderated by Professor Sarah Wilson
Thursday 19 October, 18.30 – 20.00
White Space Gallery, Cultural Dialogue, 6 Pall Mall East, London SW1Y 5BF

Artists Yuri Albert and Algirdas Seskus discuss their practice with Professor Sarah Wilson (Courtauld Institute).

Yuri Albert one of the most ‘consistent’ of the Moscow Conceptualist group has employed the book as form. In the gallery here he presents a group of paintings made with the ash of various burned books including Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Anton Chekhov’s short stories, invoking the conceptual legacy outlined above. In addition, he contributes a work from his Books for the Blind, in which descriptions of paintings are displayed in printed form. Yuri Albert (b. 1959, Moscow) was a student of Ekaterina Arnold and completed teacher’s training degree in Moscow in 70s. In the 80s he became a Member of Club of Avantgardists (CLAVA). Received Krasner-Pollock Foundation grant in 2000 and Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in 2001. Curated “Exhibition of Young Artists”, I Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, 2008. Received the 2011 Kandinsky Prize and the Innovation Prize in 2013. His works are in the collections of Centre Pompidou, Paris; Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery and National Center for Contemporary Arts, the Russian Museum in St Petersburg. He lives and works in Moscow and Cologne.

Algirdas Seskus takes a different approach, using computer-edited images to piece together a visual narrative. His Tree for a Sleeping Bird (2017), part of his recent practice creating thin notebooks called New Time, is comprised of quotidian photographs, manipulated until they resemble pixelated impressionist canvases or ‘filtered’ internet content. Algirdas Seskus was born in Lithuania in 1945. During the 30 years he spent working as a cameraman on a Soviet TV and radio channel, Seskus cultivated a broad and diverse approach to photography. Rather than follow specific themes or concepts, he chose the aesthetics of amateurism instead. This strategy enabled him to find a balance between the underground and official Soviet art scene, between collectivism and individualism. His work has influenced many photographers from the former Soviet Union, including Boris Mikhailov. In 2010 he was the subject of a major retrospective at the National Art Gallery of Lithuania. He participated in Documenta 14 earlier this year. He lives in Vilnius, Lithuania

Professor Sarah Wilson Sarah Wilson is an art historian and curator whose interests extend from post-war and Cold War Europe and the USSR to contemporary global art. She joined The Courtauld’s faculty in 1982. In 2010-11, with Mellon Professor Boris Groys (New York University) Sarah Wilson initiated the MA course, ‘Global Conceptualism’. From 2013 she expanded her ‘Global Conceptualism’ MA remit with an interest in modern and contemporary Asia. In 2014 she was appointed to the curatorial team of the 1st Asian Biennale (China-Guangzhou). Recognised as the international English-language expert on Post-War European art, including French Stalinism, neo-Marxism and the arts, regularly lectures and teaches in Paris – as Professor at Paris-IV Sorbonne ( 2002-4), with Serge Lemoine (former director of the Musée d’Orsay). She has served on doctoral juries for Paris-Sorbonne 1 and IV, VIII, the Universities of Lille and Bordeaux. In 1997 she was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres for services to French art and culture.

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