In my childhood my father and I would go for a walk and play the game that he invented, it was called ‘Like what?’. He said – ‘a cloud’, I said – ‘like a hare’, I said – ‘a fur tree’, father answered – ‘like a hutched old man’ and so on endlessly. The exhibition of the two artists applies to precisely this principle: ‘like what?’. Hrustalev’s napkin is like a top at the sunset, Simun’s canister is like the Virgin Mary. They have different approaches, but the same way of looking at things. Anything – a dropped cloth, a puddle, a pile of concrete, a match – makes the artists emotional and activates the processes of creative reflection, comprehension, creation of an image.
The generation gap emphasizes the aesthetic similarity. On the one part, Simun’s formal approach to the ideologically loyal soviet subjects - the famous ‘Broken Ring’; on the other, the modern world of material overproduction, minimalistic exaggeration of the status of a useless thing – Hrustalev’s ‘Craving for wings’ is a half-straightened staple. The exhibition tells about the artist’s universal method of looking at things in a new way, through an accurate and complex optical device, in which physics and lyrics are inseparably linked with each other.
Konstantin Simun (born 1934) is a sculptor, an artist, a member of the Artists' Union of the USSR.
In 1966 he creates the blockade memorial, which brought him international recognition. The monument ‘Broken Ring’ on the shore of Lake Ladoga has become his main and most significant creation and the leading idea of the artist’s creative work and life.
Since 1988 the sculptor has been living in the USA.
Kirill Hrustalev (born 1971) is a St. Petersburg artist, philosopher and art critic. The author of the conceptual objects, made from very simple common things. For a long time he made the objects only for himself; according to his words, the images came spontaneously. St.Petersburg public first saw the artist’s works in spring of 2012 in Navicula Artis gallery.
Curator of the project Peter Belyi