One After 909 is honored to present “Caution! Freedom: Contemporary Art from Russia” in collaboration with Julia Gelman of Gelman Gallery.
In 1990 the Soviet Union was already dying but had not yet collapsed completely. Julia and Marat Gelman opened Gelman (Guelman) Gallery in Moscow, where it was one of the first private contemporary art galleries in the Soviet Union.
The Gelman’s witnessed the incredible and rapid changes that were occurring in the USSR. In the midst of this shift they worked with many political and social artists. The Gelman’s believed their art was an expression of freedom, and these artists were accurately documenting the spirit of the times. However when Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000, all of the doors that had been open to progressive ideas began to shut.
During this period, the political and social art the gallery exhibited by Russian contemporary artists was considered too controversial. In response, extremist groups as well as the government targeted the Gelman Gallery and its owners. This ultimately forced them to close the gallery in 2012.
Seven years later, Julia Gelman and One After 909 will exhibit this previously censored work from Gelman Gallery in “Caution! Freedom: Contemporary Art from Russia,” with complete freedom, in Chicago.
The title of the exhibition pays homage to “Caution! Religion,” an exhibition that was vandalized at the Andrei Sakharov Museum in 2003. In a state-controlled court, the artists and curators were deemed guilty instead of the attackers.
Artists featured in the exhibition: AES Group (AES+F), Blue Noses Group, Dmitry Gutov, Alexey Kallima, Komar & Melamid, Alexander Kosolapov, Oleg Kulik, Leonid Lamm, Tatiana Liberman, Pavel Pepperstein, Dmitry Tsvetkov, Dmitry Vrubel.
Image: Alexander Kosolapov, “Coca-Cola is My Blood,” 2004, Screen print on paper, 27.5 x 39.5 inches