Yuri Leiderman | Berlin 2008



May 3, 2008 – June 21, 2008

Galerija Gregor Podnar is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition Third Millennium, which presents a collection of early notebooks and artist books by Yuri Leiderman, created between 1985 and 1987, as well as new works by this same artist that explore the mimesis of nature.

The central work on display is the installation Third Millennium, from which the exhibition takes its name. This work, first exhibited in February as a large-scale installation at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Geneva, is composed of a tapestry of newspaper pages stained with greasy noodle soup and decorated by a frieze of bright-colored cutout paper flowers. In Berlin, the work is exhibited as a series of separately framed panels in juxtaposition with another recent work, Walking in the Forest (2008), a gold-painted wire sculpture that depicts a dog with a dragonfly.

Leiderman’s notebooks and books from the 80s follow a similar logic of symbolic clashes and an explosive mix of genres. Here he combines fragments of absurd poetry with abstract or minimalist graphic motifs in a hermetic system of meanings, while at the same time employing standard Soviet school notebooks and stenciling, the characteristic visual code for public signal in the Soviet period.

Born in Odessa in 1963, Yuri Leiderman began his artistic career in 1983, participating in exhibitions organized in private apartments in Moscow and Odessa. He was an active figure on the underground Soviet contemporary art scene in the 80s, and in 1987 founded the collective Medical Hermeneutics with artists Sergey Anufriev and Pavel Pepperstein. Interweaving literature and visual art in an endless process of poetic interpretation, these artists developed a unique approach to the method of ‘schizoanalysis’, distancing themselves from the main line of Russian conceptual art of the seventies and eighties. Wishing to affirm the primacy of subjectivity and personal interpretation in his work, Leiderman left the group in 1990. Today he lives and works in Berlin and Moscow.

Leiderman’s work has been displayed at many major art exhibitions, including the 3rd Istanbul Biennial (1992), Manifesta 1 (1996), the 11th Sydney Biennial (1998), and the Venice Biennial (1993 and 2003). Also a prose writer and a poet, Leiderman was awarded the 2005 Andrei Belyi Prize for his book ‘Olor’.