Dmitry Gutov

GutovHas had solo exhibitions in Moscow and Italy ( Milan, 2005). Participated in the Cetinje Biennial (1994), the Venice Biennale (1995, Russian pavilion; 2007), the Sao Paulo Biennial (2002), “Moscow-Berlin” (2002-2004), special projects for the 1st and 2nd Moscow Biennales (2005, 2007), and “Documenta” (2007), among others.

Dmitry Gutov achieved international fame overnight. This summer his works appeared in Robert Storr’s exhibition at the 52nd Venice Biennale and at Documenta 12 inKassel, Germany. In his installation The Karl Marx School of the English Language, made in collaboration with art critic David Riff, Gutov paired his painterly renderings of Soviet book covers from the 1920s and 1960s with an audio recording of home meetings of an organization engaged in comparing Russian and English translations of Karl Marx’s writings. Quotations from Marx painted onto frontispieces and candy wrappers seem like satire or reduction, and yet they are neither. Gutov’s objective is to bring Marx nearer to us. And the text one hears from the speakers is not blind recitation of communist dogma, but part of an intellectual investigation, a project that explores works long forgotten — or maybe never properly read — in Russia. The objects from the Fence series are more textured and monumental. They resemble existing fences near summer cottages that belong to Russia’s urban population, made of whatever was at hand. Gutov uses the aesthetics of a makeshift fence to reproduce significant texts (usually drafts) by Marx and Beethoven. At first glance his objects look abstract, and the text is by no means immediately legible. In a sense they are anti-monuments, bringing new vitality to static, established interpretations; on old texts they superimpose the organic rise of thought.
Valentin Dyakonov

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