Dmitry Gutov

gutovBorn in 1960 in Moscow. Graduated from the department of theory and art history of the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In 1994 he created the Mikhail Lifshits Institute in Moscow. Since 1993 he has been a member of the editorial staff at Moscow Art Magazine and has participated in the Venice Biennale (Russian pavilion, 1995, main project, 2007), Manifesta (1996, Rotterdam) and Documenta (2007, Kassel).

Dmitry Gutov presents a new series of his three-dimensional works in metal called E’IK’.N. This time his source and starting point is ancient Russian icons. Working with icon imagery is quite logical from a formal point of view since it is well known that icons were based on so-called exempla, or sample images, a set of which was owned by practically every professional icon painter. Gutov says that he chose not to use any exempla that survive in archives because of how standardized they are. Indeed, the creative moment in a Russian icon begins not with the act of copying and repetition but from its failure when an unforeseen discrepancy occurs. Gutov makes a flat, ornate, metal “grate” into a peculiar type of dimensional sculpture. As soon as one steps slightly to the right or left, the im­age begins to get distorted. And this distortion goes through all the stages of development of Russian art in the 20th century, from cubism to expressionism and radical abstraction. Gutov’s works are a literalizing embodiment of the history of art. A demonstration of practically all of the 20th century’s art history stems from the simple and natural act of walking around a sculpture. In a traditional sculpture in the round the viewer gets different perspectives of the same three-dimensional object; in Gutov’s sculptures, on the other hand, this three-dimensional object does not exist, and each new perspective negates the previous one. This is the history of art as the physical movement of a body in space.

Anatoly Osmolovsky

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