Russian Art Week presented by Institut and the Hermitage Foundation UK.


Institut has partnered with the Hermitage Foundation UK in a digital showcase of leading Russian contemporary art in the form of NFTs for London's Russian Art Week. As a new frontier for contemporary art, Institut advocates for an art world that is truly integrated and inclusive.  We believe that Russian Art Week is a prime occasion to direct international attention to the budding contemporary art ecosystem in Russia. This digital exhibition presents a collection of principal Russian artists whose practices surrounds both the physical and digital. This sale is an opportunity for collectors to be introduced to the Russian market, forgoing complicated shipping and logistic restrictions. Part of the proceeds go to The Hermitage Foundation UK- a registered charity which represents The State Hermitage Museum across the United Kingdom, facilitating cultural exchange and supporting a range of Hermitage activities including exhibitions and loans, acquisitions and a curatorial exchange programme. Learn more about The Hermitage Foundation UK here.

5x5=26


"Current social circumstances dictate new forms of art."

- N.Tarabukin, 1921.



In autumn of 1921 in a two-part exposition 5x5=25, five Constructivist artists, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Varvara Stepanova, Aleksandra Ekster, Liubov Popova, and Aleksandr Vesnin revolutionized modern art. The group exhibited highly abstracted, geometric work that rejected expressionist forms of painting, presenting the notion that continually heralded the "end" or "death" of art and was a watershed moment for the Avant-Garde.


In the eyes of the Constructivists this sweeping gesture had cultural as well as artistic significance, for the renunciation of painting put into action the words of their colleague Nikolai Tarabukin: "Current social circumstances dictate new forms of art." Having enacted the death of the old forms, these artists embarked on an adventurous quest for new ones and extended the boundaries of spatial constructions.


Today in 2021--100 years later, Russian contemporary artists collectively continue to push the boundaries of art and uphold the traditions of the Russian Avant-Garde. With the rise of NFTs and the Metaverse, a new wave of discussions on the death of art and proceeding cosmic shifts have appeared.  NFTs have presented itself as a new social and cultural circumstance, allowing for new explorations and artistic gravity.


Beyond the constraints of the physical, this collection of artists for Russian Art Week presents a survey of contemporary Russian art in the form of NFTs. As a continuation to the Constructivist's imperative of modernist art: to pursue a formal investigation to its logical end, these principal contemporary artists provide genuine avenues and insights to a new social and cultural phenomenon. NFTs have radicalized the notion of art and extend beyond geographical boundaries, providing a platform for artists to showcase their work to the world.


Ultimately, are NFTs death to art, or the beginning of a new impossible?


5x5=26.


Artists included:
Maxim Zhestkov
AES+F
Ellen Shiedlin
Brickspacer
Andrey Berger
Misha Most
Dmitri Aske
Polina Ospinova


The Hermitage Foundation has included artwork by:
Vladmir Chernyshev
Kate Daudy and Kostya Novoselov
Petr Bystrov