Liz Xi: a platform for art and criticism

On Bread

Anatoly Osmolovsky

If there had to be chosen a work of art which now, a century after ‘Black Square’ by Malevich, would represent the avant-garde of Russian contemporary art, ‘Bread Series’ by Anatoly Osmolovsky could be the one. Hand painted ‘Black Square’, when first exposed in 1915 during ‘0,10’ exhibition, was placed in the so called ‘red corner’, where traditionally orthodox icons are placed. The works from ‘Bread Series’, produced with the help of scanner and machine carving, were arranged in iconostasis-like composition at Documenta XII.

‘I have combined the two paradoxally uncombinable traditions – the Russian icon painting and Russian avant-garde. I consider the result to be at the crossroad of pop-art, abstract art and surrialism. The main idea is concentrated around internal symmetry. The motief of iconostasis is played with, though not directly quoted. It is more taken as a starting point. It can be, of course, spoken of a bread as a body of Christ. But I was more intrigued by the quality of symmetry as such. Bread by itself is a structure, where no particle is similar to another one. So, when you start to introduce symmetry to this structure, it results in unexpected intersections, new plots and interesting themes.’

Anatoly Osmolovsky
on ‘Bread series’, 2007 – present