‘Realisms’: A new exhibition at the Hermitage

07 June, 2016

‘Realisms’ at the Hermitage

While many tourists and natives visit the Hermitage every day, much of the attention is paid to the world acclaimed permanent collection. Today however, marks the opening of ‘Realisms’ (or ‘Peaлизмы’), a new exhibition featuring 21 works by British artist Mitch Griffiths, as well as art by Jim Shaw and Tony Matelli. This exhibit is part of the Hermitage 20/21 Project, which aims to collect modern art they believe will be “history tomorrow“.

Griffiths’ oil paintings have an incredible degree of precision and detail. They call to mind both traditional ‘old masters’ oil paintings, and hyper realistic photos, blending older techniques with newer visiuals. Dimitri Ozerkov, Curator and Director of the Contemporary Art Department at the State Hermitage Museum, had this to say about his work:

This is literally and truly painting: the laborious application of paint to canvas, careful orchestration of the composition and the search for a subject and its accompanying attributes. Griffiths borrows his topics from contemporary life and his compositions from art history, imbuing the potentially banal scenes with seriousness and epic force.”

Although work by Mitch Griffiths’ takes the main stage at this exhibition, it also features work by American artists Jim Shaw and Tony Matelli. The aim of this is to show the different ways each artists approach ‘realism’, and interact in interesting ways with the already historic collection of art at the Hermitage Museum.

This is a truly unique and history making exhibition, and definitely worth a visit next time you go to the Hermitage. Remember, with the ISIC student card (available from Liden & Denz), admission is completely free!

Elara Shurety is currently studying Russian and interning at Liden & Denz. 

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