Города Москвы

The Sculptures We Do Not See

14 August — 6 September 2015

The official opening of the exhibition on August 13 at 19.00


Moscow Department of Culture

The Museum and Exhibition Association Manege (MEA Manege)



On August 14th, a group exhibition of legendary Moscow sculptors, participants of the «LeSS» art group, Vadim Sidur, Nikolai Silis and Vladimir Lemport, is opening at the Central exhibition hall Manege.


The exhibition «The Sculptures We Do Not See» is a full-scale research of the so-called «cellar nonconformism» – a phenomenon that took place in the Soviet Union side-by-side with the conventional art scene. Dozens of works of Vadim Sidur, Leonid Berlin, Anatoli Slepyshev and Alexander Pozin from the MEA Manege collection are exhibited together with Nikolai Silis’s and Vladimir Lemport’s art works.


The analysis of Soviet formalism is impossible when considered outside of Soviet and contemporary Russian art history. That is why works by such contemporary artists as Anatoli Osmolovski, Haim Sokol, Dmitri Gutov, Alexander Povzner and many others will also be on display.


In 1954 young Moscow sculptors Vladimir Lemport, Vadim Sidur and Nikolai Silis set up an art group «LeSS» (an acronym deriving from their last names). This group stayed active until 1968. While fulfilling state demands, the three sculptors took part in creating the most vivid form of ideological propaganda – monumental sculptures integrated into the architecture of late Soviet modernism. But, due to the exclusion of formalism from the USSR art history, these artists had to switch to small statuary, so their works were to stay in the cellars of their studios for ages.


In 1987, April 29th, an article «The Sculptures We Do Not See» by Vitali Ginsburg was published in «Literaturnaya Gazeta». The academician and Nobel Prize laureate called to preserve Vadim Sidur’s artistic legacy. Thanks to this article, Vadim Sidur Museum has been created and today it makes part of MEA Manege exhibition venues.


The exhibition «The Sculptures We Do Not See» will present for the first time both early and late works of the art group «LeSS» in order to highlight the evolution of each sculptor’s constructive method – from realism to «pure form» and avant-garde. The exhibition display explores and reveals the monumentality of small statuary and creates the atmosphere of open and enclosed spaces.


Vera Trakhtenberg, the curator:

«The internal, the «invisible» becomes not only visible but also embodied, substantial and material. The object transfigures the environment and changes it by transforming the emptiness into the space for utterance. Martin Heidegger used to call sculpture «an embodied» truth of existence in its creation of spaces production». Today we include all types of artistic utterances concerning the form in the same exhibition area: paintings, graphics, video and sculptures, of course».


Irina Tolpina, MEA Manege CEO:

«The exhibition sheds light on the art which was «in the shadow» of the conventional art for a long time. This exhibition is an important step for reinstatement of Soviet intellectual legacy. Also it is aimed to trace connections between contemporary sculpture and plastic arts of nonconformist artists. We hope that the audience will follow this dialogue and extend their knowledge about Russian art».


Media contacts (credentials, comments):

MEA Manege | +7 (965) 412–74–24 | pr.manege@gmail.com

Head of PR Elena Karneeva | e.karneeva@moscowmanege.ru, 8(926) 576-40-53



Ticket prices: 250 rubles; special rate: 50 rubles.



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