"Beyond the Establishment" is an inclusive project of the Russian Museum and the first large-scale attempt to present the work of non-professional modern artists with mental disorders and / or psychiatric experience from an artistic point of view. Without diminishing the social significance of the exhibition, the aesthetic value of the artworks is in the foreground. The authors presented here express their personal attitude to the world through creativity, which fits well into the strategies of contemporary art, where the factor of professional artistic education has long ceased to prevail. First of all, these artists are distinguished by the lack of involvement in the art community, the art establishment and its marketing strategies, current discourse on art, etc.
The process of including such art into common artistic practice was launched at the beginning of the twentieth century, but the terms that arose decades ago have acquired new shades of meaning over time and now no longer seem to be either correct or accurate enough to describe the phenomenon in its entirety. This also applies to the two most common terms: Аrt brut and Outsider Art. The title of this exhibition, Beyond the Establishment, does not solve terminological problems, but indicates the intersection point for the six artists represented here.
All exhibitors are independent artists with a recognizable style, original graphic and pictorial techniques, and each of them has an own moving theme at the heart of their creativity.
Yulia Kosulnikova is faithful to the subject of closed institutions: in her works we see hospitals, prisons and psychoneurological asylums. Their harsh reality in the artist's perception, appears in delicate colors and seems almost beautiful.
Alexey Sakhnov is also moved by portraying spatial relationships. He has a large series of drawings depicting various kinds of interiors. The nature of the drawing gives away the artist's emotional mood: either there are monotonous, almost mechanical marking of space, or chaotic arabesques. Another media of Sakhnov is modeling cardboard houses.
Alexey Barov expresses his vision of reality in a very original way: by making medical instruments, machines and various technical devices. He sculpts all this of modelling putty, often life-size, working out the details with great precision, and at the same time, his objects seem to be invented - perhaps due to the specifics of the material.
Ilgar Nadzhafov's paintings show surreal worlds and distant countries, where the author flew awayin his dreams and placed his friends and family members. That was his way to get away from reality and create his own universe in its stead.
The works of Sergei Fedulov are also of fantastic nature. Like Nadzhafov, he has created and very carefully arranged a parallel reality, where characters from the popular movies, fairy tales and old newspapers coexist peacefully - from aliens and Astronaut Cat to Stalin and Napoleon.
Aleksander Savchenko works in different genres of painting, but the most impressive are his images of women, especially nude. It is in these works that he allows himself the greatest courage of artistic expression.
The exhibition presents a sound installation by the musical project Build Your House Underground.
The process of integrating the art of neurodivergent authors into world art practice has been going on very intensively in recent years, which is proved by their participation in museum exhibitions, biennials and prizes, as well as the inclusion of their works in the collections of major Western institutions. The project of the Russian Museum is, on the one hand, an experiment, and on the other, a sensitive reaction to the great challenge of our time, to the need to comprehend new socio-cultural problems. The exhibition does not seek to cover the entire spectrum of creativity of self-taught artists; rather, this is the acquaintance of the audience with art, which in Russia continues to rest beyond the establishment.