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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Show Unites Architecture, Sculpture

Those familiar only with the monstrosities of Tsereteli may view with skepticism the idea of sculpture playing a greater role in architecture. But Natasha Osmalovskaya, the creator and organizer of a new exhibition at the Central House of Artists, feels differently.

"City, House, Village" aims not only to provide the viewer with insight into the relationship between architecture and sculpture, but to provide a platform for the two dozen or so participating architects and sculptors to begin collaborative professional relationships.

This is the first time in Moscow that an exhibition has specifically concentrated on the works of the two artistic fields.

The initial idea arose from the newspaper Moskovskiye Khudozhniki-Russkaya Kollektsiya, or Moscow Artists-Russian Collection, one of the few such papers on architecture, fine arts and interior design. Earlier this year it organized two related exhibits in Moscow: One on artists and their relationship to the press, and another on interior design.

Osmalovskaya said the issue that the exhibition emphasizes is particularly pertinent in today's Russia.

"It seems to me that the present situation in our country is very similar to the situation in America [of the early 1900s], when people bought land, earned capital, when they built their first homes, how they furnished them, according to their taste," she said.

She said she was interested in seeing how the juxtaposition of sculpture and architectural designs would be received by a Russian public unaccustomed to viewing architecture in a museum setting.

"When a wide audience looks at sculptures," she said, "they are generally not accustomed to associating them with an architect, as someone who exhibits his work."

Walking into the exhibit, one is immediately struck by Gleb Trenin's sculptures resembling fantasy creatures from a science fiction film. "Lyagushka," a bronze frog the size of a German shepherd, stands propped up with a crooked smile on its lips.

Trenin's other works include reptiles of various sizes and an affectionate-looking mouse sitting comfortably on its hind legs, ears pointed back, paws in the ready-to-nibble pose.

Born in Moscow, Trenin studied at the Strogonovsky Institute and has been a sculptor for six years. His work is located in various state museums in Russia and other former Soviet republics, as well as in private collections.

One of the architects featured in the exhibition is Alexander Asadov, whose administration building on Krasnoselskaya Ulitsa was recently honored in a survey of the city's leading architects.

Asadov is also the head of Mosproyekt 2, a large-scale effort to come up with new perspectives for architectural design in Moscow. His plan for a grand hotel complex on Gogolevsky Bulvar is particularly interesting because of the obvious effort made to design the building such that it blends in with the architecture of old Moscow, without intruding on the style of the city.

Inga Savranskaya's sculptures, which seem on the verge of coming to life, are another highlight of the exhibition. The weighty bronze works manage to combine ample solidity with charm.

Her bronze "Koshka," a smart-looking feline with a twisted smile and upright tail, looks backward as it attempts to jump forward, as if not wanting to miss what is occurring behind him. "Tanets 2," or Dancers 2, depicts a young pair of ballet dancers. Connected by a coiled curtain-like draping, they leap gracefully into the air with toes pointed.

Savranskaya said the exhibition has a particular appeal for her because she sees it as a chance for sculptors like herself to get back to working closely with architects as she often did in Soviet times. She added that she hoped the show would enable her to make some contacts in the world of architecture.

"I am not only speaking for myself when I say that it is important for sculptors and architects to mingle and work on new projects together because we live in one space," she said.

"City, House, Village," or "Gorod osobnyak i derevnya," Hall 8 of the Central House of Artists, 10 Krymsky Val, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Nov. 30.