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Stella Art Foundation turns 20 years old. Alyona Kirtsova's interview

11 сентября 2023 Stella Art Foundation turns 20 years old. Alyona Kirtsova's interview

Stella Art Foundation’s collaboration with Alyona Kirtsova, one of the most acknowledged artists of Moscow romantic conceptualism, turned into a very important direction of the Foundation’s activities. This is how the unique exhibition projects “Color Guide” (2006-2007), “North” (2010) and “Grayscale” (2014) became the part and decoration of Moscow art life.
Here are the artist’s answers to questions by Boris Manner, senior curator of Stella Art Foundation:
1. The Foundation did a lot over the 20 years of its work. How would you like to evaluate it and what can you say about the Foundation’s role in the development of Russian contemporary art?
Before answering the questions, I went to the Foundation’s remarkably informative website to recall its activities and learn more about them. I was amazed at the huge number of projects, exhibitions and publications, which covered a wide range of trends of both Russian and foreign art. Support, encouragement, public education are the real things that the Foundation does for our culture and art.
2. What exhibitions and projects of the Foundation you consider to be the most impressive?
There are many significant exhibitions and projects of the Foundation. But, of course, for me the most memorable are my three personal exhibitions: COLOR GUIDE (2006-07), NORTH (2010) and GRAYSCALE (2014). And the final edition of the book is ALYONA KIRTSOVA. THREE EXHIBITIONS (2014).
I think I am not the only artist for whom the monograph’s publication and any personal exhibition goes along with anxiety and great worries. But the Foundation alleviated all problems: the team was attentive to my ideas. For example, made a huge wall painting, repainted all the walls in the right color, framed all the paintings for each exhibition in its own special baguette, “At the exhibition’s opening we will drink cold French cider, that’s it”, “The book should look and open this way and not otherwise”, “It has to be printed in Riga in a specific printing house. I need to go to the printing house to “adjust” the colors,” and so on: the Foundation made everything possible. That was true generosity and care towards me as an artist. 
3. The Foundation has changed its location and will open the new space in Mercury Tower. The new venue is almost 10 times larger than the space on Skaryatinsky, which allows the Foundation to embody any wide-ranging project with its own resources. What are your expectations and what would you like to advise to the Foundation’s team regarding these changes?
Frankly speaking, I am very sorry for the Foundation’s moving from the premises on Skaryatinsky. That small, but sophisticated and capacious venue allowed us to play easily with exhibition space. The location in the center of Moscow was also a significant advantage. I would say “the path to the Foundation was created and fixed”. However I sincerely wish the Foundation to preserve and develop its achievements of the past 20 years.