U-space Cherry Orchard is designed by Konstantin Polyakov.
Caroline Hurry
Caroline Hurry

CAROLINE HURRY immerses herself in Russia’s largest private collection of contemporary art

If contemporary art is your scene, check out the Erarta on Vasilievsky Ostrov (Basil’s Island) on the north bank of the Neva in St Petersburg.  The name was coined by combining the two words “Era” and “Arta” which can be translated into Russian as “The Era of Art.”

Our marvellous guide Galina Murakhtina
Our marvellous guide Galina Murakhtina

The Permanent Collection showcases over 2,800 works by Russian artists including paintings, sculpture, photography, and video, all created since 1945.

The Exhibitions Wing of the building is home to Temporary Exhibitions that change every quarter. Our marvellous guide Galina Murakhtina was very helpful in explaining the concepts behind the works.

Here is just a sampling of some of the wonderful works on display.

Your ultimate demise with the interpenetration of the real and virtual worlds is the theme of Moscow artist Sergey Lakotko in his work “Game Over” for the edification of gamers, bloggers, and social media adherents everywhere.
Your ultimate demise with the interpenetration of the real and virtual worlds is the theme of Moscow artist Sergey Lakotko in his work “Game Over” for the edification of gamers, bloggers, and social media adherents everywhere.
Two Daffodils by Gennady Zubkov, who applies his painting technique ‘form creates form’ to his still lifes and landscapes.
Two Daffodils by Gennady Zubkov, who applies his painting technique ‘form creates form’ to his flowers and landscapes.

 

Dmitry Shorin's paintings are influenced by photography and referencing mass media images. Frequently placing his fragile and ephemeral heroines in the heavens paired with airplanes, his paintings are matte and somewhat drained of colour, leading to feeling of unease in the observer.
Dmitry Shorin’s paintings are influenced by photography. Frequently placing his heroines in the heavens paired with airplanes, his paintings lead to feeling of unease in the observer.
In Artes Petushka, the Lipetsk artist Yuri Tatianin uses the well-known Russian phrase: The Health Ministry warns … as he puts Vincent van Gogh in a modern setting – drinking, smoking and suffering from mental disorders that lead to suicide
In Artes Petushka, the Lipetsk artist Yuri Tatianin uses the well-known Russian phrase: The Health Ministry warns … as he puts Vincent van Gogh in a modern setting – drinking, smoking and suffering from mental disorders that lead to suicide
A work from Aleksandr Frolov's Tank From Dinosaurs series – acrylic on canvas
A work from Aleksandr Frolov’s Tank From Dinosaurs series – acrylic on canvas
Sergey Shnurov, frontman of Leningrad, produced “shirt” and "shoes" as part of his brilliant “brand-realism” concept, which outlines the roles of brands in our modern world wherein the choice of using a brand by a person is equal to the choice of one’s essence.The theme is further fleshed out with Leningrad’s satirical song “Exhibit” (“Exponat”) that tells the story of a young woman going on a date with a man named Serge to an art exhibit featuring work by Vincent van Gogh. In an attempt to impress him, she pretends to be far more talented and wealthier than sh is – even paininting the soles of her stiletto heels to make them resemble Laboutins. All this, predicably ends in disaster.
Sergey Shnurov, frontman of Leningrad, produced “shirt” and “shoes” as part of his brilliant “brand-realism” concept, which outlines the roles of brands in our modern world wherein the choice of using a brand by a person is equal to the choice of one’s essence.The theme is further fleshed out with Leningrad’s satirical song “Exhibit” (“Exponat”) that tells the story of a young woman going on a date with a man named Serge to an art exhibit featuring work by Vincent van Gogh. In an attempt to impress him, she pretends to be far more talented and wealthier than she is – even painting the soles of her shoes to make them resemble Laboutins. This predictably ends in disaster.
Ukrainian artist Anatoliy Gankevich has invented a particular style of painting – an imitation of mosaic as seen in his work Russians Are Coming 2 at the Erarta Museum.
Ukrainian artist Anatoliy Gankevich has invented a particular style of painting – an imitation of mosaic as seen in his work Russians Are Coming 2 at the Erarta Museum.
Born in 1966 in St. Petersburg, Nicolay Kopeikin packs an ideological punch in his elephant series. This one is entitled Overseas Guest
Born in 1966 in St. Petersburg, Nicolay Kopeikin packs an ideological punch in his elephant series. This one is entitled Overseas Guest
Incident at an elephant corral by Nocolay Kopeikin
Incident at an elephant corral by Nocolay Kopeikin
Alexander Pilin is an artist, who works with felt, associated with old traditions and tactile experiences such as this example entitled Shovel, from 2005. His felt rake and “the warmest shovel in the world”, created 20 years after the end of the Soviet civilization, turns a depressing reality into a fluffy conceptual toy that is no longer terrible, but still full of multiple meanings.
Alexander Pilin is an artist, who works with felt, associated with old traditions and tactile experiences such as this example entitled Shovel, from 2005. His felt rake and “the warmest shovel in the world”, created 20 years after the end of the Soviet civilization, turns a depressing reality into a fluffy conceptual toy that is no longer terrible, but still full of multiple meanings.
  • Special thanks to Tour de Force for showing us some of the best places St Petersburg has to offer.