Igor Markin's Art 4 is the first private museum to open here in 100 years and showcases his personal collection of Russian art from the past four decades: Totalitarian-stamped vistas by 70's Pop art practitioner Eric Bulatov; cocktails of brutality and buffoonery by 80's painter Konstantin Zvezdochetov; a cynical, art-game (or is it, in this perilously homophobic country, brave and incendiary?) photograph of two militiamen kissing. The ensemble is a bright showing by artists soon to be international names, if Russia's increasing presence in the global art market is any indication. Markin's curatorial vision has the fire and wit to be expected of someone championing art in a hostile climate. He's done away with ID placards, instituting a system wherein viewers are given stickers reading za ("for") or protiv ("against"). "When everyone votes against something, I'm going to show more of it," he says. The hilarious, irreverent catalogue opens thus: "Anyone who thinks he can draw a square better than Malevich can come on and fucking do it."
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.