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Volgograd is a “hero city,” and people came from all over the Soviet Union to rebuild it after the war.The old city infrastructure is disintegrating today, and no new infrastructure is being built to replace it. From an early age, the younger generation aspires to leave the city.
Young artists gather around the MAKARONKA art center, which is supported by the DON Contemporary Art Foundation.Even the provincial, conservative Mashkov Museum of Fine Arts began to organize events such as Anton Valkovsky’s talk about the results of his archive research project “Avant-City: Volgograd Art between Performance and Video (1986–2005).” The 28 Youth and Art Center, which worked with contemporary artists, existed from 2012 to 2016.Trapezium, the first contemporary art gallery in the city, opened in 2013 and functioned for two years.The foundation shows large-scale non-commercial exhibitions, including Sergei Sapozhnikov’s solo project The Drama Machine (2016, organized with the support of Gazprom Private Banking.The laboratory aims to develop the local art community through exhibitions, performances, lectures, and discussions.One of the key local figures is Vadim Murin, a well-established painter with a mystical perspective.
In 2012, a major retrospective of his work entitled Chronology: Homage to Christopher Columbus was held at the Museum of Modern Fine Art on Dmitrovskaya.
The only exception involved artists who left Volgograd and made a name for themselves in Moscow, St.
Petersburg, or abroad, such as Oleg Mavromatti, who lives in the US; Vladimir Potapov, who has moved to Moscow; and Peter Dzogaba, who lives mainly in Berlin, but maintains ties with his hometown. The Festival of Young and Contemporary Artists has been held three times at the Gorky District Library.
Some of them studied at Moscow’s contemporary art schools: Leyly Aslanova was a student at Base Institute, Irina Grabkova graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Art, and Oleg Ustinov studied at the Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia.
Many of the artists live between Rostov and Moscow. The city appeared on the Volga trade route that emerged in the tenth century.
Rostov-on-Don has multicultural roots dating back to a Greek settlement that was situated on the city’s current site and whose influence is still felt in the local Greek community.