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One of the founders of Moscow conceptualism, poet, sculptor, graphic artist, master of performance, composer – a broadly defined artist Dmitry Prigov became well known due to his famous “poemgrams” by the end of the 70’s: poetic works and paintings at same time, combination of his own poems (later newspapers and calendars) with pictures. The decade of 1970’s became the period of intensive search for different ways to combine text and image for the poet. He was working on visual and literary figures so he was making artworks to combine several art forms. First of all they were newspaper installations. At the beginning of 1980’s sculptures by Prigov started to get shown at foreign exhibitions. It was possible to find them among the objects created with the help of text materials such as newspapers, calendars and author’s poems as a rule.
During his life, Prigov was using same motifs and materials that flow one into another. Newspapers with ads, feuilletons, obituaries were the favourite material of the artist (including giant installations of the 90’s) and were perfectly suitable to reflect the artist’s strategy. He transferred everyday life to art and art to everyday life by means of his artistic behaviour.
The newspapers gave reason to be ironic. Bureaucratic language of ads was the background for one more level of figures: “black holes” and leaps to another dimensions and all those are constant motifs used by the artist. The most famous is the newspaper series where there was a homage to avant-garde artists and their names, and those name were breaking through the newspaper surface just like eyes and abstract figures in surreal paintings of the artist. The artwork “Memory” has the same motif of the “Black hole”, the shading is the same, but there is lack of connection to Russian avant-garde and the typical artist game with absurdity. The artist wrote the word “MEMORY” upon a sport newspaper on the background of ridiculous title like “Don't count your chickens before they hatch”. The artwork has rare melancholic and partly political character for Prigov and makes us think about senselessness of events which are going to become the history. V