Garage is pleased to present the first reconstruction of Atom (1967/2018), a monumental kinetic work by the key figure in Russian kinetic art, Viacheslav Koleichuk.
The thirteen-meter-high structure was originally commissioned by the Kurchatov Institute of Nuclear Energy and built in 1967 for the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution. The construction was deceptively simple at first glance, but combined complex approaches to the creation of form that would later define Koleichuk’s oeuvre. One of the key elements of the work––a large moving sphere––is an example of his innovative approach. Made of hundreds of metal tubes, the sphere is set in motion by the wind, held together by the tensions of its constituent parts. Light reflected by the sun, or colored projections at night, triggers myriad forms and shapes, activating the space around the structure.
Initiated at a time when official Soviet organizations were interested in collaborating with artists to integrate art into the life of the city, the sculpture was initially constructed on the square in front of the institute by the then twenty-six-year-old artist, in collaboration with his wife, Marina Koleichuk, and engineer Gennady Rykunov. Working closely with the artist for the reconstruction at Garage, the core team has been joined by Nikolay Khrust, who has produced a new score in collaboration with Koleichuk to replace the lost original composition by Leon Theremin. The new composition is partly played on an ovaloid, one of the many musical instruments Koleichuk has invented during his lifetime. It is synched with the light projections to produce an even more mesmerizing, cosmic effect.
Conceived as a Garage Square Commission, the reconstruction of Atom marks fifty-one years since its creation. It complements the exhibition The Other Trans-Atlantic. Kinetic and Op Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America 1950s–1970s, which takes place at Garage March 17–May 9, 2018.
Organized by Snejana Krasteva, Garage Curator
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