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ANNOUNCING Diversity United. Contemporary European Art. Moscow. Berlin. Paris. 11 November 2020 – 21 February 2021 at Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Slavs and Tatars, Mystical Protest, 2011, luminous paint, Muharram fabric, fluorescent lights, colour sleeves, cotton, 240 × 620 × 15 cm. Installation view at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2016. Photo Bartosz Górka

81 artists from 35 countries presenting the diverse artistic face of Europe:
 Diversity United presents established and emerging artists exploring pro-European dialogues. The exhibition – with venues in Moscow, Berlin and Paris – considers subjects including freedom, dignity, respect, conflicts and dialogue, landscapes and power and political and personal identity.

11 November 2020 – 21 February 2021

Slavs and Tatars, Mystical Protest, 2011, luminous paint, Muharram fabric, fluorescent lights, colour sleeves, cotton, 240 × 620 × 15 cm. Installation view at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2016. Photo Bartosz Górka
Slavs and Tatars, Mystical Protest, 2011, luminous paint, Muharram fabric, fluorescent lights, colour sleeves, cotton, 240 × 620 × 15 cm. Installation view at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2016. Photo Bartosz Górka

The Foundation for Art and Culture, Bonn and the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow are delighted to announce the travelling group show Diversity United. Contemporary European Art. Moscow. Berlin. Paris. The first venue – the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow (11 November 2020 – 21 February 2021) – is followed by venues in Berlin and Paris (2021), presenting a survey of work from across the continent.

The exhibition showcases the strength and diversity of Europe’s cultural output and highlights the importance of a united Europe during times of political uncertainty. The exhibition looks at contemporary European art after the fall of the Iron Curtain, underlining the importance of intercultural dialogue today.

It raises questions about freedom, dignity, democracy and respect whilst highlighting the continent’s artistic production in the context of historically relevant and current themes, such as political and personal identity, migration, (mental) landscape, gender and equality, nationality, territory and geopolitics and social conflicts.

Diversity United is made up of approximately 200 works by 81 key European artists active today and spanning generations, genders and European regions. These include Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Monica Bonvicini, Olafur Eliasson, Aslan Gaisumov, Mona Hatoum, Ilya Kabakov, Zhanna Kadyrova, Alicja Kwade, Roman Ondak, Wolfgang Tillmans, Erwin Wurm, Nil Yalter and Slavs and Tatars (full artist list available below).

The chairman of the Foundation for Art and Culture, Walter Smerling, and the general director of the Tretyakov Gallery, Zelfira Tregulova, head up the curatorial committee consisting of internationally curators, including Simon Baker (Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris), Faina Balakhovskaya (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), Kay Heymer (Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf), Pontus Kyander (writer and curator, Helsinki), Camille Morineau (AWARE, curator, Paris), Johanna Neuschäffer & Anne Schwanz (Office Impart, Berlin), Hilke Wagner (Albertinum, Dresden), Peter Weibel (ZKM Karlsruhe).

“Europe consists of many amazing landscapes, not just geographically, but socially, politically and culturally. Artists are able to unite and form those worlds”, Walter Smerling, the chairman of the Foundation for Art and Culture, says.

“This multitude of artistic voices from all over Europe create an insightful image of our cultural sphere. As the exhibition is limited to 81 artists it does not claim to proportionally represent the entirety of Europe, it is instead conceived ‘essayistically’ as a portrayal of this sphere. This view of the ‘artistic face of Europe’ champions freedom, respect, dignity and tolerance, for the preservation of diversity – the right to be individual. However, the artists also demonstrate how fragile these values are and how much we must support them. With Diversity United we will create a social dialogue, to prove that communication is essential in the search for peace and understanding.”

“What can contemporary art do today, when the world looks so complex, so conflicting and divided? What is the artistic identity of Europe and what does national identity mean today?” asks Zelfira Tregulova, general director of the Tretyakov Gallery.

“The central question is should art develop its own way of talking about the questions which are most important nowadays? Diversity United raises these important issues, to present a broad panorama of different artistic approaches, a chorus of voices which encourages visitors to think, to analyze, to discuss, to feel compassion or experience deep emotions – thus rendering human in a world which sometimes appears hostile to humanistic values.”

Anri Sala, Suspended (Sky Blue), 2008, © Anri Sala. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth and Marian Goodman Gallery
Anri Sala, Suspended (Sky Blue), 2008, © Anri Sala. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth and Marian Goodman Gallery

Participating artists:

Eija-Liisa AhtilaSanja Ivekovi?Anders Petersen
Andreas AngelidakisIsaac JulienAgnieszka Polska
Yael BartanaIlya and Emilia KabakovTal R
Rugil? Barzdžiukait?, Vaiva Grainyt?,
Lina Lapelyt?
Zhanna KadyrovaPaula Rego
Georg BaselitzPatricia KaersenhoutGerhard Richter
Blue SoupŠejla Kameri?Ugo Rondinone
Christian BoltanskiErik Kessels & Thomas MailaenderZbigniew Rybczy?ski
Monica BonviciniAnselm KieferAdam Saks
Pavel Br?ilaPeter KoglerAnri Sala
Maurizio CattelanAlicja KwadeFernando Sánchez Castillo
Olga ChernyshevaKris LemsaluTristan Schulze
Tacita DeanCristina LucasKatharina Sieverding
Rineke DijkstraGoshka MacugaSlavs and Tatars
Aleksandra Domanovi?Kris MartinNedko Solakov
Constant DullaartDóra MaurerJan Svenungsson
Olafur EliassonAnnette MessagerWolfgang Tillmans
Kristaps EpnersMarzia MiglioraRosemarie Trockel
Valérie FavreBoris MikhailovTatiana Trouvé
Aslan GaisumovRichard MosseLuc Tuymans
Adrian GhenieHenrike NaumannMartina Vacheva
Gilbert & GeorgeMariele NeudeckerUlla von Brandenburg
Antony GormleyKatja NovitskovaMarko Vuokola
Manuel GrafAhmet Ö?ütRachel Whiteread
Ane GraffRoman OndakPer Wizén
Petrit HalilajLucy OrtaErwin Wurm
Mona HatoumDan PerjovschiNil Yalter
Sheila HicksGrayson PerryYan Pei-Ming

Participating artists live and work in Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and Ukraine.

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Written by Verónica López

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