20 June 2008

Pinocchio's Library at Daneyal Mahmood

Peter Belyi
Pinocchio's Library

19 June - 31 July 2008
opening reception:
Thursday | 19 June | 6-8 PM

511 WEST 25 ST, 3FL
phone: 212 675 2966
Tues.-Sat. 11am to 6pm

Daneyal Mahmood Gallery presents Pinocchio's Library. Modellatura, which generally included an ideal vision of the future, was an extremely popular genre during the 1920s, an age of grand utopias. Not only did artists invest time and energy in creating models of future cities, but conceived their own artworks as indicators for potential technical projects. Peter Belyi's "memorial modelling," however, casts its gaze into the past, to the 1960s and 1970s, a period that saw the existence of one of the last utopian expressions of our era. The artist's intent is to use this "new" genre of representation to search for one of the paradigms of humanity: hope in the future produced by disillusionment with the past.

The wooden puppet Pinocchio is the project's protagonist, incarnating the figure of an architect obsessed with grandiose projects through which he hopes to transform the world, as well as an indissoluble deposit of utopian ideology present in each and every one of us. Like its hero, Pinocchio's Library is made of wood, and its books cannot be opened. They are solid marker stones of useless knowledge, inaccessible and impossible to consult ever again. That which was once a source of knowledge has been transformed into an indissoluble deposit of utopian knowledge, a memorial to utopia itself. And yet Pinocchio's Library is rife with the hopes of each one of us and above all, with the fact that one day the wooden puppet will be transformed into a real child.

Peter Belyi was born in 1971 in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg), where he continues to live and work. His principal solo shows include: La Biblioteca di Pinocchio, Pack Gallery, Milan (2008); Unnecessary Alphabet, Anna Frants Space Gallery, New York, (2007); Danger Zone, Daneyal Mahmood Gallery, New York, (2007); Lenproekt, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (2007), SH854, Guelman Gallery, Moscow, (2005); City Heights, Gallery 27 (2001), Cork Street, London.

Belyi has also participated in numerous group shows, including: Reconstruction (2 man show), Atelier 2, Vinzavod, Moscow (2008); Celestial Mechanics, Pulkovo Observatory, St. Petersburg, (2007); Something About Power (2 man show), 2nd Moscow Biennale, Russia (2007); Border Territory, Mars Gallery, 2nd Moscow Biennale, Russia (2007); Architecture Ad Marginum, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (2007); Modus R, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, (2006); Post Modellismus, Krinzinger Progekte Galerie, Vienna, (2005). His artwork has been included in the permanent collections of: The Margulies Collection, Miami; the Russian State Museum, St Petersburg, Russia; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Ashmolean Museum, Cambridge.

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