M. KELNER PROJECTS
Growing up in a vibrant and diverse community of artists and collectors, much of my own creative work is fueled by the parallel play between two cultures. Russian was my first language, though I was born and raised in the United States. That rich duality, along with a tradition of anecdotes and yarns that come with the territory, often serves as a doorway to new insights and never-ending observation. Concurrent to writing, travel, and making stuff, I’ve always kept a job at a gallery, starting out under other folk’s shingles, and ending up with my own.
For ten years, sourcing and exhibiting Russian paintings was a passion. I loved the narrative aspect of curating a show. The takeaway was less about being sales-driven, rather, I got to meet some of most fascinating people I ever have, including artists that inspired and encouraged me not only to be a gallerist – that I have something more, if not, something different to give. Along the way of telling their stories, I shifted from working interpretively to sharing early sketches and emerging conceptual ideas in a personal pursuit to become their colleague. These mentors, in turn, became teachers, friends, harsh critics, and heroes who knew before I did that a career change was looming.
But, what of the gallery? Easy to walk away from in theory, but not so in practice: responsibilities abound. Following the suggestion of several influential clients, collectors, and curators, I took my time in downsizing, delegating, and rebranding my shingle to a manageable level. As the market has changed irreversibly over the past decade, so has the business model necessary to be relevant in a thriving global industry. I choose to be small, but that does not exclude the goal of excellence in spotting something new or reflecting on art historical material in an engaging and original light.
Having developed relationships with top art dealers, museums, auction houses, corporate and private collections worldwide, M. Kelner Projects will better serve both established collectors and those just starting out. This is a rare opportunity to explore some of Russia’s most idiosyncratic art and a chance to see important images created here in the West, yet distinctively part of a larger, international body of work. Of late, artists showcased here have been exhibited at Documenta, the Venice Biennale, the Saatchi Gallery, and the Louvre Museum among other top institutional venues. Enjoy and ask questions!
Vitaly Komar, Lenin with Crown, oil and tempera on canvas, 183x152 cm, 73x60 in, 2008
Arkady Petrov, Birth, oil on canvas, 135x150 cm, 54x60 in, 1989
Alexander Kosolapov, Red Venus, oil on canvas, 157x117 cm, 62x47 in, 1986
Komar & Melamid, Bear, oil on canvas, 92x122 cm, 37x49 in, 1982
Leonid Sokov, The Bear, bronze, 30x13x43 cm, 12x6x17 in, 1996
Alexander Kosolapov, Malevich Sold Here, acrylic on canvas, 132x203 cm, 52x80 in, 1989
Larissa Zvezdochetova, Anxious Citizen Committee oil on canvas 49x49 in, 1988
Leonid Lamm, Peace/Mir, acrylic on paper, 51x41 cm, 21x17 in, 1982
Oscar Rabin, Ambulance / Angels / My Apartment, oil on canvas, 79x61 cm, 32x25 in, 1968
Yefim Ladyzhensky, Still Life, ink on paper, 51x66 cm, 21x26 in, 1967
Boris Kozlov, Christmas, acryilic on paper, 44x60 cm, 18x24 in, 1993
Ilya Shenker, Brighton Beach Wedding, oil on canvas, 61x76 cm, 25x30 in, 1976