Press Release

Calvert 22 announces presentation of contemporary Russian art gift to Tate from leading Russian Investment Company VTB Capital

VTB Capital, Russia’s leading investment company is delighted to present a works series by the acclaimed Russian artist, Olga Chernysheva to the Tate Collection.

This gift marks the start of an annual initiative developed by London arts foundation Calvert 22 as part of its new strategic partnership with VTB Capital. The partnership supports the core activity and strategic aims of the not-for-profit arts foundation which is unique in the U.K. by specialising in the presentation of contemporary art and culture from Russia.

This annual arts gift is established to identify significant contemporary art works from both established and emerging Russian artists exhibited as part of Calvert 22’s artistic programme, and to work with appropriate strategic partners to donate such pieces to major UK national public arts organisations.

This exciting initiative develops opportunities for exposing the work of talented Russian artists. Placing their work in the British public institutions will play a valuable role in raising the profile of Russian contemporary art in the UK.

For this first presentation, Calvert 22 has worked collaboratively with VTB Capital to identify the most appropriate artist and recipient institution, drawing upon the foundation’s curatorial expertise, artist networks and connections with major galleries and arts institutions.

The first artist to benefit from this exciting venture is the Moscow based artist, Olga Chernysheva. The work being donated to Tate is On Duty, 2007 a photographic series of 11 Gelatin silver fibre prints, which documents escalator attendants on the Moscow underground network. Despite the isolation of these figures, trapped as they are in the monotonous world of public sector officialdom, Chernysheva’s tender portraits somehow manage to uncover, beneath the apparently expressionless faces, the hidden human potential and inescapable idiosyncrasies of each individual.

Olga Podoinitsyna, Member of the Board at VTB Capital, says:

On Duty is a wonderful work by a contemporary Russian artist and we feel it is the perfect choice to mark the launch of this annual gift. VTB Capital’s expert team successfully champions opportunities inherent in the Russian market to investors around the globe and we see this initiative as an extension of our commitment to promoting the talents and success of contemporary Russia on an international stage.

Nonna Materkova, Founder/Director of Calvert 22, says:

Calvert 22 is proud to have helped organise this generous gift from our strategic partner, VTB Capital to the Tate.  Raising the profile of contemporary artists and art from Russia is a key part of Calvert 22’s ambitions and of our shared aims with VTB Capital and we are delighted that this significant work from Olga Chernysheva is to become part of the Tate Collection.

Sir Nicholas Serota, Director ,Tate, says:

Tate is delighted to be the recipient of this gift from VTB Capital. It highlights the importance of Calvert 22’s artistic programme which brings the most outstanding emerging and contemporary artistic production by Russian artists to the UK. Olga Chernysheva’s, On Duty 2007, is a poignant body of work. The gift will not only significantly enhance our holdings of works by Russian contemporary artists but it will also form an important part of Tate’s photographic collection.