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vita

Vadim Kosmatschof was born in 1938 in Kaluga, Russia. He studied at the Moscow Art School (today Moscow State Academy Art Lyceum) and subsequently at the Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Design, graduating in 1965. 

 

The latter institution provided the young artist with a very special context. A few of the professors, such as Vassiliev, Korshu, and the furniture school director Bikov, had formerly studied at the legendary VKhUTEMAS “Artistic and Technological Workshops” under such avant-garde artists as Rodchenko, Vesnin, Tatlin, Gabo, Melnikov, and El Lissitzky. 

 

Kosmatschof entered the Moscow art scene in the late 1960s with a series of pioneering works in ceramics and industrial porcelain. In this experiment with free form and technological innovations, he developed a totally new approach to the genre, postulating ceramics as an independent art form, free of any functional and illustrative contexts, and thereby playing a highly influential role in this field. 

 

In the 1970s, Kosmatschof worked closely with some of the most progressive modernist architects, such as Abdula Achmedov and Felix Novikov, and was able to realize several large-scale sculptural projects unprecedented in their freedom and size, such as the 20-meter sculpture in front of the National Library in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. 

 

In 1978 he took part in the exhibition “Unofficial Soviet Art” at the Biennale di Venezia. This was followed by further invitations to exhibit and teach in the West. His applications for a temporary travel visa were rejected and he applied for emigration, which automatically meant that he was banned from his profession.

 

In 1979 Kosmatschof emigrated to Austria with his artist wife Elena Koneff and daughter Mascha. 

 

From 1980 to 1983, he lived and worked in Vienna, first in an atelier in the Fischapark “Art Factory”, organized by the renowned Austrian journalist Kuno Knöbl, in Weigelsdorf, Lower Austria. During this period, Kosmatschof participated in several exhibitions in Austria, Switzerland, and the USA. He also took part in the Steirischer Herbst festival, exhibiting his Black Visa series and realizing first large public sculpture, “Tree with Turbines”, contracted by Galerie H (Humanic) under the director Horst Gerhard Haberl. 

 

In 1983 he won his first competition for the commission of a public sculpture, to be realized in Mainz, Germany. Then, in quick succession, he won several other competitions for commissions in public spaces in Germany, which necessitated a move to that country. 

 

Between 1984 and 2010, the artist lived and worked in Germany, first in Bermersheim in Rheinland-Pfalz, and after 1993 in Wiesbaden. Parallel to his work on commissioned public art works, he also developed sculptural series, paintings and graphic series. Since 1988, he has worked on series of projects focusing on fundamental issues of the natural sciences which he relates to cosmological phenomena (TRANS_MISSION Vadim Kosmatschof – Organic Solar Sculpture published by SpringerWienNewYork on the occasion of the exhibition of his kinetic prototype “Unfolding Square” at Museum Ritter in Waldenbuch, Germany). 

 

In January 2007, Kosmatschof travelled to Russia for the first time since 1979 at the invitation of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts to participate in the exhibition “Victory over the Sun”, and subsequently accepted an invitation of the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg to participate in the exhibition “Adventure of the Black Square”, where his project “Unfolding Square” was spatially set in dialogue with Malevich’s “Black Square”. 

 

Vadim Kosmatschof now lives and works in Vienna and Höflein an der Hohen Wand, Austria.

 

 

Works by Vadim Kosmatschof are included in the art collections of:

 

Dresdner Bank in Berlin, Frankfurt/M, Frankfurt/O, Cottbus and Pirmasens, Germany; the collection at the official residence of the President of Germany, Bellevue Palace, Berlin; the collections of the Vorarlberg Museum in Bregenz, Austria, the Landesmuseum Mainz in Germany, the Landeszentralbank in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, the Ruedi Staechelin collection in Basel, Switzerland; the Museum Niederösterreich in Lower Austria, and the Stella Art Foundation in Moscow, as well as in numerous private art collections. 

 

 

Kosmatschof's permanent public art works include:

 

 

1971

 

Tectile Reliefs

Three ceramic wall reliefs for the building of the Russian Blind Association, Moscow, Russia

 

 

1972-1973 

 

Copper and Porcelain Wall Relief

Reception Hall of the Ministry of Defense, Alabino near Moscow, Russia 

 

 

1974-1975 

 

Konstrukta

National Library Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

 

 

1977 

 

Three Water Machines

Embassy of USSR, Nouakchott, Mauritania

 

Untitled

Administrative Building, Zarechje by Moscow, Russia  

 

 

1981 

 

Untitled in Corten

Gallery H | Humanic Foundation, Graz, Austria 

 

 

1984 

 

Untitled in Corten

Administration building on Valenciaplatz, Mainz, Germany

 

Corten Head

Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

 

 

1985

 

Blitz

Conference center at DEVK headquarters, Cologne, Germany

 

Fountain

Residential house for disabled children, Trier, Germany

 

 

1987-1988

  

Klepsydra

Courthouse, Pirmasens, Germany

 

 

1987-1988  

 

Hand

Educational Center, Münster, Germany

 

 

1988-1990 

 

Kugelstosser

Landeszentralbank headquarters in Rheinland-Pfalz, Mainz, Germany

 

Rotor

Landeszentralbank headquarters in Rheinland-Pfalz, Mainz, Germany

 

 

1991-1992 

 

Hovering Turbine

Kinetic courtyard installation for Elisabethkrankenhaus, Trier, Germany

 

Triangle

Sculpture for the International Casino, Mainz, Germany

 

Ring

Sculpture for the International Casino, Mainz, Germany

 

Wall Relief

Sculpture for the International Casino, Mainz, Germany

 

 

1994 

 

Diagonal 

Sculpture for Euromedzentrum, Nuremberg, Germany

 

Triangle

Sculpture for Euromedzentrum, Nuremberg, Germany

 

 

1998

 

Quartett

Four Sculptures inside the Hyatt Hotel, Mainz, Germany

 

 

2001 

 

Window

Kinetic sculpture with four balancing glass elements, Traun, Austria 

 

 

2002

 

Raummodulator

Kinetic sculpture for the atrium of the Investment and Economic Development Bank, Mainz, Germany

 

 

2011-2017 (ongoing)

 

Heliograph Series 

Kinetic sculptures, Sculpture Park in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, USA; private collection in Wolfsberg, Austria; open air sculptures outside the artist’s studio 

 


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