Leonid Grolman is a member of the St. Petersburg group of Jewish artists "Pgishot". He took part in many collective and personal exhibitions in Russia and abroad. Grolman is often called "a master of contrasts", "a hoaxer", and "a myth-creator". The current exhibition is based on the contrast between complexity of a labyrinth and simplicity of geometrical forms. The artist is not only exposing the labyrinth but opposing to it something meaningfully different, solid, and ironically positive one. These are the "simple forms" – safe and mono-semantic figures that do not look significant and do not foist on anyone an endless chain of associations.
I like to look at apartment buildings as they are being built: they are as if transparent and I can see what parts it is made of. I am impressed with the simplest shapes to which everyone is used to and never notices any more. These shapes are a sphere and a block, a rectangle, or a plank. They could also be various shapes carved out of wood and decorated — planks, bell-shapes, cones. All these are sold on the markets in Russia. I make the strangest shapes out of these parts, which look like children’s toys. I call them “touching toys” because you feel like touching them. I like pyramid towers made of various shapes. They can be put together in a variety of shapes. It is breathtakingly interesting even simply to roll a ball through a maze of paths and hills.
A visitor may feel like touching some exhibited art , but it is forbidden. On my exhibitions, on the contrary, you are encouraged to touch, press, turn, bend, so that the plaything would open up to you. This is when these simplest elements come alive and transform. Balls and cubes come with bells, mirrors, letters, doors, and even… There is even a mysterious “void” as a strange indescribable element that could be felt. The void allows to touch itself and play with it.
A ball rolls along the route, the cube rotates around a stick, pyramids change their shapes, the mysterious and haughty “black square” comes in handy because now you can put in on your hand. The bell gives a signal of time, and the Void compresses to let your hand come inside your home for a minute. If you so wish, you could give it a short name.
A tiny coffret in a new year tale will reveal its silly secret to you, and the most perfect gift will be a stick with a ball on one side and a cube on the other. One of the objects can incorporate other elements, changed and reconstructed. Nowadays such playthings are called interactive, any many museums make such things available to visitors. When it comes to my objects, this is not so much having fun as it is to thing and see more than when you just look, and not touch, move or makes sounds.