XL Gallery opened in December 1993 in a single-room flat in Ulansky lane. The gallery was founded by the art historian Elena Selina and the philosopher Sergei Khripun, who ran Album publishers. According to Elena Selina, XL was a ‘quick response gallery,’ who worked with ‘artists who would not necessarily make it to museums.’ While it played an active role in establishing the Russian art market, XL also made significant intellectual contributions to art practice. The gallery has repeatedly staged large group shows in external venues. In the 20 years since it opened, XL Gallery has moved several times and has been based at Winzavod since 2007.
XL Gallery’s archive contains documents for the gallery’s early projects (1993-2002). This includes texts by artists and curators, exhibition invitations, photographic documentation and reviews. Materials relating to the gallery’s external projects and artist portfolios are filed separately. These contain essays, articles, interviews, and photographs. The long list of artists who have worked with XL Gallery includes Nikita Alexeev, Alexey Belyaev-Gintovt, Alexander Brener, Lyudmila Gorlova, Oleg Kulik, Georgy Litichevsky, Igor Makarevich, Evgeniy Mitta, Boris Mikhailov, Igor Mukhin, the Mitki and Fenso groups, Andrei Monastyrsky, Irina Nakhova, Timur Novikov, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Viktor Pivovarov, Dmitri Prigov, Aidan Salakhova, Vadim Fishkin, Olga Chernysheva, Ivan Chuikov, and Alexei Shulgin.