Chernysheva captures everyday life in post-Communist Russia and her subjects are the ordinary people of Moscow. Her works investigate the relationship between figure and landscape and the place of artist and viewer in regarding the documented image. Chernysheva seeks to play games with visual culture, often critiquing and satirizing the power relations that were represented in the official art of the Soviet Union.
Calvert22 is delighted to present an exhibition of work by Russian artist Olga
Chernysheva. This will be the largest exhibition of Chernysheva’s work to date in the
UK and will feature a selection of her video works, photographic series and
Olga Chernysheva captures everyday life in post-Communist Russia and her subjects are the ordinary people of Moscow. Her works investigate the relationship between figure and landscape and the place of artist and viewer in regarding the documented image. Moving away from the tradition of Soviet Realism, Chernysheva seeks to play games with visual culture, often critiquing and satirizing the power relations that were represented in the official art of the Soviet Union. Chernysheva observes closely to uncover and chronicle the humour and contradictions that underpin Russian society as it goes through a long period of upheaval.
In two black and white photographic series, Chernysheva documents moments in the lives of ordinary Russians, escalator attendants on the Moscow underground network, (On Duty, 2007) or Russian security personnel (Guards, 2009). Through the objective and dispassionate nature of her portraiture Chernysheva exposes the fact that behind each expressionless face lies the depth and complexity of the human mind. She uncovers the hidden human potential within figures isolated in a monotonous world governed by minor responsibility, over which they have little control.
An important part of Chernysheva’s practice remains drawing and painting. Her series of watercolours Blue-Yellow, 2009 depicts market traders alongside their stalls and wares. These works record a way of life still prevalent in Moscow today and refer back to Soviet times overtaken by the advance of aggressive capitalism that keeps many Muscovites marginalized and impoverished.
This exhibition will also include two video works: Russian Museum, 2003 and Intermission of the Heart, 2009. The latter draws direct inspiration from the poetic melancholy of 19th century Russian artist Pavel Fedotov’s painting Encore, More Encore! Olga Chernysheva (b. 1962) lives and works in Moscow. In 2001 she represented Russia at the 49th Venice Biennale and has been shortlisted for this year’s Artes Mundi Prize. Her work is held in major international museum collections, as well as in private and corporate collections.
Recent solo exhibitions include: ‘Inner Dialog’, Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna; ‘Present Past’, 3rd Moscow Biennale, Baibakova Art Projects, Moscow; ‘Adventure Istiklal’, Istanbul Biennial, Yapi Kredi Kazim Taskent Art Gallery; ‘Caesuras’, Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin(all 2009); ‘Acquaintances’, White Space Gallery, London; ‘After Eisenstein’ with Boris Mikhailov, Lunds Konsthall, Sweden; ‘New Works’, Foxy Production, New York (all 2008); ‘Involutions’, Catherine Bastide Gallery, Brussels (both 2007); ‘Panorama’, Stella Art Gallery, Moscow; ‘Sites’, Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (both 2006); ‘Fields’, Moscow Multimedia Complex for Contemporary Arts, Moscow (2005); ‘The Happiness Zone’, The State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg (2004).
Recent group exhibitions include: ‘Futurologia’, Garage: Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2010); ‘Dress Codes’, Third ICP Triennial of Photography and Video. International Centre of Photography Triennial, New York; ‘Future depends on you. New Rules’, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow; ‘Moving Stills’, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; ‘A Letter Concerning Enthusiasm’, AR/GE Kunst, Bolzano, Italy; ‘On the Line’, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (all 2009); ‘Russian Dreams’, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach; ‘Emergency Drawings’, METIS_NL, Amsterdam (both 2008).
Calvert22 is a registered charity. Founded by Russian economist Nonna Materkova, and under the artistic direction of David Thorp, Calvert22 opened in London in May 2009 and is the UK’s first not-for-profit foundation specialising in contemporary art from Russia and Eastern Europe. Calvert22 presents four to five curated exhibitions each year, and is currently developing an education and talks programme, with the aim of promoting Russia and Eastern Europe’s rich contemporary art culture.
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Private View Wednesday 30 June, 18-20.30
22 Calvert Avenue, London E2 7JP
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