Olga Chernysheva 26 November 2014 – 17 January 2015
03 December 2014
6-10 Lexington Street, London, W1F 0LB
Private view: Tuesday 25 November 2014, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
London—Pace London is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Moscow-based artist Olga Chernysheva. The exhibition will be on view from 26 November 2014 to 17 January 2015 at 6–10 Lexington Street. The first presentation of Chernysheva’s work at Pace, this exhibition will feature selections of her photography capturing the streets of Moscow alongside drawings, videos and a projection.
Moving fluidly between media, Chernysheva offers a lens into the world of post-Soviet Russia. She became well known in the 1990s for her exploration of the ironies and idiosyncrasies to emerge in the aftermath of the USSR’s dissolution. Fascinated with capitalism and individualism as notions once alien to Russian life, Chernysheva depicts the residuals of collectivism, once central to the Russian experience, in tension with the domineering tendencies of individualism and consumerism that permeate the public sphere of her home in Moscow.
The photographs on view illustrate Chernysheva’s sharp eye for the sociological value of the quotidian. She documents both the general and specific in her photographs of daily life. Her photographs—always taken from behind—depict the variety of winter hat styles she has seen on strangers in Moscow. The different shapes and colours ensnare the viewer with their formal properties and stage a dialogue about individuality and mass culture, highlighting difference in spite of the uniform composition of each photograph.
Chernysheva’s interest in the mundane reality of street life reveals both an embrace of nineteenth-century Realism and a rejection of the more aggrandizing Socialist Realism that pervaded her childhood. “I work quite consciously with unimportant things, always drawn to places where an event either already happened or has not yet begun,” *1 Chernysheva said. Her work reflects the tradition of Soviet propaganda and its tendency towards conformity and repetition while incorporating the transition to consumer-driven individuality.
This interest finds its roots in her academic training and childhood. Part of the last generation of artists who grew up during the Soviet Union, Chernysheva studied in Moscow in the mid-1980s, training in socialist modes of art production. Her development out of such a rigid system has informed her media-spanning observations of contemporary Russian life. “Her ecological talent to transform life’s everyday absurdity into meaningful art is the hallmark of Chernysheva,” wrote Ekaterina Andreeva. “It stems from a strong desire to be in contact with the world and from her belief in the practical magic of art.” *2
Pace’s exhibition coincides with Keeping Sight at M HKA—Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, an exhibition in which Chernysheva responds to and displays work alongside pieces from the museum’s permanent collection. Keeping Sight remains on view to 18 January 2015.
*1 Olga Chernysheva, quoted in Astrid Wege, “Olga Chernysheva: Bak, Basis Voor Actuele Kunst,” Trans. Oliver E. Dreyfuss, Artforum, 49.9, May 2011, 300
*2 Ekaterina Andreeva, “Our Time According to Olga Chernysheva” The Happiness Zone, (Moscow: Stella Art Gallery, 2004),17-23.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Olga Chernysheva (b. 1962, Moscow) was trained in animation at the Russian State University of Cinematography in Moscow and also studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Chernysheva represented Russia in the 2001 Venice Biennale and has been featured in recent solo exhibitions at BAK, Utrecht, and Kunsthalle Erfurt, Germany. Her work was shown in numerous prominent group exhibitions including Two Thousand Eleven, Para/Site Artspace, Hong Kong (2011–12); Ostalgia, New Museum, New York (2011); and Russia!, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2005). She has also been featured in numerous international biennials and triennials including The Bergen Assembly (2013), the Berlin Biennale (2010), the Moscow Biennale (2007, 2009) and the Biennale of Sydney (2006). Chernysheva lives and works in Moscow.
Pace is a leading contemporary art gallery representing many of the most significant international artists and estates of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Founded by Arne Glimcher in Boston in 1960 and led by Marc Glimcher, Pace has been a constant, vital force in the art world and has introduced many renowned artists’ work to the public for the first time. Pace has mounted more than 800 exhibitions, including scholarly exhibitions that have subsequently travelled to museums, and published nearly 450 exhibition catalogues. Today Pace has ten locations worldwide: four in New York; two in London; one in Beijing, one in Hong Kong and temporary spaces in both Menlo Park, California, and Zuoz, Switzerland. Pace London inaugurated its flagship gallery at 6 Burlington Gardens in 2012.
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Image credit: Olga Chernysheva, from series Waiting for the Miracle, 2000, colour analog print, 100 x 150 cm, 55 x 80 cm, © Olga Chernysheva, Courtesy Pace London.