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Selection of new and recent works by Russian artist Vladimir Ovchinnikov at Erarta Galleries
Vladimir Ovchinnikov, From the Diary, 2011. Oil on canvas, 90 x 130.
LONDON.- Erarta Galleries London presents a selection of new and recent works by Vladimir Ovchinnikov. One of the most significant artists to emerge from St. Petersburg during the Soviet era, Vladimir Ovchinnikov is known for his paintings that blur the boundaries between realism and surrealism, fusing together contemporary Russian subject matter with magical, fantastic elements, often derived from myth and religion. His distinctively rotund, heavy-bodied, yellow-skinned figures have a primeval, statuesque quality, as if stemming from ancient monuments or religious icons – and yet at the same time his works also allude to social and political conditions, vividly satirizing contemporary mores, and puncturing the hypocrisy and spiritual bankruptcy at the heart of everyday life.

A pioneer of the nonconformist movement, in which artists rebelled against the State aesthetic of Socialist Realism, Ovchinnikov co-organized the ill-fated ‘Exhibition of the Workmen Artists’ at the Hermitage Museum in 1964 – infamously closed after just three days by the KGB, who also fired the museum’s director. In 1971, he staged a group exhibition in his own studio, which – despite being similarly repressed and having works confiscated – was key in inspiring the development of an underground, apartment-exhibition scene. Like other ‘unofficial’ artists, he continued to experience several decades of harassment and persecution by the Soviet authorities, but eventually emerged – after the reforms of the early ‘90s – as one of Russia’s most celebrated artists. In 1996 he was given a solo retrospective at The Hermitage.

In his most recent works, exhibited here, the tone is generally less scathing, more reflective and meditative. While there is still an important element of social commentary, the focus is on a more profound exploration of myth and religion. Other stories, too, serve as inspiration: images from Gulliver’s Travels, or from contemporary Russian literature. Perhaps most pertinent of all, as he enters his seventh decade, are his reflections on the artistic process itself, in the various paintings that depict the act of painting, and on the threat of encroaching loss and decay, in his powerful still-lives.





Today's News

November 28, 2011

Carnegie Museum of Art showcases legendary black photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris

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Glass artist Dale Chihuly to launch Halcyon Gallery in London's New Bond Street

Vasily Vereshchagin's masterpiece to highlight Christie's Russian Art sale in London

Wright announces bi-annual sale featuring rare and significant works of the 20th century

Michel Majerus' complex and comprehensive oeuvre on view at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart

Philadelphia's Academy of Natural Sciences brings 'Birds of America' to public

"Cloud Studies: The Scientific View of the Sky" at the Fotomuseum in Winterthur

Nebraska "Carhenge," car replica of Stonehenge, up for sale - Price: $300,000

Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla's third solo show at Lisson Gallery opens in London

Selection of new and recent works by Russian artist Vladimir Ovchinnikov at Erarta Galleries

Luxury and quality form a partnership for Quinn's Dec. 7 Estate Jewelry Auction

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Expanded museum gives boost to Tel Aviv art scene

Exhibition surveys responses by visual artists to pressing social issues in America today

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Once Removed: Tania Theodorou & Adam Etmanski at Seelevel Gallery

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