New Circumstances

Nadezhda Everling

29 October – 1 December 2019

The retrospective exhibition of Nadezhda Everling, a master of greatest versatility, combining the talents of a painter, graphic- and theater artist, presents unique textile collages and paintings, from the 1990s to the early 21st century, perhaps the most brilliant period of her work related to ‘pop art’, which attracted the artist with its shouting poisonous colors, aggressive ideas and, at the same time, ironically realistic themes, in line with the spirit of the time.

The core of the exhibition constitute very original collages, unusually spectacular in design, ‘from a pile of beautiful cuttings of fabric,’ as the artist has put it. In the 1990s, Everling turned to textile collages in search of new forms of the art theatrical performance. She then joined the trend initiated by Timur Novikov and Olga Florenskaya. Whatever these works may be called, ‘collages on cloth’, ‘quilts’ or ‘objects’, they invariably combine playfully theatrical and decorative aspects. The brightly pink James Bond, an iconic symbol of masculinity, conqueror of women’s hearts, Buddha the luminous alien, the Memories of the Future made of tin cans, ironic textile compositions, all are imbued with the feeling warmth and security, the artist’s humor adds to any space.

The exhibition invites the spectators to get in touch with Everling’s unique  heritage, in which her entire experience, street scenes, passers-by, and all the vicissitudes of life, as well as the artist herself, become episodes of colorful costume performance, turning everyday life into a stage composition or a bright carnival.

The exhibition includes about thirty paintings and textile collages.

Image: Color and Plasticity

Pelageya Shuriga

30 October – 1 December 2019

The retrospective exhibition of Pelageya Shuriga, a talented painter and sculptor of Petrograd-Leningrad, for the first time in such a large scale, presents her work, from the 1920s to the late 1970s.

The exhibition shows an entire gallery of  portraits, both sculptures and drawings. Precious documents, they demonstrate Leningrad cultural achievements during the period on question. Shuriga created the portraits while working at the Leningrad Porcelain Factory, in the 1930s, as well as during the evacuation to Irbit in the Urals; those are portraits of her close circle, her daughter, Virko Black, as well as painters, sculptors, and art historians.

Shuriga’s talent of a draftsman manifested itself very early. The drawings of that period are evidence of her interest in lubok, popular during the revolutionary period, and in Consructivism, Primitivism, Negro art, and clay toys. Her tastes an inclinations remained practically unchanged throughout her life.

As a draftsman, Shuriga mastered a number of techniques, pencil drawing, coal, lithography, mixed techniques, etc. In restrained pastel tones are large half-length portraits of Leningrad artists, Alexander Strekavin, Leonid Mess, Gavriil Glikman, Tatiana Linde, Germain Mellup and Alexander Murzin.

Pelageya Shuriga’s decorative talent revealed itself most completely during the so-called Thaw period of the 1960s – 70 s. At the time, Shuriga was creating objects of applied art intended to decorate our everyday life and, simultaneously, form an artistic taste in spectators. Very unusual are her flowers in bowls and jugs, cactuses in the form of vessels and bottles in the form of a female figure, of painted porcelain. This is real sculpture of small forms, enriched with color; the works are unique because they never were replicated at the Leningrad Porcelain Factory, with which Shuriga was associated for years.

Shuriga created her works absolutely organically. One may think that they did not require effort (in this respect they are similar to folk art). At the same time, through the rich gamut of that ‘feast of life’ we feel the notes of tragedy typical of a richly gifted artist who lived in twentieth-century Russia, during the period of the most dramatic historical changes.

The exhibition includes over 100 sculptures and drawing, as well as smaller art objects.

Beyond Myself

Tito Marci

29 October – 17 November 2019

The Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21st Century Art and Italian Institute for Culture in St. Petersburg present the Beyond Myself exhibition of the Italian artist Tito Marci.

The name of the exhibition reflects its main idea, viz. the search for a solution of the problem of self-identification through the study of one’s ego. Marci’s self-portraits, full-, and half-length, head-and-shoulders, against a golden background, etc., are different images of himself viewed, as it were, ‘from within’ and ‘from without’. He appears in everyday clothes, business suits, fur caps, oriental turban or fez. Wearing different national costumes, however, the artist remains himself: always a thinker in search of the essence of art. All the portraits are united by a mystical Indian symbol of the ‘third eye’, tilaka, betraying the reliance on a certain religious tradition. These mysterious portraits with sacred signs and inscriptions in Greek and Old Armenian help the spectator understand the dependence of different cultures in our world upon one another.

The graphic quality, division of the composition into portions and the abundant use of gold in the background make one think about the Siena School of Trecento. The author seems to revitalize the classical heritage with its interest in the ‘craft’ of painting, in combination with every-day imagery and underlying magic, all this making his paintings similar to Dadaist objects. In this way, Marci seeks to conceptualize aesthetically our civilization and the role of personality in it.

Tito Marci’s peculiar vision that manifests itself in self-portraits brings us closer to understanding the modern world and our place in it. Such an approach to one’s own self-portrait, bold and even shocking at times, makes the viewer pay closer attention to his or her face and soul.

The exhibition includes about thirty paintings.