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    Complete archive, 1999-present


      Subterranean Russian Art
    A Pratt on the back

    A group of Pratt students, all of Russian origin, make up for the lack of an official exhibition by putting on their own striking senior show, "Subterranean Russian Art."


    This group show is subterranean in two ways: all the artists are bubbling under the radar of the established art world and the exhibit space is located two flights below street level making for a truly underground experience. The artists here are all young and of Russian extraction and are living in the New York, Philadelphia or New Jersey areas. As show coordinator Anna Repp (who at the opening was resplendent in a beautiful green gown) put it, "We're all friends and recently out of school. We all went to Pratt, where they don't give everyone a senior show." Repp sought to create an environment with this show and that she did; the artwork hanging among the stone walls gives the impression of a cabin filled with visual treasure.

    Exhibition: Subterranean Russian Art.
    Paintings, photographs, sculpture, video by: AniA, Masha Shapiro, Natasha Vikhliaeva, Ulka, Anna Repp, Nastya Rogovaya, Stas Nemetz, Ilya Korolev, Masha Bogomolova, Tashka Niki, Albert Arakelian, Valera Baranovsky, Alla Padolskaya.

    Related links: Official site
    The show should be viewed in its entirety, but some artists stand out. Alla Padolskaya's square-canvased contemplative portraits show evocative detail. These figures seem plagued by loneliness or are waiting for something. Masha Shapiro's paintings of winged figures are medieval-esque and haunting. A madonna and child painting looks forlorn. Natasha Vikhliaeva's pen and ink drawings are filled with activity; in one work of hers, Russian constructivist images lie atop one another in red, black and white.

    Repp's large color photographs of objects found on the ground ask the viewer to pay closer attention to things we overlook every day. A sculpture by Iliya Korolev of a circular flourescent light bulb behind a canvas may be a halo waiting to be claimed. Nastya Rogovaya's sculture is a remarkable creation; a suspended wooden table-like form with images of beetles, hands and winged insects on the surface. "I was inspired by nature," the artist says, "I like the architecture of this shape. I wanted to make it look like a bug, like how the legs of the table are like legs of insects."

    Valera Baranovsky's sculptures of the wires that surround champagne corks are witty and delicate. Ania's black canvas, cut out like a jigsaw puzzle, has sinuous pale lines. Elegantly decorative are the graceful art-deco-like sculptures of Albert Arakelian. And near the entrance/exit is a clever portrait by Vikhliaeva: it's composed of various kinds of rice and beans acting as a sort of testament to the ingenuity present in this show.

    MARCH 21, 2001

    Click any thumbnail for a larger image.


    "Transformation of a Plane"

    Iliya Korolev
    "A Red Light"


    Anna Repp
    Natasha Vikhliaeva
    Natasha Vikhliaeva
    Masha Bogomolova

    Masha Bogomolova

    Reader comments on Subterranean Russian Art:

  • greetings!   from byxLaw, Mar 22, 2001
  • privet ot Slavika   from byxLAW, Mar 11, 2002
  • Mashk!   from Kostya, Nov 15, 2002

  • Post a comment on "Subterranean Russian Art"