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."
By ROBIN EISGRAU
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
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
|SUBTERRANEAN RUSSIAN ART|
|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
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|
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