Art & Space Gallery
Art & Space Gallery
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Art & Space Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by 2010 Kandinsky Prize laureate Taisia Korotkova.

Reproduction combines Korotkova’s recent experience giving birth in a hospital with her longstanding interest in updating the Soviet socialist realist genre of “production paintings” depicting scenes from workers’ everyday lives. Her subject is the rearing of children by laboratory methods, depicted on the same mass scale as collective farming and industrial labor was in the USSR. But here, the idealized, heroic romanticism her technique suggests is coldly scientific, mechanistic. Newborn babies lie in a row of incubators like goods from a conveyor belt. A single infant lies on a scale for future use. Scientists experiment with artificial insemination on mannequin mother and child, as if to indicate technology is now the arbiter of immaculate conception. The classic utopian trope of collective child-bearing first expounded in Plato’s Republic and viciously satirized in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is prevalent in our own, contemporary world.

That Korotkova’s art should be concerned with questions of genealogy, scientific utopia, and social issues is no coincidence. Before studying to be a contemporary artist, she trained at the Surikov Institute, a bastion of the social realist tradition pioneered in the 19th century by Ilya Repin seemingly untouched by the last century of art history and theory. Both her parents are artists; her late grandfather, Nikolai Sukoyan, was a leading Soviet-era architect whose buildings include Moscow’s Central House of Artists, home to the Art Moscow fair. That biography is prevalent in her distinct painting technique, which combines strictly traditional icon-painting methods in tempera on wood with cold pastel tones reminiscent of optimistic 1960s Soviet illustration to approach contemporary subjects. The result is a curious kind of contemporary iconography, one that reveals the structures at work in modern society and inspires us to question, rather than canonize, the forces that drive them.

Taisia Korotkova (Moscow, 1980) is a Russian painter. Two works from the Reproduction series were awarded the Kandinsky Prize in December 2010 in the young artists’ nomination. Korotkova has had solo exhibitions in Berlin and London. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, including Swedish Family (Uppsala) and the 4th Moscow Biennale (2011).

Sputnik Art Foundation is a non-profit organization which aims to expand the boundaries of and audience for contemporary art. The foundation makes extensive use of cutting-edge technology in pursuit of those goals. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to browse Taisia Korotkova’s electronic catalogue, in addition to the collection of Russian contemporary art
e-books produced by the Foundation.

Christina Steinbrecher