30.01—05.03.2019

Thing-off-Itself

Thing-off-Itself

The Naked Room presents the first major solo show of Lucy Ivanova – one of the most ambitious and interesting young Ukrainian artists working in a media of painting. Lucy is a graduate of the National Art Academy and masters a mighty good old craft of brush and paint that the Ukrainian painting-centered visual culture is famous for. However, her oeuvre is so much far from the rigidness and traditionality of typical academic works, as she is able to speak contemporary issues through an “oil on canvas” format. The gallery curators Lizaveta German and Maria Lanko comment: "Art historians should never use the word «beautiful» when giving a professional review of an artwork. However, the practice of Lucy Ivanova should be an exception here. Her paintings are beautiful—if under the beauty we understand visible parameters of things that reveal their internal condition unaccessible to an eye. Lucy herself defines her subject of interest in a bold way—it is a reality and its material features and boundaries. The artist outlines the limits of her everyday reality through images of simple objects, situations, obscured episodes of city life, interior of her apartment and studio. These trivial things are dissolved in her semi-figurative canvases to become attractively enigmatic. There is a temptation to classify Lucy’s oeuvre through the traditional genre division of landscape, portrait and still life. Indeed, the narrative side of some canvases seems deceptively obvious. Here are the cows on the meadow. Here is a nude figure. Here is a ficus. As simple as that. But the tail of a mermaid and the leopard near a lilac pond suggest that we need to look a little bit deeper. That’s where a different story begins. The home plant in a pot eclipses the faceless human figure as if it is posing for the portrait itself. Enlarged to phantasmagoric sizes this plant aims for the status of a landscape on another painting. Eventually the plant returns to its regular habitat of nature morte. But again, there’s nothing cozy about it, and it’s raining in the shower cabin. Intense, sensual and somewhat alarming colour scheme only reinforces an uneasy feeling—everything is a bit off a place in these paintings. The reality of Ivanova is weird, but sexy".

, Thing-off-Itself
canvas, mixed media, oil
40х45 см
reserve