Olga Chernysheva’s Autoradio, the artist’s latest solo exhibition at the gallery, comprises a new series of paintings and drawings that capture people in moments of detachment from everyday life. Chernysheva’s subjects are observed in transitional spaces: alone, on the street or driving their cars; wading in the shallows of the Moscow River; or ascending escalators in winter coats and hats. Her works are concentrated scenes of liminal lives, where people are autonomous yet surrounded by others, where time slows, and where backgrounds recede into abstraction.
The ways that people negotiate the complications of city life are the starting point for Chernysheva’s philosophical meditations on the state of the self in a time of flux. She focusses on small details of her often unwitting subjects as they face a society in turbulence, where the belief in a common future has been worn ragged and where a pressurized self-sufficiency has become paramount.
Curator Adam Szymczyk, in referencing Chernysheva’s channeling of the history of Realism, likens her work to writing:
“Writing comes from drawing, from reality that was tangible first and then became distant as an abstract sign. Ideas (as in: idealism) may well have their source in mark-making, not the other way around…Olga Chernysheva is a writer who makes photographs, a photographer who makes drawings, a draughtswoman who makes paintings, and a painter who makes films.”1.
1. Szymczyk, Adam. “Olga Chernysheva: Sheer Presence.” Camera Austria International. No 142. 2018: 9-20.