15 February – 28 March 2013
50-58 Vyner Street, London E2 9DQ
Open Wednesday – Saturday 11.00 – 18.00, Sunday 12.00 – 18.00
Young Russian artist Anna Parkina has attracted international critical attention for her collages which mix photography, drawing and text and usually incorporate bold geometric forms and colours, the most recent body of which are currently showing at Wilkinson Gallery in Bethnal Green. Parkina’s collages often reference filmic montage and industrial design, themes and techniques associated with the early twentieth century Soviet avant-garde, particularly the photo-collages of Aleksander Rodchenko and the abstract compositions of Liubov Popova. Her works evoke the forms and imagery of Russian Constructivism but draw upon Parkina’s unique language of mass-culture motifs and abstractions extracted from her surroundings and reflect the changes in her home city of Moscow since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the case of this new work inspired by another Russian artist group of the 1920’s called the Union of Real Art (OBERIU) – a new discovery for me! – Moscow garages are inter-spliced with the garages of San Franscisco, the parasols of a Los Angeles café are resituated in a Parisian stairwell, all teetering on the brink of figuration and abstraction. This is a strong show by an artist who has an interesting practice, creating richly layered abstracted surfaces from imagery whose histories are often ideologically opposed as a way to reflect on political realignments in the twentieth century and contemporary Russian society and identity.
Main image: Anna Parkina, Evacuation (detail), 2013, collage of laser jet photo prints, 35.2 × 40cm. Courtesy the artist and Wilkinson Gallery.