Leaden Afternoon | Art Market Budapest, 2019
Oct 03 – Oct 06 2019

fābula gallery presents a combined show of the sculptor Anatoly Komelin and the painter Irina Starzhenetskaya. For most of the year the artist-couple lives and works in the small Russian city of Tarussa, situated in Kaluga region, famous for being a family nest of many generations of writers, poets and artists. All the works presented at Art Market Budapest have been created in and inspired by Tarussa: its sublime natural beauty and picturesque views, as well as the people living and working there.

Anatoly Komelin is one of the most prominent living Russian sculptors. Born in 1953 in Mari El republic, he has lived and worked in Moscow since 1981, moving to his outdoor studio in Tarussa every summer. Initially working with clay and bronze, Anatoly Komelin created works in the framework of the figurative plastics tradition. Over time, in search for solutions to his formal and conceptual goals, he developed a unique ascetic artistic language. He started working with wood and natural stone, experimenting with conventional and later with abstract and primitive forms, defining the power and expressiveness of minimalist vocabulary.

Irina Starzhenetskaya belongs to the generation of young artists from the 1970s. These painters introduced a new style and aesthetic into Soviet painting as along with their own vision of history and modern life. Her wild and free painting is tempered by a subtle and accurate application of colour; and is ennobled by a series of deep cultural references. In her work Irina combines two essential layers of Russian culture, and by overlapping and juxtaposing familiar motifs she has developed an individual artistic style. On the one hand, there are motifs from the Russian avant-garde; its search for colour experiments with form. Whilst on the other, it is possible to trace the traditions of ancient Russian monumental painting: the capacious expressiveness of symbolism with a bold domination of space.

Both artists live in work in Russia, moving between Moscow and Tarussa. Their works are part of numerous important public and private collections, including: The Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), The Russian Museum (St Petersburg), MMOMA (Moscow), The Museum Ludwig (Cologne), and The Slovak National Gallery (Bratislava).