„Sie haben sich etwas erwartet.
Sie haben sich vielleicht etwas anderes erwartet.
Jedenfalls haben Sie sich etwas erwartet.
Allenfalls haben Sie sich das erwartet, was Sie hier hören.
Aber auch in diesem Fall haben Sie sich etwas anderes erwartet.“
(Peter Handke, Publikumsbeschimpfung, Frankfurt/Main 1981, S. 15)
Characteristic for the paintings of Sanya Kantarovsky (*1982 in Moscow, lives in New York) is a juxtaposition of abstract and concrete elements and their vivid interaction. A canvas that seems to combine purely abstract forms upon first sight, for example, can turn out to depict a drawn curtain or an arm, rendered visible by the addition of a single, inconspicuous painted hand. The abstract arrangement of two simple, intersecting lines might equally be perceived as windows and doors. Within the artist’s work, figuration and abstraction are at once present and absent as elements of mutual dependence and interrogation. The representational parts are reminiscent of disparate sources: items painted in the elegance of Fred Astaire or in the tradition of the famous illustrations of New Yorker magazine stand alongside others recalling political visual propaganda from the 1930s Soviet era or illustrations from children’s books. The subtle melancholic humor of a Franz Kafka informs the atmosphere of these images, complemented by a light touch and gentle use of color. His canvases are multilayered organisms that eliminate the difference between the concrete and abstract, high and low, the decorative and the politically engaged, through their precise juxtaposition. On first sight, they seem to be seductively accessible but a close inspection reveals that all terms of how things should be regarded or classified are invalidated.
The new series of paintings for „You are Not an Evening“ rather shows a state of the before, the afterwards, the behind and the in-between than depicting the actual incident: individuals are shown departing the scene, with their backs turned to the viewer or even all but gone from view. Figures stare in fascination at something that lies beyond the bounds of our perception. Elsewhere, abstract forms encroach upon the image’s narrative like dark clouds… For his paintings Sanya Kantarovsky develops a situation in the GAK, where a blue glass plate serves as an filter for perception and a linear sculpture opens a space within the space. A labyrinthine structure, a hybrid of autonomous sculpture and exhibition display, interacts with the specifics of the institutional architecture, brings to mind the process of perception of the viewer by forced movement and enacts the exhibition as a play.
Sanya Kantarovsky was born 1982 in Moscow and lives in New York. He studied fine arts at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, and the University of Los Angeles. He has exhibited at LaxArt (Los Angeles) and several galleries internationally, and curated the group show Things, Words and Consequences at Moscow Museum of Modern Art in 2012. He is currently working on an animated film for LaxArt and is working on a two person presentation with Frances Stark for Art Basel Features. „You are Not an Evening“ is his first institutional exhibition in Europe.
Janneke de Vries
Sat 25.05.13, 7 pm
(Long Night of the Museums)
Thu 06.06.13, 7 pm
Guided tour with Janneke de Vries
Thu 22.08.13, 7 pm
Guided tour with Sandra Hampe
The Senator for Culture, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Karin and Uwe Hollweg Foundation
The artist wants to thank Nils Von Berg.