Yelena Popova (b. 1978, Urals, Russia) lives and works in Nottingham, UK. She received an MA from Royal College of Art, a Postgraduate diploma from Byam Shaw, Central St. Martins, London, UK and a BA from Moscow Art Theatre School. She is the recipient of the Red Mansion Art Prize and residency in Beijing, China, the second prize of RCA Oberon Book Award and a short-listed artist for the Celeste Art Prize. The artist’s first major New York exhibition will be with Horton Gallery in June.

Yelena Popova uses the compositional sensibilities of the Russian constructivism as a departure point, but deviates from the movement’s aggression and boldness to take on a palette that introduces the visual culture of our IKEA dominated contemporary era. Like Constructivist predecessors such as Kazimir Malevich and Alexander Rodchenkco. Popova is interested in society’s relationship with machines, which today involves a familiarity with translucent digital surfaces and the immateriality of screen based images. As thin layers of paint appear to evaporate and expose the natural fibers of the linen substrate, the instability or submission of matter is suggested. Effects such as these in Popova’s paintings serve as metaphors for the progress, defeat and competition involved in Modernist dialogue.

Notable Exhibitions and Screenings:

Gaiety Is The Most Outstanding Feature Of The Soviet Union, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
Zabludowicz Collection Curatorial Open, Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK
Invites, Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK
Red Mansion Prize Winners Show, Royal Academy School, Burlington Gardens, London, UK
Unnamed, Wallner Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham, UK
New Sensations 2011, Vicoria House, London, UK
Keep Doors and Passages Clear, White Columns Gallery, New York, NY
Tracing Shadows in the Dark, Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, London, UK
Salt, RU Arts Gallery, Young Artists Biennale, Moscow, Russia
Ztime, Era Foundation, Young Artists Biennale, Moscow, Russia
Oasis, Bury St. Edmunds Gallery, Bury St. Edmunds, UK
Indoor Life, Walden Affairs, Den Haag, Holland
Pan-Demondium, Art Currencies Institute, New York, NY
VI International Biennial of Contemporary Graphic Arts, Novosibirsk, Russia
Free Wi-Fi, Zurab Tsereteli Gallery of Arts, Moscow, Russia
Glitch, Zverevsky Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
Gold Soundz, Southwell Artspace, Nottingham, UK
UFO, Moscow Young Artist Biennale, Moscow, Russia
Homoludens Festival Warsaw, Poland
UNNAMED, Parnu FideoFest, Parnu, Estonia

Press Mentions:

“Each painting, featuring thinly painted abstract shapes in pale colour on linen, was installed so that the paintings were propped on objects at odd angles, making them appear like an interconnected, precarious system.” - Laura McLean-Ferris, “Britart’s New Wave: Who Are the Successors to Hirst and Emin?” The Independent, July 22, 2011.

“Yelena Popova is an exciting emerging artist, working across painting and performance, to create artworks which explore visions of the future and question utopian ideals. In her two-dimensional works, she experiments with found materials, including second-hand printed textiles, flyers and posters. The abstract compositions she creates play with surface texture, layering marker pen drawings with washes of paint, glitter and gloss.” – “Big for 2010 – Contemporary Art,” Left Lion, December 21, 2009.

Notable Collections:

Parallel Media Group Collection, London, UK
Royal College of Art Permanent Art Collection, Westminster, UK
Radford University Arts Gallery, Moscow, RU
Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK

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