Asya Reznikov: Turning Life
April 21, 2016 - July 1, 2016
The next exhibition at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, “turning life,” opening on April 21st and continuing through June 4th, includes new video sculptures, videos, and photographs by Asya Reznikov, the work of the past six years, during which life changing events took place, providing a new axis around which the artist’s life turns.
Two key pieces are inspired by masters from art history: A Cranach painting of Adam and Eve becomes the setting for Reznikov to comment on life’s cyclical nature, the apple from the Garden of Eden transforms into the seed from which blooms a baby. The graceful passing of the apple from woman to man, man to woman, hand to hand, leads to new life. The cycle loops, Eden is fecund, the baby blooms and grows and blooms again, surrounded by a peaceable kingdom.
Taking inspiration from Manet’s “A Bar at Folies Bergeres,” Reznikov creates a
contemporary self-portrait. The barmaid in Manet’s painting shows fatigue after serving drinks to the full room. Reznikov has a similar look of exhaustion as she stands at her “wet bar,” her shift does not end, she is artist and nurturer.
A video entitled ‘Expression” continues this theme, in which the artist fills two crystal goblets with milk she expresses. A sculpted white resin frame comprised of galactagogues relates to the video’s subject and references art history in plants that complement the subject, not unlike medieval altarpieces.
“Life Turns Life” is the title of a video that tracks Reznikov’s pregnancy through each season of the year. Her belly is small in summer and fall and grows larger with baby in winter. She stands in the midst of nature, a paean to nature and to the process of change in her body as she grows a new human being. She spins in nature like a vision of a dervish or a fertility goddess announcing a new life. She who creates life is also the creator of the art.
In a series of light box-like images, entitled “Jackpot,” Reznikov’s sense of humor, and her interest in both high and low culture play a role. She gives a nod to casinos and the glitzy life- style in these “in your face” pieces. In “Jackpot: Cherry, Banana and Lemon,” she affirms the aspirations and fears of all expectant parents, and the recognition that the fortunes of life are unpredictable, life is a gamble.
And finally, in her signature “Packing” pieces, the viewer is invited to travel with the mother-to- be to the hospital. In “Packing for Delivery, Boy,” Reznikov follows her list of hospital essentials for a boy with tiny “male” outfits, hospital paperwork, toiletries and camera equipment, along with enough clothes to comprise a homecoming outfit. In “Packing for Delivery, Girl,” she follows the same format, but all has changed with child number 2, a pink baby. In prior “packing” pieces the suitcase was symbolic of her displacement. In her new pieces, she is packing to bring the fruit of her journey home.
In 2010 Reznikov created and showed the first images of “Relocating Home,” a richly colorful photographic series, depicting three cities where she has lived: New York, Berlin and St. Petersburg. She now adds images of her new-found home in the country outside New York, where she has lived for the past three years. Using postcards of Westchester County, she created a replica of her 27-story Manhattan apartment building. The artist holds the postcard model as she integrates it into the environment with clever use of camera perspective. The postcard building begins to relate to its setting, linking her “Manhattan self” to her current life. “While the model appears to fit into its surroundings, it conspicuously originates from an entirely different location.”
Asya Reznikov was born in Russia in 1973. She received her B.F.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and an M.F.A. from Hunter College, City University of New York. She also studied at Universitat der Kunst, Berlin; University of Wolverhampton, England and Rochester Institute of Technology, New York.
Recent solo exhibitions include Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York; Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania; Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania; The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio and BASF, Schwarzheide, Germany.
Her work is included in numerous collections in this country and in Europe, among them: Hearst Collection, New York, New York; Vero Beach Museum of Art, Florida; Wake Forest University Museum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; 21c Museum, Louisville, Kentucky and Kunstwerk, Sammlung, Alison und Peter W. Klein, Eberdingen-Nussdorf, Germany.
The artist is the recipient of Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD)
Graduate Fellowships, Berlin; Edna Wells Lutz Frederick Foundation Scholarship, Germany; The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, New York and Morton Godine Fellowship, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston.
She received the Culturas 2008 Award, Ministry of Culture of Spain, Madrid and Jutta-Cuny Franz Foundation Award, Dusseldorf, Germany
For additional information and/or photographs, please call 212-966-6676 or e-mail the gallery at email@example.com