Sanya Kantarovsky, ‘The Fifth Librarian’, 2013, Studio Voltaire

A talented emerging artist, Kantarovsky creates video installations and sculptures, though he is best known for his paintings of sinewy figures that explore themes of artistic genius, amnesia, and childhood memories of Moscow.

About Sanya Kantarovsky

Sanya Kantarovsky does not like to hear his work discussed neatly in terms of figuration or abstraction; instead, he relates it to the graphic, calligraphic, and historic influences that guide his practice. Kantarovsky produces video installations and sculptures, though he is best known for his paintings; his signature works often have thinly applied, wiped, or scraped layers of paint, and feature narrative scenes populated by isolated, sinewy figures. Frequent themes in these works include indirect social-political commentary and a critical look at the idea of suffering artistic genius; the blank page is also a recurring motif in many works as an allegory of both creative potential and amnesia. Kantarovsky’s early memories of Moscow also figure in his works, perhaps most directly in his lattice-like structures that refer to window grates in his childhood home.

Russian, b. 1982, Moscow, Russia, based in New York, New York