Abode is excited to be one of just 46 galleries invited to take part in the critically acclaimed international START Art Fair that takes place in September. Returning to the prestigious Saatchi Gallery London for its fifth edition START continues to provide a platform for international emerging art and is fast becoming the in place for collectors to discover and invest in future art talent.
START's ethos reflects Abode's mission to provide a global platform for British and international emerging to mid-career artists, whilst also inspiring collectors to acquire original artworks and encouraging people to start collecting.
Abode is the only selected gallery to display Russian and British artists together within the START art fair. For our début we are thrilled to present two exciting UK artists: Andrew Robinson and Karl Bielik alongside the stunning work of two Russian female artists Maria Agureeva and Viktoria Ikonen. The professional execution of the artists caught the attention of Saatchi’s CEO Nigel Hurst, who was particularly impressed with the level of talent and quality of the works. Maria Agureeva has been selected to be one of the key highlights of START's digital presence.
The selected artists all work around the constructs of abstraction within the sphere of painting, both conventionally and in the expanded field. Each artist explores the different approaches and techniques of abstraction whilst honing their own unique distinct style. Abode's presentation at the show will aim to form a critical dialogue between these diverse approaches into ideas of abstraction, in addition to sparking conversations between Russian and British views of contemporary abstract art.
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Agureeva’s work is concerned with the process of objectification, as a result of our desire to change in order to escape social pressure, as well as to find our true appearance and genuine content. The artist shows how the body becomes a hybrid space where materiality of flesh is connected with an individual consciousness and identity. Agureeva reveals the inherent conflict between our natural features and artificial standards, and throughout her practice the personal and individual is inevitably faced with standardised and imposed.
The artist explores how we model ourselves under the pressure of clichéd attractiveness, polishing our bodies just like billions of images are polished online. In this exploration the artist looks for the boundaries beyond which the body becomes an object like any other. Agureeva uses mostly synthetic materials, as a means to stress once again that body transformation is a kind of artificial self design which has become a modern form of religion.
Maria Agureeva works with installations, objects, videos, performances, sculpture. She is a participant of IX international film festival Andrey Tarkovsky "The Mirror", Ivanovo (2015), a nominee of Kandinsky Prize (2013), a finalist of Arte Laguna Prize (2018) and the winner of Arte Laguna special prize (2018).
Bielik is a studio based abstract painter who works with oils on canvas, linen, panels and paper. Bielik's work is process driven and takes inspiration from the studio itself and found materials that lie within. They therefore have a varied initial starting point, but the physical process of creation the constantly adding, painting over, scraping the paint off and repeating the process once again is what drives his work. For this reason Bielik works on multiple paintings simultaneously and these are sometimes not touched for weeks or months, offering an incubation time to contemplate giving them breathing space to develop meaning. His bold and emotive imagery contrast, to banal solitary words that form his titles, and balance the melancholy character of his work.
Karl Bielik lives and works in London. His paintings have been exhibited numerous shows both nationally and internationally including; The 2016 John Moores Painting Prize, The Royal Academy Summer Show, The Contemporary British Painting Prize and The London Open. He has work currently touring China as part of 'Contemporary Masters from Britain'.
Ikonen graduated from The Russian State Academy of Art and Design and is classically trained in painting and analytical drawing. In her moody, transcendental landscapes, the artist explores the ideas of duality in painting and the world around us: nature and imposed structure, abstraction and figuration, traces of history and marks of the present. While the image remains realistically concrete in its matter-of-factness and at the same time surreally distanced in its unrepresentability, a painting evolves into a type of abstraction where using narrative becomes unnecessary.
Since 2010 Ikonen has exhibited extensively in Russia, Finland, Spain, Germany and Turkey and taken part in numerous international residencies.
Andrew James Robinson
Andrew Robinson dissects reality into its smallest constituents and then reassemble it into a new narrative through material qualities of oil paint and experimental marks. Robinson’s subject matter is rooted in philosophy and art history, as well as in sci-fi aesthetics that fascinate the artists, and everyday objects. His reinvented, broken objects are intended to surprise the viewers, engage them to create their own narratives and nostalgic reminiscence.
Robinson has a masters in Fine Art from Edinburgh College of Art. He lives and works in Liverpool, UK
Abode is a British-Russian gallery and project that represents and promotes emerging and mid-career international artists. We aim to support artists that have achieved technical brilliance in their medium, and help them nourish and develop their creative practice and career. We hope our presence inspires collectors to buy original artworks and encourage budding collectors. Our own online presence is supported through Artsy international platform, Artshaus online platform, as well as exhibitions and acclaimed art fairs, arranging curated group and solo shows in various parts of the world, facilitating international exchanges and mentoring.
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START is an art fair that focuses on emerging artists and returns to the iconic Saatchi Gallery for its fifth edition, as it continues to provide a vital platform in London for emerging artists and young galleries from around the world showing exciting new art. Galleries from all around the world have participated bringing a snapshot of emerging art from around the world to London each year. The fair has quickly gained a strong critical reputation and is regarded by London’s collector set as the place to discover emerging artists new to them.