Gallery Elena Shchukina to present first UK exhibition for
Danish artist Ida Kvetny
As society continues to seek an understanding of the digital age by rational means, Ida Kvetny’s work offers a dark alternative: a Surrealist aesthetic united with dystopian visions of the modern world.
"Monstrous machines drill towards the centre of the earth looking for shale gas, fluorescent logs are knocked out, and the ground beneath us is peopled by headless humans in lab coats."
Drawing on fantastical imagery and a psychedelic visual vocabulary, Kvetny tackles the digital age with what she refers to as an "ancient language that transcends time, place and culture". In this engagement with the irrational mind, the paintings and sculpture of Surreal Universe are inspired by Freud, who compared himself to an archaeologist, digging away at layers of the psyche to reveal our deepest thoughts. Freud's theories underpinned the work of the original Surrealists, and the way in which they sought to make visual sense of the irrationality of war, but Kvetny’s practice has a visceral contemporaneity, drawing on other influences such as comic books, pop art, and Abstract Expressionism.
Kvetny also engages with the way in which we receive information in the 21st-century, building up a vibrant schema of Surrealist symbols in order to echo the frenetic visuality of cyberspace. We are drawn into a virtual world where imaginary cities unfold before our eyes, populated by vast structures, plants, and otherworldly creatures; "a flood of images and ornaments interlaced with potent and socio-political statements". The artist wants us to be absorbed in these details, getting lost in the combinations of rich pattern and colour, branching from deep purple and blue, to bursts of scarlet and forest green.
The paintings recall the night-time dreamscapes and violent fauna of Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, and Leonora Carrington (the subject of a groundbreaking retrospective at Tate Liverpool in 2015). Alongside the paintings will be small figurines, which Kvetny refers to as ‘fossils’, excavated from her paintings as physical embodiments of the universe that she has created – a unique universe of contemporary surrealism for the Internet age.
Ida Kvetny (b.1980) was born in Copenhagen. She studied Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art (2006), followed by MA studies in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins (2007).
Kvetny began exhibiting her work in 2005, while still completing her fine art study and she has participated in many national and international exhibitions since then. She has received several grants and awards including the Royal Scottish Academy Painters Prize, the Maclaine Medal, Yelva Nimb Honorary Scholarship and the Niels Wessel Baggers Foundation Grant. The Danish Arts Council has supported several of her projects.
About Gallery Elena Shchukina:
Gallery Elena Shchukina is a contemporary art gallery based on 10 Lees Place, Mayfair, London.
Representing a range of International emerging artists, some of which have not exhibited in London before.
About Elena Shchukina:
The gallery’s owner and curator is Elena Shchukina. Born and raised in Siberia, she gained a law degree from Moscow Law Academy before studying at Moscow Design School. Further studies took place at the Instituto Marangoni in Milan, and Sotheby’s Insitute, London.
Elena's vision combines a love of the technique of creation coupled with a passionate interest in colour. These two aspects inform our exhibitions: our artists tend to have mastered a unique skill or have a particular talent that has not been shown before in the UK. Their use of colour is complex and emotionally engaging; the combination of skill and colour produces a synthesis that is essentially Elena Shchukina.
For further information and images please email William Ballantyne-Reid: firstname.lastname@example.org