Dmitry Gretsky, Eugenia Kats
September 6 - October 28, 2017
This autumn, the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation will stage yet another exhibition of contemporary Russian art, opening the new season with Dmitry Gretsky and Eugenia Kats's show, Living Space.
Combining paintings, installations, audio and video, the Living Space project is a new reality reflecting a subjective perception of time and personal boundaries. Each of the artists' grand-scale paintings features the actual living space of real people, but there are segments of "alternate" reality incorporated into these "illustrations," be it a spacecraft being launched or a paintball match being played, these details fill the private, inviolable space with surreal overtones. According to the artist, it is this method that "makes it possible to show the labyrinths of proxemics more broadly." This term, proxemics, was introduced by American anthropologist Edward T. Hall in the 1950s to denote the way people construct their microspace and organize their homes. Looking at the Living Space exhibition from this perspective, it may be said that this show is deeply psychological. The characters in the paintings find themselves in a transformed environment, with visitors intruding into their private space, something that mercilessly testifies to the fact that there is no way to keep and hide your private life from the eyes of other people. This contrast between the everyday routine and seemingly absurd situations that the characters are depicted in, between the calm and emotional scenes, between the loose, relaxed poses of the characters and the claustrophobic, cramped spaces - all of this feels both real and impossible at one and the same time.
Dmitry Gretsky has been creating large-scale works for quite a while now, as exemplified by two of his latest shows, Habitat (2015), devoted to the utopian modernist architecture of St. Petersburg and Toronto, and Terracotta Warriors (2013), featuring five big paintings of teenagers.
Dmitry Gretsky and Eugenia Kats were born in St. Petersburg, in 1970, Russia, live and work between St. Petersburg and Toronto. Artist's work is featured in many museums, galleries and private collections, including the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation and many more. They are the founders of the Artville Academy of Art and Design, Toronto. The winners of the 4th All-Russian Contest of Original Programs of Artistic Education; long-listed for the Kandinsky Prize; Dmitry Gretsky is the winner of the Project of Kress Foundation, Georgia Museum of Art, USA (2012); nominated for the Sobey Art Award, Canada; nominated for the Innovation Prize, Russia.