Liudmila Konstantinova‚Äôs paintings raise questions about the assumed purpose and meaning of contemporary art. Paintings for Holes is an installation comprising 18 rectangular, monochromatic painted canvases of various sizes, hung on the gallery wall in an arrangement that at first look resembles a modernist grid. In fact, the colour block set up is reminiscent of a certain time in Soviet history ‚Äď of Malevich‚Äôs geometric compositions, of Russian constructivism ‚Äď and of its influence on the graphic design of movements such as the Bauhaus and De Stijl.
Liudmila Konstantinova Icicle
Acrylic and gold leaf on plywood
100 x 35 x 35 cm
Notably, the colours in Konstantinova‚Äôs paintings, and also in her multi-coloured stalactite, Icicle (2012), aren‚Äôt quite as strict as if they belonged in a palette of early 20th-century art ‚Äď bright red sits next to olive green, which is next to canary yellow, then baby blue and puce. Like an interior decorator‚Äôs colour wheel, her range is wider, less easily branded.
The artist wanted ‚Äúto make a series of paintings that could be useful for different people‚ÄĚ. Catering to the lowest common denominators of acceptability ‚Äď and bypassing any sticky controversial subject matter or format issues ‚Äď she made canvases in all shapes, sizes and painted them in clear flat colours so that everyone could find ‚Äútheir own‚ÄĚ; but crucially, they‚Äôre all essentially as blank as each other.
As their title implies, the paintings were also made with another specific purpose in mind: they can be used to hide any imperfections on a wall, like cracks, paint marks or dead mosquitos. They can be arranged as desired, like modular shelving or an occasional table. Konstantinova‚Äôs proposal for art today is more utilitarian chic prop than revolutionary.
2010 VGLAZ, Lenivka Gallery, Moscow
Moscou Dans La Valise, Les Salaisons, Romanville, France
2009 Sputnik- Art Tsum, Art fair, TSUM, Moscow
Gosha and Luida for Kids, Triumph GAllery, Moscow
2008 Fast Art 24, VinZavod Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow
2007 Marriage, VinZavod Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow
Unionists, Embassy of the European Union, Moscow
2006 Morg (Moscow Organisation) The Central House of Artists, Moscow
Tramp, The Central House of Artists, Moscow
Motherland Project at Kunstvlaai6, Amsterdam
VELIKOLEPNO, WAM Gallery, Moscow
White People, S'Art GAllery, Moscow
2005 Gender Passions, group exhibition within the 1st Moscow Biennial Exhibition of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, Moscow.
Pusto, video-festival, Art-Strelka, Moscow
Russian Pop-Art, group exhibition, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Gesamt(kunst)werk , Festival of young artists ‚ÄúStop! Who`s going?‚ÄĚ, Fabrika project, Moscow
2004 ArtKlyazma, Klyazmenskoye Water Reservoir holiday hotel, Moscow Region.
2003 Background, metro coach Moscow.
ArtKlyazma, Klyazmenskoye Water Reservoir holiday hotel, Moscow Region
Substitute , Festival of young artists ‚ÄúStop! Who`s going?‚ÄĚ, RuArts Gallery,Moscow.
Frontiers of childhood, ArtEk gallery, London.
Losk, personal project, BOOKAFE, Moscow.
2002 Extended-Day Class exhibition held to mark graduation from the course at the Institute of Modern Arts, Moscow.
Freebies-2. Postcards, Cult Club, Moscow
Motherland-Fatherland, Forum of Artistic Initiatives, New Manege,Moscow
Amelioration, or Art for a Better Life, Klyazmenskoye Water Reservoir holiday hotel, Moscow Region
A-REAL001 international festival of modern arts in urban culture, Yekaterinburg
2001 Adaptation, Sakharov Museum Centre
Among Things, Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts, Moscow
Fashion Show in the Cloakroom, L Gallery, Moscow
ArtAsTourism, Forum of Artistic Initiatives, New Manege, Moscow
Propaganda of the Arts, Gelman Gallery, Moscow