Roman Savchenko

Selected works by Roman Savchenko

Roman Savchenko


Paper, ballpoint pen, acrylic

130 x 250 cm
Like steam, smoke and vapour trails, the abstract shapes in Roman Savchenko’s ballpoint pen drawings depict formations that appear to be self-generated, ominously curling out of themselves.

Savchenko, whose practice also encompasses performance and dance (under the name Roman Ass), provokes a visual tension from what might first appear to be no more than simple, Rorschach-like randomness found in a sketchbook. Many of his drawings are dominated by floating shapes lashing out from the centre of otherwise empty brown sheets of paper. His obsessively patterned motifs are often outlined in a darker colour and placed asymmetrically over contrasting, painted pseudo-architectural edges, with which they almost fuse or combust.

Verging on the figurative in their dynamic, comic book-like detail, the shapes can tempt the viewer to project a kind of meaning or logic onto them, despite an awareness of their doodle-like quality.

Cloud is a large-scale mixed media drawing depicting a sprawling, horizontal mass made up of individual, rolling clusters and sharp lashes pointing downwards. Lightly painted in patches, it’s been mostly worked over with swirling ballpoint pen strokes; the paper’s worn, wrinkled surface is evidence of this repetitive action and suggests the drawing as a document of the artist’s performance-like process.

The cloud, self-contained, looming and dark, stands as an obvious symbolic presage of an impending storm, but it reflects a moment of tension and transition in more ways than one. It’s on the brink between abstraction and figuration, and between referencing a pre-existing visual culture and birthing its very own language.

Text by Lupe Nùñez-Fernández

Roman Savchenko's Biography

Roman Savchenko
Born in 1983, Moscow, Russia
Lives and works in Moscow, Russia


Gaiety Is The Most Outstanding Feature of the Soviet Union, Saatchi Gallery, London

USYADUSYA, Project Factory hall, Moscow

Wherever They Fell, Wilkinson Gallery, London
The Intimate Capital, Moscow International Biennale, Moscow
Salt, The Project, Moscow International Biennale, Moscow
Spider and Mouse, Artspace, Moscow

Sputnik Art TSUM, Moscow
New Strategies in Contemporary Art Education, ICA Moscow
Art After The History Ends, Moscow
Let My Think, the special project of the Third Moscow biennial, Moscow
Rebellion Mausoleum, Stella Art Foundation, Moscow

About mortal in art, a group exhibition of memory of Nikolay Konstantinov,M gallery
Dialogue pig (Pyatachok) and rabbit (Stepashka),photo documentation of performance place of, rt-strelka, Gallery Refl ex Moscow
New Uebermenschen,M&J Guelman , Moscow, 2008
New fossil Uebermenschen, place of “Art-strelka”, Anton Litvin gallery, Moscow,
Small,In memory of Igor Guelman, M&J Guelman, Moscow

The First Live Journal Contemporary Art Auction (curator Oleg Mavromatti), Moscow

Italia. Touch to Eternity, The Special Project, The Museum of Modern Art, Dmitrevsky, Rostov-on-Don
The Sobbing Downpour within the Precincts of a haven of a beggar, The Museum of Modern Art, Dmitrevsky, Rostov-on-Don