Anna Zvyagintseva

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The Naked Room

Complex practice of Anna Zvyagintseva is focused on topics such as bodily experience(s), fragility, femininity, labour, and identity. Having her intimate reflections and observations as a primary source, she constantly rethinks her method and gets herself immersed into new themes and means of its materialisation.

Her method can be loosely described as an ongoing search for a form for subtle and invisible things and feelings through means of art. Yet, in the case of Anna’s practice, “invisible” does not mean “insignificant”. Furthermore, her works on paper, paintings, sculptures of various materials, shapes and scale, her film, photography and textile pieces reveal, – with an equal power – the beauty of mundanity in all its diversity precisely through attention to unobtrusive, inconspicuous, peripheral.

Practice of drawing has long remained a conceptual core of Anna’s work. Many of her works, including three-dimensional objects, started from reflections on the essence of a line: either produced by a hand and will of an artist, or observed in an outer world.

The nature of Anna’s own drawings goes against the stereotypes about academic mastership, viewed as a standard of “quality”, especially in the environment of Kyiv Art Academy where Anna got her first professional training. Instead, her sketches show Anna’s genuine attraction to documented episodes, her closeness to everyday life, which is filled with the meaning of the world of heroines. This approach demonstrates another aspect of the invisible work – the aspect of the artist’s work that cannot be measured in clear socio-economic measures but plays an important role as a sensitive indicator of social processes.

In her most recent works, created after the russian invasion, Zvyagintseva kept working with the same deliberately fragile and elusive forms and imagery. Yet, her statements have become much firmer, merciless and explicit when it comes to commenting on the ongoing war and violence in her homeland.

“The space of time, physical space, emotional space have changed irrevocably since the beginning of 2022. Both my art and I have changed. I no longer have any doubts about whether what I do is good and important. It is important to just do it. Art has become a daily practice for me, a laboratory work in which I explore what excites me. There is even more lightness in my work. I have made a lot of works with fabric and materials that can very easily dissolve into the ground. I paint from imagination and memory, which I hardly ever did before. Everything I hear, see and feel freezes as if it becomes nature for me”, Anna Zvyagintseva on her recent art practice.

For Liste The Naked Room presents a selection of Anna’s works in various media from the past 8 years that reveal her practice in complexity and integrity.

Photo by Dmytro Krasnyi

Anna Zvyagintseva was born 1986, Dnipro. She lives and works in Kyiv. Anna studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv, Department of Painting (graduated in 2010). Since 2010 she is a member of the curatorial group "Hudrada". In 2018 she was shortlisted for the international FutureGenerationArtPrize and participated in the nominees’ exhibition in Kyiv and Venice. She was awarded the main PinchukArtPrize in 2017, and in 2015 has been awarded the ...

Anna Zvyagintseva's works have been shown in such institutions and galleries as:

National Art Museum of Ukraine, PinchukArtCentre, Sevastopol Art Museum, Visual Culture Research Center, The Les’ Kurbas State Centre for Theatre Arts, Ya Gallery, The Naked Room (all – Ukraine), Galeria Labirynt (Lublin, Poland), Galeria Arsenał (Białystok, Poland), Centre for Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski (Warszawa, Poland), MQ – MuseumsQuartier – AzW (Vienna), Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (Riga), Tobacco 001 Cultural Centre (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Badischer Kunstverein Karlsruhe (G ...

The Naked Room is a contemporary art gallery based in Kyiv. Our work is driven by a rigorous curatorial programming and aspiration for a legitimate art market for Ukrainian artists. Founded in 2018 in Kyiv by independent curators Lizaveta German and Maria Lanko and a Swiss film director Marc Wilkins, it's focused on establishing a reasonable market appearance for up-and-coming Ukrainian artists.< ...