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"Gesture slightly stuck"

11 aug - 5 sep 2021

Stieglitz Museum of Applied Arts, St.Petersburg, Russia.

This exhibition comprises several exposition genres at once – an appealing report of the Stieglitz Academy graduate and a workshop, an academic play; a monologue performance at a psychoanalytic couch and a social visionary lab.

Liza Bobkova presents her new works at her Alma Mater after having achieved so much after graduation, her solo exhibitions have taken place in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Abu Dhabi and Paris. A positive trend can be traced at the auctions, including the charitable ones, too. Finally, a collaborative project “Millenials in Contemporary Russian Art” exhibited at the Marble Palace (St. Petersburg) has put her artwork into the spotlight. Let’s not forget that creative things Lisa does were supported by Artforum, an international magazine that is setting up the environment for the art that will stay in history, as put by Sara Thornthon – author of an exciting investigation on the modern art procedures. And the main thing is that Liza Bobkova has become known as the author of sophisticated, pre-programmed, emotional and deep images, aware of the up-to-date art scene agenda, independent and indigenous.

Making up existential and sensuous stories of watercolors, grids, orbs and figures as artfully as ensuring the elegance of visual metaphors, this time Lisa Bobkova seems to have switched off her narrative motive generator – and placed a diptych based on polysemic incomplete shapes. The extensive piece made of many elements, instantly seen as her characteristic feature, and utterly delicate rhythmic compositions in drawing ink present Lisa’s excellent mastery, which constitutes the true subject of the statement, admiration and criticism at any academic parade. In infinite similarities and uniqueness of color sports, their almost (!) even series and vibrations of accurately measured and weirdly interjecting cadenced configurations one will see a concentration of the East and the West, Filonov-like dedication of a trained perfectionist artisan, liable to God alone. Yet, there is this gesture  straightforwardness that makes the viewer wonder if these really are the art skills people nowadays contend in. Unconditional and yet unqualifiable – maybe even unrecognizable – art is as a mute gratitude the artist addresses to her Alma Mater, a powerful material surge for her new artmates to watch and discuss. 

Seamless integration with the context – and at the same time a stringent demand to the audience that reverberates as a hammer blow: see the emotional drama and become a part of it!

Even out of apparent narrations, Liza Bobkova drags us into the world of uncomfortable attempts of blending a gesture, a word, a spot, a sound, and a sense with hope. Shifting your glance from this view seems impossible, and leaving means making a decision. 

This is attraction of a morbid power.

Does this light-weight giant of steel tell a story of dreams, referring to a kite Lisa used to love so much as a child? Or is it that frozen gesture of the author that comes to its rattling life only when we are away? 

What are black grey, red and white volumes behind the wall sigh or silently scream about? Obstacles and phantasms of love. Weaknesses and the past. Melancholy and salvation through shapes. Seaside waves of the void. Gender transitions and adventures. Bondages, trauma and fate. Shounds and zounds, irony, trouble and blissfulness. But don’t trust my free and easy description as it is pathetic. Take you time, read and watch on your own. Set yourself agog. Although, whenever Post-Conceptual art coalesces with Minimalism, emotional stress is accompanied with social insecurity. And from this perspective finely intoned images all of a sudden cool down to a choreographic record of a frozen surrealistic dance performed by civilized Homo sapiens, who fundamentally live in order.


Alexey Boyko,

Ph. D. in Art History, Leading Supervisor for Museum and Training Activities, Russian Museum

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