06.03.2020 – 05.04.2020
Triumph Gallery, Moscow
Triumph Gallery presents Maria Safronova's personal exhibition What If?
Through her work, Maria consistently explores the correlation between the public and the personal, social constructs and closed social systems. Her painting style combines elements of the Northern Renaissance, such as graphical representation of the volumes and shapes, the mostly of linear perspective and the aesthetic of the Soviet educational posters in civil defense and general safety — together communicating an unsettling sense of anxiety and impending disaster.
The new exhibition features two series of works. The first one is a continuation of the General Game cycle, exhibited in 2017 in MMOMA as part of another personal exhibition of Maria Safronova. This series depicts school students doing some exercises similar to a civil defense or a PE class. They are doing drills for simulated emergencies. The other series, Cabinets, depicts the premises of a long-abandoned school, filled with various attributes of school life. As the building is crumbling, objects lose their function and meaning, and become artifacts in themselves. Together they form a story arch, a "before and after" a cataclysm.
Maria Safronova: "School is a knowledge capsule, a common asset, experienced by almost everyone. Attributes of school are highly recognizable. Schools are the first to shut down when there is no one attend the classes, although the town or village might still persist for some time. This closure usually marks the beginning of the end. Disappearance of the knowledge institution breaks the continuity, there is a moment of ‘erasing the past."
"During this rehearsal for the post-apocalypse, the change is first witnessed by the guards, then the stalkers, and then the building is disappeared by external factors. Its liquidation occurs naturally and goes through various stages: fascinating interior metamorphoses, unknown still life formulas from textbooks, the atmosphere of the ‘technogenic spring,’ numerous artifacts of the dead school civilization become the object of contemplative pleasure."
"The paintings capture this contemplation and become a means to freeze the changing state of mothballed interiors. And this is the trap: creating a painting takes a lot of time, the time exchanged by the artist for an image of eternity."
The new installation Ball will be premiered at the exhibition.