Art the reality is made of
Anya Zholud
Cube Moscow
February 4 - April 3, 2020
Anya Zholud's art is composed out of the objects of "the close circle". Teapots, cups, sugar bowls, vases and cream cans, roaming from series to series, arrange themselves proudly on the cheerful polka dot, modest striped or flat grey cardboard backgrounds. What distinguishes the composition of Zholud's still lifes is calm confidence. Here the even pairs give place to crowded groups, while the motif repetition does not eliminate the variation of the patterns, adding certain rhythm to the series that promise to be infinite, but never boring. This vibrant order is interrupted by the overlapping transparent troops of faded bottles. The same monochrome but solitary little houses turn sideways similar to three-dimensional models. Their strict geometry is juxtaposed with the defined soft line of women's shapes illuminated with white aureoles giving additional volume to the forms and depth to the space.

"Zholud strips objects naked leaving the viewer with the bare shape "unstained" by the fluid, hence deceitful colour. With her medieval-like striving against colour, she demands from the earthly world humility and chromatic ascesis, as if each of the gathered objects possesses the purpose far more significant than those of the ordinary utensils (...). Here they are like the members of the secret brotherhood that serve not to the function, but the idea (or rather Idea) – in the solitude and silence far away from the multi-coloured chaotic megapolis.", wrote Natalia Tamruchi with her innate sharpness a few years back about those paintings of Zholud devoid of "illusive surface". Those words are also applicable to her cold exquisite impeccable three- imensional monumental metal "drawings" - "layouts of the space" that at a certain point brought Anya Zholud recognition, Innovation Award and gave her way to the main programme of The 53rd Venice Biennale. Carcasses of table and chairs, delicate frames of shoes that are both the witnesses and outlines of "simple" happiness. There was a reason why the plug was in the socket, and the iron was ready for the dresses that once were there, where day after day borscht was cooked on one of those small stoves. While the lonesome trolley once used for moving the household treasures around just stands there forgotten and abandoned.

At the height of Zholud's career Joseph Bakshtein noted, "The idyllic coziness turns into conflict while orderliness of existence transforms into its obstinate and harsh essence". What's left is only the bright, colourful teapots and polka-dot cups, those household items of Zholud that are always there to give hope and that will never become outdated. As well as the reality that shapes her art.

Irina Gorlova (In memory of Natasha Tamruchi)