Rumour from ground control

Rumour from ground control

Arte Institute suggests “Rumour from ground control” by Liliya Lifanova at Rooster Gallery.

September 9 to October 11
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 9, 6-9 PM

Rooster Gallery
190 Oorchard Street, Lower East Side, NYC

This exhibition is a compilation of works relating to Lifanova’s progression between the years 2011 and 2015, during which time the artist traveled to and lived throughout Europe and Central Asia. The title borrows from David Bowie’sAshes to Ashes, which reports on Major Tom, a figure introduced on an earlier album who travels to the far reaches of space in a tin can. This character’s solitary departure into unknown and uncharted territory runs parallel to Lifanova’s recent artistic journey, exploring new mediums and inventing startling new methods to create her work. The sculptures included in Rumour from Ground Control introduce intricate tensions between a sense of uncertainty and groundedness, held in balance by echos of the artist’s previous series and ideas.

Several pieces in the show can be traced to Lifanova’s Rolled series–delicately rolled pieces of paper, canvas or fabric arranged into patterned compositions–a body of work that first emerged in 2006. These works contribute to the rhythm of the exhibition, set by repeating units and symbols, and amplified by sculptures, installed in a yin-yang arrangement, setting up a kind of game between sameness and difference.

Ceramic “chevaux de frise” (modeled after Czech hedgehogs, used as a defense in WWII), measuring sticks and “flags” made of heavy parchment meters in lengths, further this play in opposites and contribute to the pretend quality of the objects as their function is unequivocally and undeniably compromised by both material and scale. In conflict with their implied military purpose, these sculptures, among others in her installation, oscillate between being an aerial view and a direct engagement with the spectator’s body as each piece, scaled both up and down from its referent, measures itself against human proportions.

Lifanova’s practice is fertile with contradictions, where the artist’s truth and its immediate refusal live side-by-side in a precise equilibrium held in balance by a predominance of control. The work’s martial aesthetic is often challenged by its fragile nature, thus imbuing these carefully crafted objects with a quality of humanness.

Liliya Lifanova (American, born in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 1983) lives and works in New York. A multidisciplinary artist whose practice encompasses performance, painting, drawing and sculpture, she received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL (2010), and is a Fulbright Scholarship recipient (2011-2012). Lifanova has been an artist-in-residence at Gridchinhall Artist Residency, Moscow, Russia (2012), Triangle Arts Association, New York (2013),  and more recently at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE and Artist’s Alliance, New York (both in 2015). Recent exhibitions include: Pixel, Elga Wimmer Contemporary, New York, NY; It’s a Bored Nation, Kunsthalle Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Arte al Centro, Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy; Victory of Caïssa. Homage to Marcel Duchamp, The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Anatomy is Destiny, Museum of Contemporary Art, Saint Louis, MO; Artists Choose Artists, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY; Untitled, Harper’s Books Gallery, East Hampton, NY. Her work is included in the Permanent Collection of the US Embassy, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Art in Embassies, US Department of State, and in several private collections.