ASTRA
contemporary art gallery
ASTRA
RU            

х Scope Miami

a-s-t-r-a goes to Scope Miami

Dec 3-8,  2019 

Booth D07

Commemorating man’s first steps made into the Great Unknown, Taming the Space project features the works of three contemporary Russian artists who come up with a fresh look on art and the Universe. Inspired by the legacy of a Soviet Space Odyssey and the ideas of Russian Cosmism, they explore artistic boundaries and change our optics of perception, each in their own way.

Taming the Space

In memoriam of Alexey Leonov (May 30, 1934 – October 11, 2019), the first human to enter the outer space.

Human is a being in transition between birth and self-creation", Nikolay Fedorov, Russian Philosopher

Every human is a microcosm that tries to comprehend and mirror a macrocosm that is the Universe, at the same time rendering an explanation for it in course of an infinite reflection resembling a Moebius loop. In both its internal and external manifestation, Space represents a void that invariably requires an ever-busy filling and exploration.

Mankind’s awe towards the Universe, a reflection of its beautiful gigantism in human ambitious designs and futuristic dreams, the ambivalence of the unknown, the pursuance for interaction and fear of silence, all this turns the Space Odyssey into humanity’s dream of its own immortality.

Today, the ideas of Russian Cosmism conceived by Nikolay Fedorov, Vladimir Solovyev, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Vladimir Vernadsky, and Alexander Chizhevsky may sound optimistic against the current background of environmental disasters and generally apocalyptic apathy; they promise salvation from destruction to both nature and mankind by creating a new space through a combination of scientific, technical and philosophical knowledge, through the study of yet undiscovered human capabilities.

 

A fresh approach to the ideas that were envisioned at the beginning of the 20th century gives us a chance to believe in the unity of man and Space. It allows us to dream of a possibility that those inanimate stellar worlds that sadly wink at us from infinite darkness can be illuminated by human intelligence; that they can be warmed up with humanly love because human life and consciousness is a force that can resist entropy, chaos, decay, and death. Man can tame Space by gradually entering, conquering it with life drop by drop; with the life of first Space explorers – flowers, animals, birds that can stir up its deadly vacuum with their heartbeat.

When the First Crew conquers back enough living space in the eternal void by sacrificing and thus perpetuating itself, a man enters the outer space to treasure this newly discovered knowledge forever and spread it to the galaxy’s edges. From this moment on, the void (though still yawning and overwhelming) serves as a mere material for creation that pulsates with reason and transfiguration.

It seems probable, that the dream of the Russian philosopher Nikolay Fedorov of a future when the humankind will overcome the laws of gravity and will be conquering Universe using the resources of all three generations (past, present, and future) by turning it into a superior artwork, will come true before the eyes of our children.

Denis Prasolov, Dima Hunzelweg, and Nastya Miro are the tree artists who reinterpret the philosophical heritage of Russian Cosmism welcoming the viewers to join this exciting journey with no end in sight.

Miro Nastya

Born in 1991

Taming the Space project for Scope Art Fair Miami, 2019.

Presented as part of the Taming the Space project, works...

Born in 1991

Taming the Space project for Scope Art Fair Miami, 2019.

Presented as part of the Taming the Space project, works by Nastya Miro might seem to be dealing with the imagery of the space colonization history and the philosophical legacy of Russian Cosmism in quite an explicit way that turns out to be more sophisticated and deeply rooted in her artistic practice. Depicted on the much darker contrasting background of the outer cosmic space, the off-white figures of astronauts appear as maps of some planetary surface yet to be discovered with meticulous and nuanced detailing.

As for realistic tradition in painting, the artists herself sees accurate images as books that can be either quickly flipped through to get a fleeting impression, or carefully read paying attention to each line and get a drastically different experience. The latter approach can also be seen in the way Miro’s compositions are cropped. When the fragments of a spaceship come into view, they seem to blend in with the images of astronauts, forming an integrated painterly layer expanding into new territories of the canvas. Hushed and translucent coloring of her works helps the viewer to set this new optics of perception that is equally applicable to art and everyday life.

This reinvention of traditional optics is strengthened by Nastya Miro’s eye for detail that is crucial for her art for a number of reasons. On one hand, by conducting careful and laborious research, she provides her works with further credibility. On the other hand, it might be seen as an in-depth effort to celebrate the heroic deeds of the past, to preserve the memory of those deeds and pass it on to future generations. In this regard, each scrutinous detail turns into a ‘memory cell’ serving for a common end very much aligned with the ideas of Russian Cosmism focused on progress and dedication to the preservation of the past at the same time.

Works of Nastya Miro reinvent traditional approaches to perception of realistic painting. Speaking of invaluable legacy passed on to us by previous generations of Space conquerors, she turns this conversation into a meditation-like process that opens our minds for comprehending other related topics. By flashing out detailed areas of our past, she provides us with a reliable tool to look into the future.

More about Anastasiya Miro

A graduate of Moscow Academy of Watercolor and Fine Art, School of Variety, Film and Television Studio, All-Russian State University of Cinematography, a participant in many joint exhibitions in Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna, Paris, Kiev and Moscow. Miro had exhibitions in the galleries: Black Dog, Nikolskaya Gallery and XIV Gallery Moscow. Participated in the Biennale of Young Art in Moscow, 2018. For the past 5 years, her artworks were presented at the Art Fair Monaco, Scope Art Fair Miami, World Art Dubai and Scope NYC. She lives and works in Moscow.



Works


Prasolov Denis

Born in 1973 in the Ukraine, artist lives and works in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Denis Prasolov studied sculpture at the National Academy in...

Born in 1973 in the Ukraine, artist lives and works in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

      First Crew

      42 rockets with dogs were launched in the Soviet Union in 1950s and 1960s.
      Most of these animals didn’t survive aboard or died after a parachute failure.
      Some died during the flight, as it was intended because the technology to
      return from orbit had not been developed yet.
      Some returned alive, were successfully recovered from a spaceflight and
      even gave birth to descendants. And only a few were in the center first of the
      Soviet and then of the world’s media creating one of the most touching and
      charming stories of our time.
      Such domestic with their defenselessness dogs in spacesuits confronted the
      abyss of space. They didn’t match their size with the scale of the universe.
      Animals helped to humanize the ruthless scientific space research turning it
      into a fairy tale in world’s opinion.
      The project is dedicated to animals which are unknown to pop culture. Most of
      them died but some survived. There are some which even were born in
      cosmos, for example, quail -bird.
      This is the monument to the first crews that have made it possible for a man
      to fly into space.



      Works


      Aster
      Carp
      Prasolov Denis

      Carp, 2017


      36,5x12,5x12,5 cm
      Turtle

      Hunzelweg Dima

      Born in 1968.

      Taming the Space project for Scope Art Fair, Miami

      As part of a group show, works by Dima Hunzelweg addresses such...

      Born in 1968.

      Taming the Space project for Scope Art Fair, Miami

      As part of a group show, works by Dima Hunzelweg address such an aspect of a global Cosmism legacy, as a constant quest for exploration and technology.

      In his art, this process takes a new term by expanding the boundaries of art and media both literally and metaphorically, hence a frequent use of neoprene, invented by DuPont scientists on April 17, 1930 and later even used in Transit Habitation Module, a concept pursued by NASA in the 1990s, an unconventional material as an art medium, fabric of elastic and extendable nature that is common elsewhere in industry.

      In terms of form, Dima’s paintings transcend the limits of a flat pictorial image. Through the use of wider stretchers, they morph into wall objects blurring the distinction between painting and sculpture, between 2D and 3D dimensions.

      In terms of artistic tradition, Dima’s works with their visual minimalism, seeming simplicity and tempting approachability clearly pay tribute to the oeuvre of concrete art and op art. Certain pieces even allow likening them to the output of Russian Suprematism  with its focus on basic geometric forms, such as circles and squares, not unlike Kazimir Malevich. 

      Very much like behind one man’s spacewalk there are hundreds of people at the Space Operations Center (SOC) today conducting complicated tasks and calculations to make it possible, Dima Hunzelweg is in his own SOC when it comes to making a single piece of artwork that might take several weeks or even months of meticulous and time-consuming preparation.

      On the outside, cold math is often concealed behind multiple layers of luminous acrylic making the surface of work extremely eye-catching and skin-friendly. Thus, the art of Dima Hunzelweg can be view both as a new step in a deep-rooted tradition of minimalist art and geometric abstraction, and as an important link between different generations of artists from Theo van Doesburg and Franҫois Morellet to Josef Albers and Victor Vasarely. 

      As part of the Taming the Space project, the art of Dima Hunzelweg is represented with works originating from two series. The one titled S-6 features hand-made pieces that appear to be complicated technological productions. An interval between each element is carefully applied Oracal strip that is exactly 6 millimeters, hence the title of the series. The N-S series (N stands for neoprene) uses the same thorough and systematic approach that gives his objects an intended aerodynamic shapes. Both examples prove that such an urge to be as precise and impeccable as a machine, in order to shape the surrounding area with your own hands is very much the same driving force behind Space explorations. 

      More information about Dima Hunzelweg

      While Dima Hunzelweg’s artistic process is becomes some sort of meditation for himself, by giving his series abbreviated titles, he welcomes to join in by interpreting them. Thus, a mixture of inner perfectionism and outer sensual beauty turns into a dialogue.

      Perfection is a central value in the minimal art of Dima Hunzelweg, in his works artist concentrates on simplicity and precision, at the same time his compositions are characterized by a delicate and sensitive beauty that gives his art a very specific position within the tradition of minimalist art. What might look from afar as computer-generated or produced with high-tech support is actually realized by hand with classic artistic meterials and simple tools.

      Selected group shows:

      • Duo show by Astra, CUBE Moscow, 2019
      • 70ème Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris, France, 2016
      • La Biennale internationale d'art non objectif de Pont-de-Claix, Grenoble, France, 2015
      • Museo Roberto Bilotti Ruggi d'Aragona, Calabria, Italy, 2015
      • Art Festival No Translation 2, Moscow, 2011

      Solo exhibitions: 

      House at the Embankment, curated by Simon Mraz, Moscow, 2013

      Bluemetrix, site-specific installation, curated by Christina Steinbrecher-Phandt, CHA, Moscow, 2012

      Public art projects: Russian-Dutch public art project “Building 35 with artist Martin Scholte, Art-Ovrag New Culture Festival, Vyksa, 2012

      Works are in Museums and private collections in various countries.

      Artist currently works in Moscow and Hamburg.



      Works


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