Kimjongilias a.k.a. “Flower Paintings” and Magnitogorsk Guide to the National Gallery of Art
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 3rd,
4:00 – 7:00 pm
Magnitogorsk Tour of the NGA: Saturday,
March 24th, 3:30 – 5:00 pm
Galerie Blue Square is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Yevgeniy Fiks in Washington, DC. The exhibition opens on March 1st and receives the artist with a public reception on Saturday, March 3rd, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.
Russian-born, New York-based Fiks, explores historical, communist threads in his conceptual works and projects. Two different series will be on view, each exploring contemporary links to and understanding of totalitarian regimes. Fiks’ education in the Soviet Union offered a traditional foundation for creating his visual works and his experience as a Post-Soviet diaspora defined his conceptual attitude as an artist. Fiks presents that totalitarian regimes champion the practice of making the absurd seem normal, at the same time that the West is seduced by and implicated in it.
Kimjongilias a.k.a. “Flower Paintings”, a timely series of large format, lush oil paintings of hybrid begonias, refers to the flower associated with the late North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il. Every year on February 16, there is a Kimjongilia Festival dedicated to “Dear Leader’s” birthday where the flowers are expected to bloom. Although beautiful, these paintings bring the viewers to focus on the extreme manifestations of the cult of personality, totalitarianism and propaganda---highlighting the dangerous seduction of ideology.
Fiks’ latest series, Magnitogorsk Guide to the National Gallery of Art, will be on view in the gallery’s Project Room. Digital prints on metal document the absurd reality of the Soviet First Five Year Plan and its relation to the Mellon collection of paintings in the National Gallery of Art. By the end of 1931, masterpieces purchased by Andrew Mellon from the Hermitage Museum became the foundation of the National Gallery of Art’s collection. Proceeds from these sales contributed to the industrialization of the Soviet Union, which in turn, became the eventual ideological enemy of the United States. An adjunct performance by the artist, Magnitogorsk Tour of the NGA, will take place on March 24 at the National Gallery of Art at 3:30 pm.
Born in 1972 in Moscow, Yevgeniy Fiks graduated from the College in Memory of the 1905 Revolution in 1991. From 1991 to 1993 he studied at the V.I. Surikov Institute in Moscow. The artist moved to New York in 1994, where he lives and works today, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Brooklyn College and a Master in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts.
Russia Beyond the Headlines - 3/22/12 Review by Nora Fitzgerald
+ Fiks Press Release 3.2012 - 180 KB
+ ARTnews February 2012 - 519 KB
+ Le Monde Review 2012 - 705 KB
+ The Washington Post Review 2012 - 886 KB
+ Art Voices Review June 2012 - 150 KB