Thursday, 21 February 2013

Nav's gallery report: Ikon Gallery Birmingham

Hi I'm Nav, I'll be giving you a weekly report on different galleries in the West Midlands whilst I'm on placement with Helen. So here's week one...

At the Ikon gallery in Birmingham, one of the current exhibitions is of Timur Novikov's work. Novikov is a Russian artist who was very influential during the 1980's and 1990's, he is best known for his distinctive textiles. The technique which is most common throughout his work is the use of appliqué  where he uses fabric motifs that are sewn onto large scale wall hangings.

The USSR. Mid-1980s
Oil on canvas. 202 x 308 cm

Novikov uses luxurious materials such as velvet which give a sense of richness within his work.

Animals. Mid-80s.
Acrylic on textile. 294 x 231 cm

Most of his pieces give off an aura of simplicity while telling us a story. Some of Novikovs works have a humorous aspect within them, such as his piece with little penguins waddling across to the darkness.

Penguins. 1989
Acrylic on textile. 219 x 221,5 cm

Novikov uses such small scale motifs on an expansive piece of cloth that it draws the audience in to have a closer look and to question what the piece is trying to convey. He often uses images of well known people he admires, such as Oscar Wilde, with an intricate pearl embroidered border around it. A reoccurring theme he often explores is the horizon and colour proportionality to portray this, in one of his works he uses a shiny metallic gold fabric to show the sun setting.

The Iron Mask. «Tapestry» series. 1992
Photography, metal on fabric. 204 x 140 cm

Genuine Russia. 1991
Acrylic on textile. 

Novikov other works show a strong cultural aspect from his 'Euro-China' series(2002) which are a combination of embroidered beads and thread on tasselled satin.

Women. 1992
Print, embroidery, and beads on textile. 172 x 110 cm

Due to an illness Novikov lost his sight during the 1990's but still continued to develop his works, with an oriental inspired set of seven 'pictures of rice paper'(2002). These were drawn from his imagination due to losing his sight, he used Chinese ink drawn houses, trees and Chinese landscapes.

All images from here.

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