The Untitled Space is pleased to announce “Songs of Summer,” solo exhibition of artist Elena Chesnykh has been extended until July 2023.
Curated by Indira Cesarine, the exhibition showcases Chestnykh’s ethereal watercolors and oil paintings that radiate the joy of summer, celebrating self-love, body positivity, self-liberation, and the human connection with nature.
The artist’s gestural brush strokes and usage of wet-on-wet ink and watercolor techniques evoke an air of mystery in her paintings, often masking the silhouettes’ identifiable characteristics without compromising their femininity.
Through the lens of the female gaze, Chesnykh’s unapologetic nude figures represent the universality of the female experience, while her landscapes engage a poetic idealism. Chesnykh has previously been featured in a number of group shows at the gallery, and “Songs of Summer” marks her debut solo exhibit as a represented artist of The Untitled Space.
“With my artistic practice, I create oil paintings and watercolors that focus on issues of gender, body, and the self. I explore different aspects of human existence through the subject, a woman searching for and creating her identity, her place in the world, and finding self-empowerment.
This woman strikes a balance within herself, her body, and her sexuality. I see the female body as a source of vitality, desire, and power. My attention to the body comes from my immigrant experience. I left my country and everything I had, but my body is inseparable. It belongs only to me. It physically presents itself, like an anchor connecting me with reality.
My latest series of paintings is about the joy and pleasure of being alive and connecting with nature. It is about oneness with the environment, exploring one’s innate wild nature, inner beauty, and power.
In the past year and a half, as Russia wages a war of aggression against the Ukrainians, I have reflected on the long history of violence, repression, and fear, as well as the devaluation of an individual’s life outside the political ideology, and the learned helplessness rooted in Russian culture. Through these vibrant watercolors, I want to overcome this tradition of self-suppression, learned in childhood, and assert one’s right to seek individual happiness.”
– Elena Chestnykh
About the Artist
Elena Chestnykh was born in Novosibirsk, Russia, and currently lives and works in New York City. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including with the Museum of Contemporary Art Erarta (MCAE) in Saint-Petersburg, the Art Center WINZAVOD in Moscow, the State Museum of Novosibirsk, Tomsk, and Kemerovo in Russia, and Nord Art 2010, Rendsburg, Germany. In 2013, “Urban Reflections” traveled to New York Erarta Gallery and became Chestnykh’s first solo exhibition in the United States. Chestnykh has also presented works in New York at SFA Projects Gallery, The Royal Gallery, R&D Studio BUSHWOOD, Trenton Artwork Center, NJ, and in a selected group exhibition at the School of Visual Art Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. Her artwork was featured in The Untitled Space “INNOVATE” and “REBEL” group exhibitions, and she will be presenting her first solo exhibition with the gallery this June, 2023.
Elena Chestnykh: Songs of Summer exhibition is on view through July, 2023 at The Untitled Space, located at 45 Lispenard Street in New York City