contemporary art / history of art

Katerina Belkina

Born 1974 in Kuibyschew, today Samara, Russia, Katerina Belkina grew up in an artistic environment, educated by her mother, also a visual artist. She first studied painting at the Art School and the Petrow-Vodkin Art Academy and afterwards at the school for Photography of Michael Musorin, all in her hometown.

During and after her studies, she worked at a publishing house and was computer graphic designer for a television channel. At the same time, Katerina followed her own artistic carrier, which was rewarded soon by several exhibitions in Russia and the United States. In 2007, she was nominated for the Russian Kandinsky Prize. Since then, she had numerous solo and group shows, not only in Russia but also internationally (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Turkey, Kosovo, South Korea and United States). In 2015, she was awarded the International Lucas-Cranach-Prize and one year later, she won the Hasselblad Masters’ Competition.

In Katerina’s oeuvre, the influence of painting is evident. Frequently her photos remind to works of this discipline. Nevertheless, it is rarely that she reproduces one special picture. Mostly it is the composition, stylistic elements, colouring and light direction, which make her photos so familiar to us. Even though the works pick up legends, biblical stories or fairy tales, there are mainly (female) portraits, often self-portraits. At the same time, they transfer the protagonists into our contemporary present. Therefore, they question the story behind and our current time.

The series “Revival”, where our artwork of the month of May 2019 is taken from, illustrates Katerina’s method. Stylistically and thematically, she refers to the Renaissance and revives this influencing epoch in a current technique. Nevertheless, her protagonists are today’s people, with contemporary problems and feelings: inter alia a pregnant women, a father with child, a woman with “Personal Identity” and “Receiving Orders. Salome and St. John”. In March 2019, most photos of this series were on view at the MIA Photo Fair in Milan, presented by the Dutch Galerie Lilja Zakirova.

Recently (10 – 26 April 2019), Katerina participated in the group exhibition “Belkina, Dóka, Wakultschik Portraits and Storytelling” at the Faur Zsófi Galéria in Budapest, Hungary. The gallery selected photos of the series “Empty Spaces”, where the artist questions the relationship between the individual and the alienated city. From May 4 until June 8 (2019), her works are on view at the Palazzo Mora in Venice, Italy in her solo exhibition “Venice Repast”, with still-life’s and Katerina’s homages to prominent painters. From May 11 until May 26 she will participate in the brau.ART 10 “Unzehnsiert” in Dessau, Germany and until August 4 (2019) she has the solo show “Katerina Belkina: Dream Walkers & Magic Things” at the Till Richter Museum in Buggenhagen, Germany. In the context of the Grimm Fairy Tales Project, the artist presents oeuvres inspired by the Grimm’s fairy tales.

Katerina lives and works in Berlin, Germany.


Artwork of the month / May 2019