contemporary art / history of art

Inna Artemova

Born in 1972 in Moscow, Inna Artemova studied architecture at the Moscow Architectural Institute (MArchI). For her diploma project, she was honoured the 2nd prize of the Russian Federation in 1995. Three years later, she moved to Berlin. Since then, she had numerous solo exhibitions in Germany. In 2019, the Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts presented her works in the solo show “Landscapes of Tomorrow”. Moreover, the artist participated in many group exhibitions in Germany, but also in Austria, Italy and England. Additionally, her works were shown at international art fairs besides Germany in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, the US and Japan. Apart from this, German and international public and private collections include her oeuvre.

Grown up in the Soviet Union, Inna experienced its collapse as adolescent. In the following transitory phase, she started her studies at the MArchI. Her professors were the former Paper Architects, a movement originating in the 1980s. Disillusioned by the limited possibilities of innovative architectural creations, these architects started to project their ideas and visions on paper. These futuristic concepts were never intended to be realised. In consequence, they were less amenable to construction principles and could be more conceptual and artistic.

The visionary projects of the Paper Architects and the experienced failure of the communist utopia influenced Inna sustainable in her artistic oeuvre. Additionally, she explored the ideas of the architectural utopians of the 1960s, who reflected on new living environments. All this knowledge enters in her creations. Seemingly, she depicts “borrowed memories”* from long bygone times or an unpredictable future. In doing so, she considers current social and technical developments and imagines their impact on prospective life.

Inna’s series “Error Codes” from 2016 and 2017 seems to glance back in a time, when scientific progress was uncritically welcomed or rather necessary to succeed the new soviet society. Whereas the paintings of “Reinventing Utopia” from 2017 might illustrate situations between a glorified past, a certain chaos and a beginning reconstruction. Apparently more arranged are the scenes in “Future Structures” from 2019. Even though, the construction of the future is not yet completed, new structures become visible, like in “Utopia XXII” our Artwork of the month / December 2019. Currently, the artist points to another future, in conceiving a panorama of an alternative world. Interesting is that this utopian project will be a monumental painting with a length of 28 metres. Compared to her former compositions, which are already large-sized it will be huge. Curiously expecting the artist’s new visions, we have to wait until the end of January 2020, when the picture will be presented at the Lahore Biennale (Pakistan).

Inna lives and works in Berlin.


* Bojana Pejić: The Space where unforseen Things take place. In: Inna Artemova – Reinventing Utopia (Catalogue), Berlin, 2017, p. 5


Artwork of the month / December 2019