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Natalia Nesterova, a Modern Russian Artist

Наталья Нестерова (Natalia Nesterova) was born in 1944, in a family of architects. In 1968, she graduated from the Surikov Institute. And almost immediately, she made herself known as a talented artist, with a unique style. Её стиль специалисты определяют как “карнавализм” (a style, that specialists call “carnavalism”).

In 70 years of popularity, her compositions have brought changes that altered the canons of socialist realism: героико-идиллические сцены труда и отдыха сменились у Нестеровой образами некоего заколдованного царства, погружённого в оцепенение (the heroic and idyllic scenes of work and rest were replaced with Nesterova’s images of a vicious kingdom steeped in torpor) (New Athos, Palanga). From the late 70s, the prevailing themes of her painting are old towns or parks, with passers-by, who are visually confused to classical statues or decorative elements (Gogol’s house, Subway, the Summer Garden). The cardinal role receive motive from card game (House of Cards, Attacking Dogs), masquerade and phantasmagoria (Supper).

Over the years, at the front of Nesterova’s paintings appeared religious motives with a kind of mysterious disguise, violating the usual iconographic canons. Her large canvases are composed with a minimum of subject, expressive colours, metaphoric and mythological signs; everything remains mysterious, carefully hiding the true meaning, with not a single answer.

То, что изображает художница, имеет множество смыслов, уровней восприятия (so, what the artist portrayed have numerous meanings and levels of perception). It is interesting to notice that in her paintings, either people close their own faces, either somebody is closing their faces for them. Natalia Nesterova’s art, like all modern art, tends to combine in itself all what is unusual and incongruous.

Her paintings can be seen in museums around the world: at the Hermitage and the Tretyakov Gallery, at the Russian Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts (Montreal), at the Museum Guggenheim (New York), and in many galleries and private collections.

Елена Коновалова