“Long Walk”. Nadezhda Everling
The retrospective exhibition by Nadezhda Everling (1962–2014) will run at Erarta Museum from 20 May
Nadezhda Everling is a well-known and recognized artist both by colleagues and art connoisseurs. And although the artistic world usually forces its inhabitants to be active members of the community and have certain professional leisure time featuring numerous exhibitions and meetings, it didn’t really related to her. She preferred long bicycle rides in the northern outskirts of St. Petersburg instead. Her professional work is associated with hermetic life of theater backstage; moreover, lots of her works were never shown. At the same time, Nadezhda Everling while keeping away from exhibition venues addressed the audience directly through her personal page in a social network and had the privilege to receive instant feedbacks from the fellow artists. Looking through her paintings on the screen, opening a catalogue or crossing the threshold of an exhibition hall, the viewer immediately falls under the spell of the author, whose secret is hidden in the perfect combination of professional talent and original world perception, where reality is not poisoned with irony, but rather poeticized by it.
Everling’s creative state of mind strikes with carnival noise of fabric paintings where the main characters are pop culture heroes and the linked fundamental characters of street mysteries. But colorful images of once frontmost pop art coexist here with popular in the 90s expressionist painting of extremely aggressive textures. Literally swollen paintings with no less swollen faces of gravel colour are glancing out of patchwork curtains. And here the rapid journey into the world of a contemporary “no-one important” begins.
Nadezhda Everling’s painting is full of small sketches as if they were peeped out from a taxi window or a bike seat. Ensembles of garages, blue railway semaphore lights and the mysterious world of homeless drinkers glimpse in front of the viewer’s eyes in a dynamic rhythm. It makes one stop at each small canvas, plunge into melancholy, and share it with a man dressed in absurd costume of a pizza slice staying out in the rain. It makes you want to shiver in the arms of a young girl together with her skinny dog, whose eyes are popping out of its head realizing the horror of existence. These genre scenes, cozy chalet landscapes and poetry of urban fringes, bringing a feeling of narcotic rest and helping to accept and forgive the reality, steadily resist the black line of homeland auteurism and criminal news. This makes painting by Nadezhda Everling akin to idyllic ‘Biedermeier’ style where an ordinary man, turned into an outlandish eccentric, was the main hero. Thus, piles leaves or rubbish were shown as alpine landscapes. Nadezhda Everling’s urban landscapes breathe with salutary blend of irony and lyrics. Even though the draught of reality intensely blows through.