“Journeys of Natalia Zhilina”
On February 7 Erarta is delighted to present an exhibition of paintings by Natalia Zhilina called "Journeys of Natalia Zhilina".
Natalia Zhilina (1933 – 2005) was a painter and writer. She took part in the development of the Leningrad Underground Art from the very beginning till the time when art critics started to research it and the Underground Art became a part of the museum's collections. Natalia was also a part of the Arefev's circle, which was known to be the most striking phenomenon of the Informal Art. She was a friend of artists such as A. Arefev, R. Vasmi and Sh. Shvarts. Moreover from 1956 to 1962 Natalia was married to Vladimir Shagin. Friendship with these artists also reflected in her works: she got interested in changing styles and started to look for the new themes.
Since the mid-1980s Zhilina participated in the "Mitki" art projects. Her first solo exhibition was held only in 1993. The life of Natalia Zhilina was not only an exciting journey through time but also a walk through picturesque worlds. During her life she changed her style from the Arefev's expressionism to the plane, restrained and gradually brightening geometric shapes. But nevertheless, her art maintained constant themes that were related to the visual image of her city, Leningrad-Petersburg. Her urban landscapes are large-scaled but intimate at the same time. The city is shown not only as strictly organized space, but also as a space for walks. The figure of the lonely passerby reminds us of Boris Smelov, who was a famous photographer, an outstanding representative of the Leningrad Photo-Underground and Zhilina's late husband. A lot of still lifes by Natalia Zhilina can be perceived as a picturesque review of the visual aesthetics of Smelov's photography.
The exhibition "Journeys of Natalia Zhilina" gives an overview of the artist's work over the past few decades. There are about a hundred of paintings from private collections represented at the exhibition.