A solo exhibition by a French artist Olga Boldyreff opened at Erarta from January 24
Olga Boldyreff was born in 1957 in Nantes (France), in a family of Russian immigrants. Her artistic practice is rather a search for identity than just a creating process. While being not quite French and not fully Russian, Boldyreff addresses to the topic of interspacial relationships. She tries to find meeting points between French and Russian cultures, as well as between her own family’s present and past.
The artist works with various materials: knitwear installations, wall drawings, prints and stitched lithographs. In Erarta she will present works from the past and some new ones, specifically prepared for the exhibition.
Exploring relationships between different art disciplines, Boldyreff refers to folk. She gives a particularly important role to the traditional European art of knitting, which she uses as a metaphor of time embodiment. Boldyreff makes performances of knitting sessions in public places: libraries, buses, City Halls, etc. Passers-by usually engage in the conversation, and even join knitting, thereby new connections get established. Thus a symbolic action turns into an immaterial result that gains strength over the time just like a spooling clew. Thread is the artist’s main creative symbol. It is a line, connecting the scattered and linking the ambivalent into a whole.
The bigger part of the exhibition will features knitted sculptures and wall installations of cords shaped as household objects, architectural forms, plants and animals. Boldyreff’s art is firstly a new type of drawing, extended in space and devoid of a usual surface. New wall paintings are created over again for each exhibition, while threads continue to fulfill their mission even after clewing up. And when travelling to a new place, they become a part of a total drawing, limitless and frameless. In Erarta Olga Boldyreff will present her new wall paintings with symbols of St. Petersburg.
The artist’s solo exhibitions took place earlier in St. Petersburg at The Dostoevsky Museum in 2013, and at The Anna Akhmatova Museum in 2010, as well as in different museums and galleries in Europe. Her works are presented in the collections of Fine Arts Museum in Calais (France), Västerås Art Museum (Sweden), Museum of Modern Art of Belfort (France), Fine Arts Museum of Angers (France), Regional Contemporary Art Fund in Pas-de-Calais (France), Regional Contemporary Art Fund in Loire (France), National Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris (France), and National Library of France.
Especially for Erarta Olga Boldyreff has created two new series of graphic works, “Don-Loire” and “Petersburg-Nantes”, two solid visual sequences of French and Russian landscapes. A series of engravings “Walking in the City” (2007) will show topographic maps of Nantes and Pad de Calais city quarters, where streets and places have Russian names.
The exhibition project “Bond” is a polyphony of voices, born in the connection of the real and the imaginary, the actual French experience of the artists and her reconstructed Russian memories.