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10 May 2016

Asya Reznikov at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, NYC

'Wet Bar' © Asya Reznikov, 2016

turning life
Nancy Hoffman Gallery


Exhibition on view: April 21-June 4, 2016 Artist Talk and Walkthrough: May 14th at 4pm Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10am - 6pm



Nancy Hoffman Gallery
520 West 27th St
New York, NY10001

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Asya Reznikov, 'turning life'

The current exhibition at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 'turning life,' which runs through June 4th, includes new video sculptures, videos and photographs by Asya Reznikov. Her quest for rootedness has always inspired her creative process, but for this body of work, Reznikov has found a new axis around which her life turns life.

As we enter the exhibition, we are greeted by 'Wet Bar,' Reznikov's riff on Manet's 'A Bar at Folies Bergeres.' The barmaid in Manet's may feel fatigue after serving drinks to the full room, but the barmaid knows that her shift will end. Reznikov's shift does not end. She must nurture both her own creative processes and her child. She is both Manet and the barmaid. The tangerines which represent the sensual undertones of Manet's original work are there, but they have been relegated to the background. The artist is exhausted. We can almost hear the baby cry. Reznikov is simultaneously artist and nurturer.

In 'Expression', Reznikov expresses herself into two wine glasses, turning a vintage moment -- in which the perfect housewife pours her husband a drink -- on its head. For this piece, the artist hand sculpted a milky resin frame depicting galactagogues. The style is reminiscent of medieval altarpieces where plants complement the subject. The artist also challenges the cultural biases of the observer, which celebrate moments of inebriation while censuring moments of nurturing.

Surrounded by nature, in 'Life Turns Life,' we view the artist, the foreigner, finally at home in her own skin. From our perspective, she turns as the seasons turn, but from her perspective, she is observing the panorama of her own physical axis. The landscape exists within a frame, and within the landscape, the woman turns with the seasons, and within the woman, a child grows. Reznikov, once again, is packing, but this time, despite any inclement weather she's rooted to her spot. Her journey is literally internal, and the ultimate destination is always the same; she will unpack another naked body, which, in its season, will turn.

The seasons have turned, and the tree has borne its fruit. In her video adaptation of Lucas Cranach's 'Adam and Eve,' an apple falls. That apple is both child and artistic process. The naked artist in her peaceable Eden has given you a fruit to taste. Will you take the bite? Meanwhile, fruit falls whole, uneaten, to the ground. The child emerges, a child who, because life turns life, must eventually find its own source of nourishment, find its own place to put down roots, and must go through its own journey of displacement.

Using postcards of Westchester County, Reznikov created a replica of her 27-story Manhattan apartment building, in the latest edition of her Relocating Home series. In the past, Reznikov has juxtaposed models of buildings of older hometowns onto the landscapes of her new ones. The artist's hand holds the postcard model, as she integrates it into the environment with clever use of camera perspective. As the artist says, 'While the model appears to fit into its surroundings, it is conspicuously out of place.' Will the artist's nesting in Westchester lead to yet another alien existence or newly discovered concepts of home? Here, the postcard building begins to relate to its setting. The apartment is alien in the natural landscape, but there are emerging connections between her old life and the new. The majesty of trees is an earthy iteration of her Manhattan's tower, and like that tower, it also teems with life. By placing her 'Manhattan self' at a construction site, we observe that the artist's life is under construction, and she can build a possible bridge between otherness and belonging.

Indicating a sense of mystery and the unknown, 'Jackpot,' the backlit tryptic of photographic projections, is the affirmation of the aspirations and fears of all expectant parents, and the recognition that the fortunes of the life about to come are unpredictable. We pull the lever and spin the wheel. The house wins.

Reznikov revisits her packing series with two video projection sculptures. We have seen her pack before; we have seen that the packing of a suitcase is symbolic of her displacement. Previously, she was packing to continue on her journey. This time, she is packing to bring the fruit of a journey home.

About the Artist:
Asya Reznikov was born in Russia and grew up in the USA. She received her B.F.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and an M.F.A. from Hunter College, City University of New York. She also studied at Universitat der Kunst, Berlin; University of Wolverhampton, England and Rochester Institute of Technology, New York.

Recent solo exhibitions include Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan; Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York; Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania; The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio and BASF, Schwarzheide, Germany.

Her work is included in numerous collections in this country and in Europe, among them: Hearst Collection, New York, New York; Vero Beach Museum of Art, Florida; Wake Forest University Museum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; 21c Museum, Louisville, Kentucky and Kunstwerk, Sammlung, Alison und Peter W. Klein, Eberdingen-Nussdorf, Germany.

The artist is the recipient of Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Graduate Fellowships, Berlin; Edna Wells Lutz Frederick Foundation Scholarship, Germany; The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, New York; Morton Godine Fellowship, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston. She received the Culturas2008 Award, Ministry of Culture of Spain, Madrid and Jutta-Cuny Franz Foundation Award, Dusseldorf, Germany.

For additional information and/or photographs, please contact