Erarta Galleries London presents Flight by Dmitry Shorin, an exhibition that brings together his acclaimed paintings with an ambitious new sculptural project realised in collaboration with Erarta Galleries. Forming part of the permanent collections at the Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art and The State Russian Museum in St.
Petersburg, Shorin’s signature voyeur’s gaze now sees him expand his vision to include the third dimension. A sculpture from his renowned I Believe in Angels series will make its London debut after a world tour including exhibitions at Art Palm Beach, Art Paris, the Venice Biennale and at both Erarta Zurich and Erarta New York.
The I Believe in Angels project may seem a far cry from the nostalgic longing of Shorin’s painting practice, but both evince the same overriding themes of fragility and failed escapism. Pearly white and delicately detailed, these modernday angels adorned with airplane wings suggest the seduction of the possibility of flight, a theme not unfamiliar to his paintings. Shown engaged in mundane tasks, the ephemeral heroines seem almost frozen, as if the speed of the technology upon which we depend (and whose physical burden the angels support in the form of the heavy airplane wings) has rendered them immobile.
Like Shorin’s paintings, the sculptures depend upon the language of nostalgia, and the angels have a particularly strong nonchalant quality. The sculptures are both ghosts and reflections of ourselves and the limits of our human bodies in the digital age. The angel figures condense and make tangible the remnants of memory that comprise the subjects of his paintings, but it is as if the process of solidification has drained the angels of all colour. Shorin’s unique sunbleached palette is essential to conveying the notion of reminiscence in his paintings and is as much a part of the mythology of his painting practice as the ever-present beautiful young girls, flowers, visions of sky, and airplanes. His suggestive imagery is just enough to hint at the uncanny and create a sense of bucolic unease. Viewed in this sense, perhaps Shorin can be said to have given to the world a guardian angel for the information age.
Shorin’s imagery, both sculptural and painterly, exists in the gap between a clear narrative image and the evocative sense of a half-remembered dream. His work seems to present the vestiges of aesthetic totems, assigning guardianship to womankind, and giving an angel her wings in the most modern sense. There is no sympathy or moral, rather the viewer is presented with a reflection of his or her own humanity, whether fleeing from reality or engaged in reverie, that is left to the viewer’s own subjectivity.
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