Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present Snow, a solo exhibition of new works by Kon Trubkovich. This is the
artist’s third solo project at the gallery. The exhibition will run from February 20 through March 22, 2014 at 509 West 24th
Snow presents a meditation on the aesthetic of memory and the fluid nature of recollection. Concepts that have
consistently informed the artist’s output, Trubkovich addresses them here through the engagement and juxtaposition of
painting, drawing and film, a treatment that reveals the productive tension between these distinct approaches. It is
precisely through this revelation that the artist ultimately evokes the unfixed, liminal nature of recollected states, and the
particular poetry that arises out of their visual manifestation.
For this exhibition, the artist has produced three new paintings from his “Mama” series. This project consists of paintings
of stills taken from a home video of the artist’s mother at a party on her last night in the USSR before emigrating to
America in 1990. Screening this footage, the artist focuses on a discrete moment that he elongates and draws out, a
single second that will eventually yield twenty-four distinct and nuanced paintings to coincide with the twenty-four frames
in the chosen second of film. Trubkovich further distorts these images before rendering them by hand in oil on canvas.
The resultant paintings are ambiguous: highly intimate and humanely collective, they are images of her, and abstracted
compositions depicting the portal of a screen; they are evidence of her history, and by extension a description of the artist
himself. Unable to fully capture her essence, these works succeed in capturing the essential act of memory; stuck in the
static frame, Trubkovich’s subject is recalled from the past, where it will continue to exist imperfectly, both on film and in
A similar effect is achieved by the “Lenny” drawings also on view. Here, the artist has taken a mug shot of the late
comedian Lenny Bruce, disrupting and distorting the image beyond facile recognition. Like the “Mama” works, Trubkovich
conceives of these as self-portraits of another sort. Indeed, their subject comes about through self-projection rather than
perfect rendering; they lie between the anonymous and the personal, oscillating in the space that separates the two. As a
tragicomic figure from a bygone era, Bruce’s shadowy presence produces a dull, fleeting sense of loss, as well.
These works’ quiet nostalgia is reflected in the artist’s recent “Snow” series, examples of which are included in this
exhibition. Here, Trubkovich has translated footage of the sky into paintings and drawings of varying hues, adding an
overlay of mark-making that suggests flakes of snow or the disruptive flecks characteristic of old film; the ineffable spatial
atmosphere of these works is akin to the unspoken task of unrequited recollection implied by the “Mama” works.
The show’s overarching thematic threads are woven together in the film on view. Here, Trubkovich sifted through hours of
footage of his family and their circle videotaped by a family friend, “sculpting” it into the final product, which features a
score by Christopher Taylor and John Greswell of Menlo Park Music. This undulating ballad attempts to visually manifest
the general recollection of the past, an anonymous past pieced together with the artist’s own history. Transferring the
VHS footage into 35mm film, the artist worked with colorist Tom Poole to heighten the lyricism of the original footage,
ultimately bringing it into the realm of painting. Trubkovich then further distorted the images by physically drawing on the
film, producing a work that hovers between documentary evidence, imagined landscape, and manipulated artifice. With
this gesture, the artist disrupts the persistence of vision, making the viewer aware of the illusion of time-based media, and
thus, the inadequacy of memory, too; Trubkovich’s indexical marks on film become analogous to the flickering marks of
the past on our personal and collective memory.
Kon Trubkovich was born in Moscow in 1979. His debut solo exhibition was at P.S.1. in 2006: No Country for Old Men,
curated by Neville Wakefield. Since then he has shown internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London,
Athens, Tel Aviv, Milan, Venice and Moscow. Kon Trubkovich lives and works in Brooklyn.
For further information regarding Kon Trubkovich, please contact Adrian Turner at email@example.com
For press information, please contact Shayna McClelland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 347.744.5991.