Dadiani Fine Art Gallery is showing a series of still life paintings by celebrated Russian artist and fashion designer, Elena Khudiakova, who died suddenly earlier this year aged 57.
Conceived between 2012 and 2014, each painting depicts objects that would be familiar to anyone who grew up in the old USSR –dolls attired in native costumes, leatherbound books, a television set placed in the corner of a room broadcasting a ballet. Painted from memory, each can be seen as a nostalgic evocation of Khudiakova’s own childhood. However, there is much more at play; her use of bold primary colours and brand names draw them into the realm of Pop Art, and in doing so she wryly comments! n the Soviet Union’s repudiation of Western style capitalism.
Curator and friend of Khudiakova, James Birch, also recently discovered a set of photos taken of Elena in 1989 wearing her soviet-inspired dresses. These never-seen-before images were taken by none other than the artist Grayson Perry and are included below amongst shots of the exhibition pieces.