Zhanna Kadyrova

Born: 1981, Brovary (Ukraine)

Zhanna Kadyrova was born in the Ukrainian town of Brovary (1981) and graduated from the department of sculpture at the Taras Shevchenko School of Art in Kyiv (1999). Since 2002, she has contributed to many exhibitions, including fifteen one-woman shows and over a hundred group exhibitions. Kadyrova collaborates with the Galleria Continua (San Gimignano / Beijing / Le Moulin).

Zhanna Kadyrova has won many contemporary art prizes, such as the Kazimir Malevich Artist Award (2012), Sergei Kuryokhin Award for public art (2012), grand prix of the “Kyiv Sculpture Project” International Festival of Contemporary Sculpture (2012) and special prize of the PinchukArtCentre (2011). She is a member of the R.E.P. (Revolutionary Experimental Space) group. Zhanna Kadyrova lives and works in Kyiv.

Although still a relatively young artist, Zhanna Kadyrova is already one of the most influential figures in the contemporary art process of Russia and Ukraine. In Moscow, she has participated in many landmark exhibitions of contemporary art, including Urban Formalism at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2007), The Conquered City at the Regina Gallery (2009), WC (2010), Test Alarm at VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary in Austria (2011), On/Off at the Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2011) and Angry Birds at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2012).

Zhanna Kadyrova differs from other artists working in the field of objects and urban sculpture. From her very first independent steps, she has distinctly felt and clearly defined her range of materials and artistic issues. These are the cheap tiles and cement commonly encountered in post-Soviet urbanism – materials often used by builders as a panacea for constructive defects, miscalculations or technological deficiencies. To this day, tiles are still widely used to line facades in Ukraine. Incorporating all the potency of popular “low” culture, bright and shiny, the tile is the material of Zhanna’s mosaics, her broken and ambivalent objects and sculptures, which sometimes seem so fragile and transient. When handled by Kadyrova, even kitsch lacks its customary self-sufficiency, endowed instead with complex feelings of nostalgia, yearning for lost sincerity and the frailty of worldly fame and prosperity.

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