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White Space Gallery

Genia Chef. Danses de la mort (Islands of Death). 2002. Digital prints on transparent folie, light box, 17 x 48 cm.
Courtesy of the White Space Gallery.

Danses de la Mort: Genia Chef
5 -24 July 2004
Private View: Friday 2 July (6-9pm)

White Space Gallery, St Peter's, Vere Street (off Oxford Street), London W1G ODQ. Tube: Bond St. 0208 740 4675/ 07949 100 956
Gallery opening times: Monday - Friday 11 - 6 pm, Saturday 11 - 5 pm. Closed Sunday

White Space is pleased to present the first London exhibition of the Berlin-based artist Genia Chef, one of the chief artists of the Novia Akademia group, which originated in St Petersburg, and was inspired by the ideas and theories of the late Timur Novikov.

The exhibition will feature his work Islands of Death (2002) which is inspired by a famous painting of the Swiss symbolist Arnold Boecklin (1883). Chef's work is composed of a series of 16 light-boxes on which are illuminated three-dimensional computer-generated images. In this series Genia Chef transposes images from classical Greco-Roman aesthetics into the modern era, placing it alongside historical images of figures such as Freud, Hitler and images drawn from classical sculptures and paintings in the Old National Gallery in Berlin and The Metropolitan Museum in New York. The results of this montage are surreal, startling and question the accepted canons of beauty and our attitude to the past.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by art critic Edward Lucie-Smith. Lucie-Smith sees Chef's work in its neo-classical, conceptual and symbolic tendencies as appealing 'to aspects of the past as a way of expressing an overwhelming dissatisfaction with the art that was successful in the society that they themselves inhabited.' Islands of Death was previously shown in several group exhibitions in Europe, including Shock and Show in Trieste (2002) alongside pieces by Chapman brothers, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopije in 2003.

Genia Chef (b. 1954 in Aktjubinsk/USSR, lives in Berlin). His solo exhibitions include Freud's Dreams Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (2002); Galerie Eikelmann, Düsseldorf (2001); The Myths of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Novaja Akademija, St.Petersburg, Russia (2000). Recent group exhibitions include in 2004: Na kurort Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; Gods becoming men Frissiras Museum, Athens; Art Moscow 2004 and in 2003, Remembrance: Russian Post-Modern Nostalgia Yeshiva University Museum, New York; Foreign Visions Foundation Starke, Berlin and Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje, Macedonia; Berlin-Berlin, at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Berlin; Naked before Gods, Parnu Museum of New Art, Estonia; Fiction of History Museum Biennale, Krasnojarsk, Russia.

For more information and images, please, contact Anya Stonelake on 07949 100 956


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