Selected installations (1990-2005)

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From the installation "Camping," 1990
Cot, acrylics and oil on canvas
​38 x 72 x 198 cm

From the installation "Camping," 1990
Cot, acrylics and oil on canvas
​38 x 72 x 198 cm

From the installation Probably Would, 2005

Biography

Irina Nakhova (b. 1955, Moscow) graduated from the Graphic Design Department of the Moscow Institute of Polygraphy in 1978, where she studied with a generation of Russian nonconformist artists now known as the Moscow Conceptual School. She received international recognition as a young artist for Rooms (1983-1987), the first “total installation” in Russian art, located in the Moscow apartment where she still lives today.

An installation artist and academically trained painter, Nakhova combines painting, sculpture, and new media into interactive installations and environments that engage viewers as co-creators of conceptual mindscapes. "One of my largest goals is to create spaces for difference experiences, physical and intellectual, that do not exist otherwise as spaces," Nakhova said in an interview with New York Arts Magazine. "I am interested in art that gives experiences, that is powerful and eye-opening and that has significance. Significance in a way that gives insight to both individual and social life, as I still believe that art is power."

Nakhova was a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR from 1986 to 1989. Her first monograph, Irina Nakhova: Works 1973-2004, was co-published in 2004 by the Salzburg International Summer Academy, Austria, and the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow. Nakhova received the prestigious Kandinsky Prize for “Project of the Year” in 2013, one of the highest honors in contemporary Russian art. In 2015, she was chosen as the first female artist to represent Russia in its pavilion at the Venice Biennale, with an installation, The Green Pavilion, that The Guardian called "haunting...its impact is devastatingly direct."

In the catalogue for The Green Pavilion, curator Margarita Tupitsyn writes of Nakhova’s green-red room, “The abstract composition comes from Nakhova’s earlier canvas Primary Colors 2 (2003), imbued with the Russian avant-garde’s reductive color theories…and embrace of what Malevich termed ‘a new color realism.’ Applied mechanically, the latter transgresses the boundaries of the canvas to operate in literal space. In this sense, Nakhova’s green-red room is a postmodern (Jamesonian) hybrid of color-form and color-text in which one can locate the traces and distortions of society as a whole.”

Nakhova’s work has been shown in over thirty solo exhibitions and numerous major group exhibitions worldwide, and can be found in museums and private collections in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Untied States. She has taught contemporary art at Wayne State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton University, and the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Salzburg, among other institutions.

Irina Nakhova lives and works in the United States and Russia.

Selected Exhibitions

Selected solo exhibitions

2015  The Green Pavilion. Representing Russia in the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
2011  Rooms. Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow
2006  Moscow Installation. Karlsruhe Kunstlerhaus, Karlsruhe, Germany
2005  Artificial Shrubbery and Woman Sitting on the Bank. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow 
2004  Alert: Code Orange. National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow
2000  Deposition. Salzburg Musuem of Modern Art, Salzburg, Austria

Selected group exhibitions

2016  Thinking Pictures: Moscow Conceptual Art in the Dodge Collection. Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
2016  Russian Artists: Participants of the Venice Biennale, Manege Central Exhibition Hall, Moscow
2015  Post Pop: East Meets West, Saatchi Gallery, London
2011  Special guest of the 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art
2009  History of Russian Video Art. Vol. 2, Moscow Museum of Modern Art
2007  Kandinsky Prize, Exhibition of Selected Nominees, Vinzavod Contemporary Art Center, Moscow; Riga, Latvia; and Palazzo Italia, Berlin
2006  Collage in Russia. State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
1993  Adresse provisoire pour I’art contemporain russe. Musée de la Poste, Paris
1988  Ich lebe - Ich sehe. Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland
1984  XV Exhibition of Young Moscow Artists. Manege Central Exhibition Hall, Moscow