Tatyana Zhurkov's sculpture will be exhibited at the Stroganov Palace from 17 January to 11 March 2002. The palace is affiliated with the State Russian Museum, which holds the definitive collection of Russian art.
The New York artist was born and educated in Russia. Her small scale sculptures reflect her fine artistic training, Russian sensitivities, modern materials and new world perspectives.
Because of the exceptional quality of her work and the extent of her artistic achievement, Zhurkov was awarded a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation of New York in May 2001.
Her work, which is seen in galleries and private collections in the United States, has not previously been exhibited in Russia.
From 1972 to 1995, Zhurkov produced interpretations of traditional Russian costumes, using media ranging from papier-mвchй and embroidery to ivory and wood. She incorporated a variety of textiles, buttons, antique porcelain heads and unusual artifacts in her art.
From 1996 to the present, she has been creating a series of caterpillars and other creatures that inhabit 'different galaxies' of mystery and fantasy. The Caterpillar series has a relationship to genetic engineering from the viewpoint of an artist. Zhurkov uses a colorful combination of plastic tubing, moulded acrylic shapes, porcelain heads, glass beads and found objects to construct these creatures. They flex and bend in a way that reflects her experience in theatre and puppetry.
Objects selected for the exhibition by Dr Alexander Borovsky, head of the department of contemporary art, reflect the artist's early work, including Tsar Crab and Three Sisters, as well as her works of the late 1990s, including her fish, caterpillars and what Borovsky calls 'sexual funk constructivism'.
As Borovsky says: 'Art objects by Tatyana Zhurkov preserve in their memory the most complicated ups and downs of the interaction between actual art and dolls or toys - in all their diverse modifications.'
The exhibition is presented by the Foundation for International Arts and Education in collaboration with Swashbuckler Enterprises Inc. Both organisations, located in the Washington DC area, are active in promoting Russian art and culture and a variety of educational exchanges and interactions between the United States and Russia.
The exhibition's major sponsors are the New York asset management firm Chamberlain & Steward Associates Ltd and Friends of Tatyana Zhurkov. Additional assistance has been given by Balt Express and Westpost. Informational sponsors include the St Petersburg Times and Smena.
A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue is available with a scholarly essay by Dr Alexander Borovsky, introduced by the deputy director, Dr Yevgenia Petrova.