13 February – 21 April 2013
Free to all
A retrospective of the late Russian artist who created subtly subversive paintings using appliqué and paint.
Until his untimely death in 2002, Timur Novikov had been an influential force in the Russian underground art scene. Having set up the New Academy in the 1980s – a local art movement founded with a fear of Americanisation and a desire to encourage a return to classical ideals of beauty, Novikov then began to push the boundaries of what was possible under the tight censorship rules governing art in the Soviet Union. Playing with repeated patterns, sewing and block print, Novikov created simple, almost childlike paintings that seemed to evoke another, more innocent age.
This is the first comprehensive exhibition of Novikov’s work in this country and is curated by his stepdaughter Masha Novikova-Savelyeva.
His seemingly bright, pop-like paintings made during Gorbachev’s attempts to open up the USSR during the Perestroika years are imbued with humour and optimism. They also contained messages of anti-war sentiment.
Also on show are paintings made at the very end of his life, in particular the Seven Pictures on Rice Paper, 2002. Drawn in Chinese ink, they were made by a man at the very end of his life, but still at the height of his imaginative powers.