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Studio Voltaire presents Sanya Kantarovsky 'Apricot Juice', in collaboration with Ieva Misevičiūtė

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17 Apr 2015 to 7 June 2015
Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6pm or by appointment
Preview: Thursday 16 April 2015, 6.30Ė8.30pm
Studio Voltaire
1a Nelsonís Row
United Kingdom
T: 44 (0) 207 622 1294

© Sanya Kantarovsk

Artists in this exhibition: Sanya Kantarovsky, Ieva Misevičiūtė

Apricot Juice

17 April – 7 June 2015

Preview: Thursday 16 April 2015, 6.30–8.30pm
Performances: Thursday 16 April 2015, 7.30pm & Saturday 18 April 2015, 7.30pm

Opening hours: Wednesday ­– Sunday, 12 – 6pm

‘Well what have you got?’  asked Berlioz.
‘Apricot juice, only it’s warm’ was the answer.
‘All right, let’s have some.’
The apricot juice produced a rich yellow froth, making the air smell like a hairdresser’s.
– Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

Sanya Kantarovsky (b.1982, Moscow, Russia) whose practice encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture and occasionaly film, has brought together his own work with that of Lithuanian-born artist Ieva Misevičiūtė. Misevičiūtė’s practice combines physical theatre, dance, stand-up, Butoh, perverted academic language and sculptural work.

Apricot Juice takes place around two distinct parts – a language and movement based performance by Misevičiūte and a group of five large-scale paintings by Kantarovsky. The exhibition departs from Mikhail Bulgakov’s enigmatic masterpiece novel The Master and Margarita, a narrative woven around a visit by the Devil to the aggressively atheist Soviet Union. Written between 1928 and the author’s death in 1940, the novel has become one of the most potent and critical works of Russian literature of the 20th century.

During two live performances Misevičiūtė will interact with her environment on a cat shaped stage placed in the nave of the former chapel, and built  to conjure the form of Bulgakov’s demonic feline character Behemoth. Together with the paintings, scaled and lit in response to the original function of the chapel as a place of worship, the installation invokes the Christian metanarrative within The Master and Margarita.

The genesis of the collaboration between the two artists consisted of a series of gesture drawings and character studies of Misceviciute in Kantarovsky’s studio. The final paintings, indexical to Miscviciute’s body, mirrored chronological scenes from the novel. In turn, Miscevicute re-appropriated the paintings as a departure point for building a layered movement and language based performance, eventually closing the collaborative loop by engaging with the paintings hung in the gallery space. In effect, the process allowed both artists to consider the content of The Master and Margarita at length, coalescing and diverging their practices in the process.

The resulting event, ad absurdum, considers a possibility of a space between literature, painting and theatre, in which secular skepticism can momentarily dissolve into belief.

Kantarovsky (b.1982, Moscow, Russia) lives and works in New York. Recent solo and two person exhibitions include: Gushers, Marc Foxx, Los Angeles, 2015; Allergies, Casey Kaplan, New York, 2014; Little Vera with Ella Kruglyanskaya, KIM?, Riga, 2014 and You Are not an Evening, GAK, Bremen, 2013. Kantarovsky participated in the group exhibition Notes on Neo Camp at Studio Voltaire, London in 2013. Recent special projects include Research and Reporting at KW, Berlin 2014 and LAX façade, Los Angeles, 2013.

Kantarovsky is represented by Casey Kaplan, New York; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Tanya Leighton, Berlin; and Modern Art, London. Kantarovsky will collaborate with Stuart Bailey on an extensive monograph due to be released in autumn 2015. Published by Studio Voltaire and generously supported by Casey Kaplan, New York; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Tanya Leighton, Berlin; and Modern Art, London.

Ieva Misevičiūtė is a New-York based performance artist. Selected performances include: The Kitchen, New York; Time-Based Art Festival, Portland; Beursschouwburg theater, Brussels; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel; de Appel art center, Amsterdam; Center Pompidou, Paris; Performa 09 at Swiss Institute, New York; Swiss Sculpture Exhibition Biel-Bienne, Le Mouvement: Performing the City.

For all enquiries please contact


Sanya Kantarovsky, The Flight: ‘Margarita floated out of the window, where she turned and hit the glass a gentle blow with her ham- mer. It shattered and cascaded in smithereens down the marble facade on to the street below. Margarita flew on to the next window.’ 2015. Oil, pastel, watercolour and oilstick on canvas, 180 x 280 cm. Commissioned by Studio Voltaire for How to work together a shared project with Chisenhale Gallery and The Showroom. Courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York. 

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