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CHARLIE SMITH london: NIKA NEELOVA | Monuments - 8 Apr 2011 to 30 Apr 2011

Current Exhibition

8 Apr 2011 to 30 Apr 2011
Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm or by appointment
Private View: Thursday April 7th 6.30pm–8.30pm
2nd Floor
336 Old Street
United Kingdom
p: +44 020 7739 4055

Principles of Surrender
Burnt timber, wax infused with ash & rope
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Jennifer Allen
Emma Bennett
Sam Jackson
Sarah McGinity
Alex Gene Morrison
Gavin Nolan
Dominic Shepherd
John Stark
Gavin Tremlett

Artists in this exhibition: Nika Neelova

CHARLIE SMITH london is delighted to present the Russian born and 2010 winner of the Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4’s New Sensations Nika Neelova with her debut London one person exhibition.

Neelova’s sculptural installation engages with personal, collective and adopted histories. Narrated through the evocation of remembered architectural spaces, houses and features that she has occupied or seen, Neelova’s installations and sculptural interventions depict decaying architectural structures inspired by spaces that once existed. Fragments of these spaces are rebuilt from materials salvaged from elsewhere, thereby negotiating a new space between actual and unknown histories. In doing so Neelova’s work is emblematic of both and becomes a cultural and historical displacement, also acknowledging the transience and persistence of time.

The notion of time is central to Neelova’s work. In emphasising the concept of the ruin, newly made objects that have undergone intensive work at the hands of the artist come to signify decay, destruction and loss. The reliance on memory also explores its failure, where distortion and fragmentation replace the actual and complete. Neelova therefore constructs a complex set of correlations between the remembered, the forgotten, the actual and the ephemeral where these fractured indices take form in monumental, haunting, melancholy objects.

In this exhibition Neelova will present three new works. Using wax cast from salvaged antique Dutch banisters with ash and dark patina pigments, a spiral staircase will occupy the back room. In doing so the skeletal object is rendered fragile and dysfunctional, climbing only to the ceiling which now impedes rather than protects. Referring to funerary rituals in post-Reformation England, Neelova will also present a series of flags. Embedded with illusive charcoal dust patterns, they allude rather than dictate to notions of identity and of the commemorative. And in the main gallery Neelova’s third piece, made from salvaged timber and cast wax elements, will directly reference the architectural. Distantly suggesting rail tracks it is a de-contextualised, structural work that intimates a path or route, but which is again impeded by its own constitution. Hanging cast ropes bring forth notions of the hangman’s gallows, which originally built as a replacement for the crucifix, symbolise judicial power as articulated throughout the centuries.


Born: 1987

Education: 2008-2010: MA in Fine Art Sculpture, Slade School of Fine Art; 2004-2008: BA (Hons) in Fine Art Sculpture, Royal Academy of Fine Art (The Hague)

Selected Exhibitions: 2011: Monuments (Solo), CHARLIE SMITH london, London; 2010: Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4’s New Sensations, Boswall House, London; The Future Can Wait (curated by Zavier Ellis & Simon Rumley), Shoreditch Town Hall, London; Young Gods (curated by Zavier Ellis), CHARLIE SMITH london, London; The Grove, Public Art Commission, Keukenhof; Arena, Woburn Research Center, London; 2009: Carpet IV (Solo), Scheltema Center, Leiden; Attitudes to a Miss (Solo), Christus Triumphatorkerk, The Hague; Memento, Galerie 37, Haarlem; 2008: Paraat #4 (Best of Graduates 2008), RonMandos Gallery, Amsterdam; KunstVlaai, Stichting Artes, Amsterdam; Carpet III, Royal Conservatoire, The Hague; Untitled: Artist in Building, Former KPN Building, The Hague

Selected Awards & Residencies: 2010: The Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4 New Sensations Prize 2010; The Fifth Annual Armitage Young Sculptor Prize, Kenneth Armitage Foundation; 2009: Merzbarn Foundation, Lake District

Collections: The Saatchi Gallery, London; private collections in the United Kingdom

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