Veronica Smirnoff, Morozka

Preview 14th February, 6.30 pm
14th February- 5st April, 2008




The Galleria Riccardo Crespi is pleased to present Morozka the first exhibition by Veronica Smirnoff.

An exhibition of over than twenty paintings which shows the young artist's strong link to her native Russia.

Morozka is in fact a young peasant girl, and the protagonist of a Russian fable, who is abandoned by her stepmother in a forest in the middle of a bitter winter. There she meets Father Moroz who, struck with her strength of mind, rescues her.

This is not just a cultural reference but also a reference to the aesthetic and allegorical Russian tradition that can be found in her imaginary and fairy-tale characters.

These figures break away from reality with a melancholic atmosphere and become part of the memory thus making it seem a more silent form of art, which does not want to stand out but often represents reality in a spectacularly dramatic way. 

It is a visual journey that takes us from the Russian miniatures through the art of the first Renaissance, of Bruegel and Bosch, and finishes with cartoons and the comic strip technique, whilst constantly maintaining an intensely symbolic appearance and value.

The technique used is the ancient technique of orthodox icons: egg tempera on small Russian birch boards treated with gesso using the techniques that are still used today by the Russian orthodox community to prepare icons. 

There are strong references to religious culture and icons even if it is the dreamy symbolism of her paintings, representing the introspective and psychoanalytical analysis of the characters, that is most immediately striking.   

The pursuit of detail is central in her works and it waxes and wanes with every brush stroke, transforming an emotive state through vibrant colours of clothes and the shades of the sky, almost reminiscent of Chagall's poetry.

Veronica Smirnoff's art lights up as everything fades away, like a modern icon transcending time. It has a bi-dimensional aspect to it as she rediscovers in her paintings allegorical protagonists that have been inserted and interpreted in a contemporary context.