Olga Chernysheva is known as a sensitive and perceptive observer and chronicler of the daily lives, mostly of people in Russia. In drawings, paintings, photographs, and videos, she translates the impact on people of changing economic and psychological realities into “poetic circumstances.”
For her exhibition Chandeliers in the Forest, Chernysheva has selected recent and older works from multiple series and in a variety of media that bring contemplative moments into focus in which inward states of mind manifest themselves in outward phenomena.
Chernysheva’s psychological approach is informed by both nineteenth-century Russian realism and Soviet avant-garde film. One important source of inspiration for the artist, who was trained as an animation filmmaker, are the movies of Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, and Alexander Dovzhenko, who became famous for their innovative editing techniques and expressionist cinematic idiom. The drama and ideological slant of their works are alien to Chernysheva’s art, but the psychological expressiveness of the individual frame and the embrace of gestures and facial play as narrative devices suggest the influence of 1920s and 1930s cinema. Dovzhenko’s silent films, in particular, rely on close-ups and long uninterrupted takes to convey the dramatic tension of his scenes and the emotions involved through facial expressions or even landscape details.