Valentine, 2022, Oil with coloured pencil on paper, 11.5 x 14.8 cm
Lera Dubitskaya | Corolor Pictulures | Wilder Gallery
In collaboration with Mothflower
18 May – 17 June 2022
PV Wednesday 18th May 6.30 - 8.30pm
Wed - Friday 10am-3pm, Saturdays *11am-2pm
* Saturday 21st May the gallery will be closed
Spectral beasts haunt the paintings of Lera Dubitskaya. Emerging from undergrowth or luminous pattern, they sink away again into floridity, their long serpentine limbs dissolving into the haze. These creatures disperse the taxonomical boundaries between mammal and reptile, human and animal, person and place. Dubitskaya’s works evoke mythologies of metamorphosis, enacting chimerical shifts that take place before the viewer’s eyes and celebrating the transformative power of the imagination.
In this ethereal realm, glowing figures hint at esoteric narratives, never unravelling to clear conclusions. Viewers are thrown off from their grounding in reality and given permission to enter a parallel fantasy world. Dubitskaya creates spaces for our imaginations to roam freely, encouraging us to embrace uncertainty. There is a sense of the meandering self-guided logic of dreams, where socially conditioned responses give way to complex webs of emotion.
The artist takes inspiration from medieval-era tapestries, such as the famous “Lady and the Unicorn” series of six woven hangings dating to the early 16th century. Dubitskaya draws on the classic mille-fleurs (thousand flowers) technique exemplified in these pieces, creating rich backgrounds of many different fantastical plants that come together to form distinctive patterns. Dubitskaya’s flowers repeatedly break free of the rules of patterning, developing into uncontrolled excrescences.
Flowers and plants are often depicted as symbols of happiness or purity; Dubitskaya, however, undermines these associations by allowing the unsettling elements of vegetal life to flourish. Her works draw attention to plants’ disconcerting ubiquity and their unnerving disregard for human-imposed regulations; left undisturbed, even the most sterile human spaces will be taken over by plant life in a matter of years. Through her carefully chosen palette of luminous hues, Dubitskaya evokes a world where the non-human has the upper hand in a balance that is simultaneously both serene and menacing.
Dubitskaya works with coloured pencils and oils on 90g/m Fabriano sketching paper, soaked with linseed oil to maximise its absorbency and achieve the characteristic softness seen throughout her current oeuvre. The exhibition’s title Corolor Pictulures expresses Dubitskaya’s simple interest in creating colour pictures. However, the distorted words also suggest the fluctuations and strangeness that characterise the artist’s work, echoing how the seeping of the paint into the paper blurs the distinctions between figure and background, human and other. Dubitskaya’s colourful paintings open up the imaginative possibilities of the wilderness, appealing perhaps to something primeval within us all.
Text by Anna Souter
Lera Dubitskaya ( b.1996. Minsk, Belarus, lives and works in Warsaw, Poland ). We are proud to offer Lera Dubitskaya her first solo exhibition and first international exhibition. Other notable recent exhibitions include 'Refugees Welcome Exhibition' at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, hosted by the Friends of the Museum and Ocalenie Foundation, April- May 2022 and 4ROOMS Vol.1, Leto Gallery, Poland, January 2021. Lera's unique and acclaimed works have been featured in ArtMaze Magazine, Moth Flower and she has a strong following on Instagram.
Symmetria, 2021, Oil with coloured pencil on paper, 14.7 x 10.6 cm