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Recommendation: Andrey Chezhin at Sputnik Gallery

March 10, 2010

Early in February, Ralph and I stopped by the opening of Andrey Chezhin’s show at the Sputnik Gallery at 547 W. 27 St., 5 Floor. I’m giving you the address because this is work that shouldn’t be missed. There is still time to see it as the show is open through March 20.

Chezhin’s work is quietly spectacular. His images in black and white are intricate enough before he converts them to triplicate, quadruplicate or quintuplet roundabouts and overlays.

The gallery assistant, Sarah Davidson, described the process to us. Andrey still shoots film. In the darkroom, he masks the paper and prints a partial image, then remasks and prints more, then remasks and prints yet more, and so on until he’s completed his vision.

He then prints and adds transparent color to the images. The result is stunning. Images of buildings, streets, squares, bridges or statues are transformed into luminous abstraction. Well known iconography of Paris, New York, Berlin, Washington, St. Petersburg, Venice, and Athens in Andrey Chezhin’s hands become wonders of shape and color. His melding of painting and photography is simply joyous.

You can see the black and white intermediate steps as well as the finished artworks on the walls of the gallery.

Sputnik Gallery focuses on contemporary photography by artists from Russia and the former Soviet sphere of influence. The gallery’s director, Amy Kouznetsova, is intent on bridging artistic and cultural perspectives between the US and Russia. Kudos to her for her intent and her choices of artists

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