Press Office Exhibition


Released: December 20, 2010 ·

From February 25 through May 22, 2011, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present New Work: Anna Parkina, an exhibition premiering the latest body of work by emerging Russian artist Anna Parkina.

Known for her eclectic visual language that collages media and blends genres, Parkina boldly explores the dynamics of history and perception. Her richly layered pictorial works often evoke the forms and imagery of Russian Constructivism but also draw on her own contemporary lexicon of mass-culture motifs and abstraction to reflect on changes in the artist’s home city of Moscow since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Parkina’s project for SFMOMA, entitled Fallow Land—her first U.S. museum exhibition—will showcase the range of her practice with a large suite of new works on paper (including watercolors and tissue paper collages) as well as the premiere of a performance piece, all created specifically for this presentation. Organized by SFMOMA Assistant Curator of Collections, Exhibitions, and Commissions John Zarobell, the exhibition continues the museum’s New Work series dedicated to featuring the most innovative expression of contemporary art.

At 31 years old, Parkina has made a name for herself in numerous international exhibitions in Europe—including the 2009 Venice Biennale—but has not shown much in the United States. Her artwork mixes photography, drawing, and text, and often incorporates bold geometric forms and color. Influences of filmic montage and industrial design recall themes and techniques of the early-20th-century Soviet avant-garde, particularly the photocollages of Aleksander Rodchenko and the abstract compositions of Liubov Popova.

But her approach to this artistic history is complex. Parkina was born and raised in the Soviet Union, but then lived abroad in Paris and California before returning to post-Soviet Russia. Parkina is particularly interested in the changes that have developed in her native city of Moscow. Rather than attempting to generate new forms that would serve to propel society forward, as did the historical Russian avant-garde, Parkina employs mass-media imagery from her surroundings—Russian cars, Soviet architecture, teapots, and birds—to investigate the cultural shifts from a more distant perspective. Teetering between figuration and abstraction, her art renders a society in flux in which careers, fortunes, and worlds are made and destroyed every day.

“What is compelling about Parkina’s reuse of collage techniques is how prescient her forms of pictorial manipulation seem in our era of digital media,” says Zarobell. “Her work seems to find the meaning behind the message and take it drastically out of context to produce a real world with the qualities of the surreal.”

In addition to her pictorial works, Parkina has also staged performances and created videos, and has further mixed both these forms. To complement the gallery presentation of her SFMOMA project, the artist will debut a performance piece to take place on February 24, 2011, as part of the museum’s Live Art series.

Parkina was born in Moscow in 1979. She studied in Paris at the Université Paris 8 and the École des Beaux-Arts and received an MFA at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. She has since returned to Moscow, where she currently lives and works. Her work was included in the 2009 Venice Biennale and 2009 Moscow Biennale and has most recently been shown at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York (March 2010) and the Wilkinson Gallery in London (October 2010). Parkina has had solo exhibitions at numerous venues, including the Art Cologne Gallery in Cologne, Germany (2009); the GMG Gallery in Moscow (2009); COMA and Autocenter, both in Berlin (2008); and the Dan Hug Galerie in Los Angeles (2007). Her group exhibitions include KAI 10 raum fur Kunst, Dusseldorf, Germany (2010); Gallery Anton Litvin, Moscow (2009); Christian Nagel Gallery, Berlin (2008); CAPC, Bordeaux, France (2007); and Galerie 207, New York (2007), among many others.  

A free illustrated brochure will be produced in conjunction with this exhibition, featuring images of Parkina’s work and an essay by SFMOMA curator John Zarobell.

Now Playing: Anna Parkina Debuts Performance

Thursday, February 24, 6–9:45 p.m.

7 p.m. Performance by Anna Parkina

9 p.m. Performance by robbinschilds with Kinski

Parkina explores avant-garde legacies in her world-premiere performance “Fallow Land,” which coincides with the opening of her New Work exhibition at SFMOMA. Then, as part of the Noise Pop Festival, dance artists robbinschilds (Layla Childs and Sonya Robbins) and Seattle noise band Kinski present C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience), a collaborative piece created with visual artist A.L. Steiner and set designer AJ Blandford. C.L.U.E. is a video and performance work that features a monochromatic pair moving through an array of environments, from salt flats and high deserts to redwood forests and rocky beaches, through dry river basins and vast parking lots. A work permanently in progress, the piece also shifts and adapts uniquely to each presentation site.


From its inception in 1987, SFMOMA’s New Work series was conceived as a means to feature the most innovative expressions of contemporary art. Artists such as Matthew Barney, Marilyn Minter, and Christopher Wool were given their first solo museum exhibitions through the program, establishing the series as an important vehicle for the advancement of new art forms. Over the ensuing decade, New Work featured artists such as Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Tatsuo Miyajima, Doris Salcedo, Luc Tuymans, Kara Walker, and Andrea Zittel, among many others. After a four-year hiatus, SFMOMA reintroduced the New Work series in 2004 and has since showcased work by Edgar Arceneaux, Phil Collins, Rachel Harrison, Wengechi Mutu, Felix Schramm, Paul Sietsema, Lucy McKenzie, Mai-Thu Perret, Ranjani Shettar, Vincent Fecteau, Mika Rottenberg, and R. H. Quaytman.

The New Work series is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and is generously supported by Collectors Forum, the founding patron of the series. Major funding is provided by the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund and Robin Wright and Ian Reeves. Additional support is provided by Martha and Bruce Atwater and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Jill Lynch 415.357.4172 jilynch@sfmoma.org
Clara Hatcher Baruth 415.357.4177 chatcher@sfmoma.org
Press Office