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Helena-A Reut
 
Helena Reut  

Selected exhibitions and projects:

Il Museo su una parete. Ar(T)cevia, Jesi, Arcevia (Ancona), Italy 2011

Individual Exhibition “What is Belarus?|, King’s Art Centre, Cambridge, UK 2011

Print series (mixed technique – Photography with etching) “Here/Now or Nowhere? / Nasi obcy”. Warsaw, Poland 2009-2010

Joint Photography project with Marcin Wilczynski “From Warsaw to Terespol”, Warsaw and Lukow 2007-2008

Scholarship Programme of the Culture Minister of Poland “Gaude Polonia” – Photographic Media Project “LIFE transit”, realised in “WRO” Media Arts Centre, Wroclaw 2007

Individual Exhibition “Circus”, Exhibition Hall of the Moscow Institute of Applied Arts 2006

“The Invisible”, Exhibition Hall of the Moscow Institute Applied Arts 2005

 
 

Helena-Alexandra Reut was born in Belarus and studied in Moscow (Russian State Humanities University, Faculty of the History of Religion; Moscow Institute of Applied Arts), then continued in Warsaw (Academy of Fine Arts, graduation work supervised by Piotr Welk – Graded ‘Excellent’).  She also attended the Warsaw School of Photography (directed by Marian Schmidt), the British Higher School of Art and Design, Moscow, and others.

In Helena’s own words, “The role of visual art is to express that which no other medium can convey. The exquisiteness of a painting is its inexplicable something – its striving for sacrum.  For centuries it did this by exploring explicitly religious themes – biblical scenes, myths and fables.  I believe this heritage is vital for the continued relevance of art, which is why I draw inspiration from, for example, the medieval period, the Fayum portraits, and difficult questions about the roots of the Slavic peoples – themes related to the art of bygone ages and the spirits of those times.  The techniques used by those artists also fascinate me, and I try to employ and re-interpret their methods in my own work.

Walter Benjamin wrote about the aura of the work of art, and lamented its loss in the age of mechanical reproduction.  I draw my subjects from history, mythology and the imagination because that is where I believe “aura” has its roots.  I strive or that unspoken quantity through which a painting can enchant and even haunt its viewer, like in Gogol’s famous story “The Portrait”.  Sadly I find that quality is missing in most of what passes as “conceptual” art today. I am convinced that contemporary art needs to turn away from loud and effective gestures and contemplate more deeply the world we live in and our relation to this world.  Artists need to return the image to its original essence.



 

 
 
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