My connection to video footage comes from the fact that I saw my old world fade away through the screen.
Through reference to recent but already antiquated technology, Kon Trubkovich investigates the ways in which personal and collective memories routinely contradict one another, their inherent divergence complicating ideas of “truthful” documentation. Drawing on both recorded history and the story of his family’s 1990 emigration from the USSR to the United States, he marks the passage of time by emulating the visual distortion of degraded electronic media in paint.
Trubkovich was born in Moscow and is based in New York. He made his solo exhibition debut in 2006 with No Country for Old Men at MoMA PS1, New York, and has, since then, shown his work internationally at venues including the Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy; Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow; and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. In 2007, he was included in USA: American Video Art at the Beginning of the 3rd Millennium at the 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art.
Using a fine brush to render the distinctive grain of the broadcast image, Trubkovich reconstructs political and social events from their depiction on television. His palette connects different points in time, combining the vibrant hues of Byzantine icons with the jarring chromatics of the cathode ray image. While referring to Trubkovich’s childhood years, many of the artist’s works relate to recent instances of civil unrest in the United States. He has also alluded to narratives of Eastern European art that were suppressed or neglected under the Soviet regime.
In addition to his paintings, drawings, and sculptures, Trubkovich has made video installations that explore themes of autonomy and confinement. No Exit (2008) depicts naked prisoners marching in circles in the aftermath of a riot. In this and other works, he explores the parallel between the artist’s studio and other sites of restriction and rebellion.
Kon Trubkovich Selects: The Russians Love Their Children Too
Kon Trubkovich has curated a selection of films under the title The Russians Love Their Children Too, as part of a series copresented by Gagosian and Metrograph. The program, comprising ten films presented at Metrograph’s New York theater and online in December 2021, explores Russian and Eastern European cinema from various angles. From the documentaries of Sergei Loznitsa to quintessential masterpieces such as Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mirror (1975), the selected films contain elements key to Trubkovich’s life and art practice. Here, Trubkovich speaks on their importance.
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2021
The Fall 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Damien Hirst’s Reclining Woman (2011) on its cover.
Historian Victoria Phillips speaks with the artist about his new paintings, memory and its relationship to media, and the continuing impact of the Cold War.
Kon Trubkovich Selects
December 10–19, 2021
Metrograph, New York
Kon Trubkovich has curated a selection of films under the title of The Russians Love Their Children Too, as part of a series copresented by Gagosian and Metrograph in the theater and online. The program, comprising ten films, explores Russian and Eastern European cinema through various angles. From the documentaries of Sergei Loznitsa to quintessential masterpieces such as Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mirror (1975), the selected films contain elements key to Trubkovich’s life and art practice. To attend a screening, purchase tickets at metrograph.com.
Additionally, on December 18, Trubkovich will be in conversation with director Sergei Loznitsa following the screening of The Event.
Still from Mirror (1975), directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
New Social Environment
The Antepenultimate End: Kon Trubkovich and Jason Rosenfeld
Monday, October 18, 2021, 2pm edt
As part of the Brooklyn Rail’s online series New Social Environment, Kon Trubkovich joins the journal’s editor-at-large Jason Rosenfeld for a conversation about the artist’s current exhibition, The Antepenultimate End, at Gagosian, Park & 75, New York, as well as his practice in general. In these daily lunchtime Zoom conversations, invited artists, writers, filmmakers, and poets discuss creative life in the context of our new social reality with Brooklyn Rail staff. The talk will conclude with a poetry reading by imogen xtian smith. To join the online event, register at brooklynrail.org.
Installation view, Kon Trubkovich: The Antepenultimate End, Gagosian, Park & 75, New York, September 9–October 23, 2021. Artwork © Kon Trubkovich. Photo: Rob McKeever
The Art of Wishes 2021
Monday, October 11, 2021
Natural History Museum, London
Founded by philanthropist and Make‐A‐Wish patron Batia Ofer, the Art of Wishes is a charitable initiative that brings the international art community together to raise funds for Make-A-Wish UK, a nonprofit organization that grants the wishes of children with critical illnesses. The fourth annual Art of Wishes benefit auction and gala will take place at the Natural History Museum in London. The auction will be hosted on Artsy, with a preview of the artworks open to the public from October 2 through 8 at Sotheby’s London. More than twenty works by leading international artists such as Georg Baselitz, Jenny Saville, Kon Trubkovich, and others will be included.
Georg Baselitz, Schlafzimmer, 2021 © Georg Baselitz 2021. Photo: Jochen Littkemann