The Descent
of Styrene /

22.03 – 14.04.2019
The contemporary artist is measured, weighed, contextualised, packed into a colourless toxic plastic monolith – styrene – and put on sale like a Mesozoic spider in amber – this is how show business rolls. Set designers, artists/engineers, artists/performers and even artists/artists (not unlike crossopterygians) – the list goes on – are fighting for their future on the stalls of the art market. Natasha Struchkova is labeled as 'artist/constructor.' In the sense that she doesn't paint or draw on her canvases, she builds them. Like architects design edifices. She studies the landscape, architecture, aboriginal habits, traditional materials – and only afterwards, thoroughly prepared, she starts to work. That is why all of her structures are monumental, multifaceted and offer multiple answers.

It may seem that Natasha Struchkova depicts Lego parts. First of all, she doesn't depict, and secondly, it's not Lego. Olga Rozanova's abstract pieces can be reduced in the same way to peasant land patterns seen from a bird's-eye view. Or Wassily Kandinsky's compositions can be seen as elementary particle tracks in Wilson's chamber. It's like there is a connection, but who cares about silly connections? According to Natasha Struchkova, multicoloured plastic is a material everything consists of now, a hundred years after a man rose above rural geometry and learned to photograph electrons. The artist/constructor simply uses found objects and makes art out from them. Quite realistic by nature, yet more abstract by appearance.
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However, it took some time for Natasha Struchkova to reach the ceiling of abstract work. Her early pixel paintings are entertaining and intriguing like computer animation or caricature. The plastic Lego appeared in her works much later as a result of liposuction: she consistently removed excess fat and plaster of narratives, landscapes, book illustrations from her paintings and got to the skeleton, to the bricks from which one can build a generalisation.

Natasha Struchkova encrypted her opening in round 'oculi.' So now, like tourists on the Mayakovskaya metro station, we have to look up to see the sky and the ground in these 'oculi.' A beautiful new sky with endless wi-fi, 5G all the way to the horizon. And a new polymer universe of the brighter – what else could it be? – future full of social networks. Where the world is controlled by the wise AI and all the people have become free artists suspended on the counters of the global museum like spiders in styrene.

Mikhail Kosolapov
Natasha Struchkova (b. 1968) graduated from the Moscow Institute of Architecture in 1993 and became one of the first Russian web designers. Her first creative projects in the late 90's were connected with the development of information technology, including the Internet and virtual reality programming languages.