Alexey Kallima will present a new body of work for his first solo gallery exhibition in New York. A refugee from Grozny, Chechnya, Kallima fled to Moscow shortly after the Russian invasion in 1994. The artist frequently references the effects of this turmoil in his politically-charged paintings and installations. For this exhibition, Kallima will present a group of new large scale paintings and a dynamic installation referencing the current Russian police state.
Although Alexey Kallima has moved beyond the traditional academic training he received at the University of Krasnodar towards a more expressive language, he acknowledges the monumental character and principles of historical painting in his work, which examines the ongoing Russian/Chechen conflict and his personal and highly political response as a refugee. A series of paintings and drawings, Chechen Women's Team of Parachute Jumping and Its Virtual Fans depicts young woman in varying stages of parachuting that recall the segregated teams Kallima observed as a child. While Russian propaganda maintains that the conflict is over, the Chechen economy has been paralyzed and segregation is still prevalent. Kallima's work imagines a utopian world where ethnicity does not temper equality. His use of perspective and expressive brushstroke reveals his interest in representing the heroism of the Chechen people and his affection towards them.
In the South Gallery, Kallima will construct a site specific installation referencing the current state of many Chechens living in Russia who do not feel free to reveal their identities for fear of being persecuted by the forceful Russian state. Kallima will paint a mural on the wall that is only visible in blacklight.
Alexey Kallima was born in Groznyy in 1969 and currently lives and works in Moscow. Upon graduation from the University of Krasnodar he opened the France Gallery. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions worldwide including the Moscow Biennial, Moscopolis at Espace Louis Vuitton in Paris, and Russia at Whitebox in New York.
For further information about Alexey Kallima or the gallery, please visit our website at www.LehmannMaupin.com, or you may contact Stephanie Smith at Stephanie@LehmannMaupin.com or 212 255 2923. On view at our Bowery gallery (201 Chrystie Street) is Jennifer Steinkamp from 7 September - 18 October 2008.