“Between Easel and Stove”: New Exhibition by Olga Yakovleva

In her latest series of paintings, Moscow-based artist Olga Yakovleva elevates the mundane by depicting it with an air of mystery. Her exhibition “Between Easel and Stove”, which recently opened at Alpert Gallery, features a number of women in the middle of daily tasks. They are tired, busy, sometimes bored but hints related to power, freedom, a greater truth somehow remain.

Two females sit in a place like a café, doing something ordinary like drinking wine and smoking cigarettes. But they are goddesses. We know this because they are without arms – a reference to the statue Venus de Milo. A dreamy housewife is at a table, lost, staring into space. But there is more to the story. She happens to be between a sign of infinity and an open door. Then a mother and a baby are comforted by an angel.

There is also an industrial landscape of electric poles with a dead bird. And a traveller with all sorts of boxes, tubs and containers.

Venus de Milo on display at the Louvre by User “Livioandronico2013”, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia
Olga Yakovleva

Olga has devoted the past few years of her life to home and children. Exhibitions have been rare and random. She prefers to call herself a “housewife who can draw” rather than an “artist”. However, her themes, layers of meaning, colour and composition will prove that her art is more than a mere hobby. Her interpretations of everyday situations – a family’s breakfast, a picnic in the country or a child’s illness – are always rich and deep.

Drawn to Biblical images and motifs, Olga wants to take common events to a higher level of dialogue through her work. She finds beauty and inspiration any and everywhere – in a jar with cigarette butts, in the foliage under the feet, in the eyes of the cashier at McDonald’s, in a random frame in a movie, even in the feverish blush on the cheeks of her youngest son during periods of sickness.

Olga Yakovleva was born in 1979 in Nizhny Novgorod. She attended the Nizhny Novgorod Art College and the Stroganov Academy. She has participated in more than 20 exhibitions in Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow. A member of the Moscow Union of Artists, Olga has won an international competition at the MARS contemporary art centre in Moscow as well as the all-Russian contest “Arch-Perspective”. Her paintings are in several private collections in Russia.

Find Olga Yakovleva on Facebook.

Thanks to Oksana Tzarevskaya for this post.