Biography

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

BORN 1956, Volgograd, Russia

Based on an admiration for precision, Olga Antonova’s still-life paintings narrate exacting color reflections and light distortions but sing due to their nuance and subtle humor.  In her work, arbitrary arrangements of old-fashioned objects echo refined society and social practices while serving, as Olga indicates, “…a pretext for my execution and sensitivity to technical issues.”  Incidentally perhaps, they also suggest a range of curious, personified interactions and identities.

The relationship among Olga’s subjects is an aspect to consider as much as each item’s precise details, reflections, cracks, and tarnish.  At times, couples of demitasse cups co-exist as a pair, reflecting with an attention to symmetry, their patterned surroundings.  Outrageous groups of precariously stacked tea cups indicate a tenuous balance of interdependency, much like the multitude of social relationships we daily juggle.  Or, a lone cup sits on its side, surrounded by patterned cloth, capturing one of Olga’s goals:  “to catch that moment of solitude, that quiet harmony that people can relate to.”

Olga distinctly employs an extreme range of thick to thin paint, relying upon the physicality of the painted color to convince you of reflections.  Gail Leggio remarks on Olga’s technique in the American Arts Quarterly, “….she [also] considers the conceptual underpinnings of her craft, the complex relationship between mimetic, illusionistic image and stained, two-dimensional fabric.  Antonova seems aware of that double nature:  art that shows us a reflection of the outside world while insisting on its own physical properties and formal logic.”  Sharp, thick, curved blotches of lemon-yellow are as impactful as bright reflected light, while somber, neutral, thinly painted backgrounds, softly recede and fade from notice.

Olga paints special and pretty chinaware that mesmerize you with their fancy detail.  These cups, plates, and bowls encourage one to want to show them off and display them, separate from human contact, as they are intended to be more observed than used.

Her work is included in many private collections and also in the slide library of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution and in the print collection of the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University.  She has exhibited widely throughout the United States, including exhibitions at the Fine Art Museum in IN, the Downey Museum in CA, and the Tufts University Museum in MA as well as in Germany at the Museum Stadt Hanau and in France.  Olga Antonova has her MFA from the Repin Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia and resides in the Boston area.


EDUCATION

1980 MFA, Repin Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia


COLLECTIONS

Billy Wilder
Brown, Rudnik, Freed & Gesmer
Cooper & Lybrand
Fidelity Investments
George Henoch Shechtman
Marriott Hotels
Mass Bank for Savings
Putnam Investments
Vinson & Elkins
Eleonora Berlusconi


AWARDS & HONORS

Juried Exhibition Competition Award, Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge, MA, 1999
Included in Caldic Collection, Rotterdam, Holland, 1997
Included in Print Collection of Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 1992
Included in Slide Library of National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC,1990
Artists Fellowship in Visual Art, California Art Council, Sacramento, 1989-90
Invited Speaker at Woman’s Building, Los Angeles, 1989
Participant in the slide screening “Boston Collects”, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1987


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

Fine Arts Museum, South Bend, IN
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum, Rutgers University
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
Woman’s College, Lynchburg, VA
The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
ART Cologne, Germany
ART Zurich, Switzerland
Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
Art of the 20th Century, New York, NY
US Artists, Philadelphia, PA
San Francisco Int’l Art Exposition, CA
Art Chicago in the Park, IL
Dallas Art Fair, TX
Art Miami: Context, Miami, FL
LA Art Show, Los Angeles, CA
Multicultural Center for the Arts, Cambridge, MA
Casa Vieja Gallery, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Frankfurt Art Fair, Germany


GALLERIES

Gallery Henoch (New York City)
Selby Fleetwood Gallery (Santa Fe, N.M.)
Gardner Colby Gallery (Naples, Fla.)
Beth Urdang Gallery (Wellesley, Mass.)
Rice Pollak Gallery (Provincetown, MA)


PUBLICATIONS

American Arts Quarterly, Winter 2016
The Artist’s Magazine, November, 2015


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