Yelena Popova - artist research

I first saw Yelena's works about 5 years ago and they really inspired me. They just looked so different from anything I had seen before in the way that they where made and the way they were displayed.


Above is typical example of her work. She uses lovely high quality linen canvases that are subtly stained or painted depending on your point of view. I was instantly drawn to her muted use of tone and the way the different layers of paint interact with one another to create further subtle tones.

Her hanging style is quite interesting too. If I was to be totally honest I think that many times she often over works the display and sometimes they detract from the actual paintings. Below is an example of what I mean.


This installation / collection of pictures is a little bit too over blown for me. Her canvases are lovely and subtle but the presentation of the is a bit too aggressive. I think she has used far too many cut out shapes of wood here and the fact that there is a lot of wood makes me ponder what is the purpose of the wood? Is it there are an aesthetic compliment to the painted works (i think they are), or does the wooden shapes themselves have something important to add to the installation outside of the fact they are just interesting shapes that are mirrored in the canvases and help make the installation look interesting.

I love to see an artist challenge conventional methods of display but sometimes anything outside of the expected can look a bit contrived and I think this is such an example. I really like her work and I think it has progressed over time and her presentations have become a lot more subtle but overall her approach has really made me think about the ways that a painting can be presented in the gallery space.

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