This painting from the series Star Maps was first presented in the artist’s solo exhibition Popular Astronomy at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art in 2009. The name documents the change of the role of scientific knowledge in the modern context. What is a globe today? A model of the Earth charged with multiple layers of meanings, or an irrelevant empty symbol? In Paperno’s work a globe becomes the subject of a still life painting.
Studying the blue sphere with almost indistinct patches of continents, painted in free strokes of white, yellow, and brown colour, the viewer seems to see it as an object in its own right for the first time. The globe is placed in the middle of the picture against a neutral smoky grey background, and there is absolutely no trace of any commentary by the artist that might lead the viewer’s thoughts in any predetermined direction. This globe is equal in the eyes of the painter and the viewer, which is an ultimately different approach to the traditional system of their relations.
The openness of Paperno’s works to the viewer’s unaffected perception, the artist’s readiness to be equal to the viewer, as opposed to the traditional positioning of artists as creative geniuses uncovering the mysteries of the world to the few in the know, – these are distinctive characteristics of her perspective, so unique among the authors of this generation.
Alexandra Paperno, 2016
work on paper
Alexandra Paperno, 2009