A selection of paintings from ‘Autoradio’ by Olga Chernysheva, showing at the Foxy Production gallery in Chinatown. (Marianna Rosen)

Art, as some argue, is what makes us stop short and look anew at the mundane. Olga Chernysheva, a contemporary Russian artist whose solo show opened this Friday at the Foxy Production gallery in Chinatown, works with fragments of daily life, capturing her subjects as they negotiate quotidian spaces and tasks.

Olga Chernysheva, who lives and works in Moscow, is one of very few internationally renowned contemporary Russian artists. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, including, MOMA, Tate Modern, New Museum, Secession, Venice Biennale, and Manifesta. It encompasses various media – painting and drawings, photography, video art, and film. The current exhibition, a new series called Autoradio, contains only drawings and paintings. Yet these works betray an eye trained in cinematography – they resemble a static shot, a result of freezing of the action.  The title of the series is also alluding to the process of film editing – changing the sound of the video frame creates an impression of transformation in the visual content.

WHO: Olga Chernysheva
WHAT: Autoradio
WHERE: Foxy Production
WHEN: October 26 – December 9, 2018

Being caught in a state of existential detachment is the theme of the artist’s meditations in oil and pencil. One sequences of oil paintings captures the fragmented process of driving – each individual work representing disjointed element of one movement, frozen in space and time. Another one, drawn on paper, is a sequence depicting a subway crowd as a stream of winter coats and hats ascending an escalator into a vanishing point. It hints at the perspective of someone whose job is to mind the escalator. Its effect is twofold – the viewer tries to reconcile the intricate vignette with the idea of perpetual monotony.

There is nothing monumental in Olga Chernysheva’s works; on the contrary, relatively small in scale they zoom onto the minute. Yet, they affect powerfully – realistic in style they alert to the degree of abstraction we tend to maintain in our daily lives, in Moscow as much as in New York City.