Semen Agroskin


“The art by Semen Agroskin is the metaphysical perspective of the commonness after pop art, socialist realism and nonconformity. The reality of new forms and old ways of life in his pictures is as though ashamed of itself, its own marginality – but only so that more important meanings are able to come to the surface. His figurative meditations disclose in still-lives not only the resources of a social document, but also those of a vision privy to the invisible side of things.”

– Alexander Evangeli

Semen Agroskin creates still life paintings of everyday life. The mode of viewing the ordinary can be critical such as in 19th century Realism, didactically utopian such as in Social Realism, pop-artistic and so on. Agroskin proposes such a mode of metaphysical view which hardly synchronizes with our everyday visual stimuli: life in communal houses, illegal workers, life with disposable plates, lunches in the midst of construction and overall discomfort. This is a Metaphysical Realism after Pop art, Social Realism, and Non-Conformist art. Yet Agroskin is not in a dialogue with reality, he does not have a revealing sense of excitement nor does he exhibit compassion. The reality in his works is marginal, muted, and deliberately unaffectionate; the reality is almost not willing to be shown. In spite of the depictions of a disposable plate and modern appliances, and despite the use of a modern paining style, all these textures bring back the memories of Soviet existence. Behind Agroskin is a collection of works in which the reverse side of reality is studied more clearly and definitively. He studies the memoir experiences. His still life reconstructs an experience of a modern person frozen in the USSR. These still life paintings signal to us that the daily uneventful life is more fundamental than the environment that creates it.

Such painting mutes its expression and its temperament in order to create a very particular effect. Agroskin’s still life paintings form a strange desire among spectators to study them as documents; this phenomenon occurs because a painting is based on a photographic optic effect. This gives a rise to a feeling of treating a still life as a social document.

Solo exhibitions:
2013  Reconstruction. Gallery Ruarts, Moscow
2011  Others. Gallery 11.12, Moscow
2010  ZEN d’art. Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Moscow, Russia
2009  Living Iron.  RuArts Gallery, Moscow, Russia
2008  Night. RuArts Gallery, Moscow, Russia
2007 School of Painters. RuArts Gallery, Moscow, Russia
2006  Inventory: continuance. RuArts Gallery, Moscow, Russia
2005 Jewish Cultural Center, Moscow, Russia
            M’ARS Gallery, Moscow, Russia
2003 Manezh Gallery, Moscow, Russia
2002  Manezh Gallery, Moscow, Russia
2001-2002 Death Penalty. Sakharov Center and  Museum, Moscow, Russia
            Self-portraits. Marat Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia
1999  S-Art, Moscow, Russia
1997   Alias, Paris, France
1996  Moscow Humanitarian University, Moscow
1993  Marat Guelman Gallery, Moscow
1992  Marat Guelman Gallery, Moscow
White Gallery. Tel-Aviv, Israel

Group exhibitions:
2008 Art Moscow, Moscow, Russia
2007 Art Moscow, Moscow, Russia
2006 Art Moscow, Moscow, Russia
2005 Egalitarianism. 1-st Moscow Biennale Special project. RSHU Exhibition Center, Moscow, Russian
Art-Field. Landscape contemporary sculpture exhibition. Moscow District, Russia
Us, Gallery at Solyanka, Moscow, Russia
2004 Inner Circle (after the  Big Fire). Contemporary art Center M’AR, Moscow, Russia
Art Klyazma. Moscow District, Russia
ART Karlsruhe, Germany
Art Manezh, Moscow, Russia
Body, Culture and Optical Illusions, Art Museum named after I. V. Cvetaev. Moscow, Russia
2003 Art Manezh, Moscow, Russia
2002 Native Land, Fatherland, New Manezh, Moscow, Russia
 Art Manezh, Moscow, Russia
2001  Wall Newspaper, Sakharov Center and Museum, Moscow, Russia
2000  Alphabet. Dar Gallery. Moscow, Russia
            Art Manezh, Moscow, Russia
1999  Heroes, New Manezh, Moscow, Russia
1998 House of Artists. Jerusalem. Israel
            The Control Station of Feelings, New Manezh, Moscow, Russia
1997  Tretyakov State Gallery. Lis Yanstrup Collection, Moscow, Russia
1995  Five Years. Marat Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia
1994  Joint project with A. Medvedev. IBM Headquarters. Moscow; Gravely Gallery. Washington
1993  Exhibition dedicated to the 7th Congress of Deputies. Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia
1992 City Theatre, Edinburgh, Great Britain
1990 Open Workshops, together with Artistes a'laBastill, Paris
1989  Eidos. House of Youth, Moscow. Joint project with Frais Reiland
Labyrinths. Warsaw, Poland







Wires. 2011
Canvas, oil, 120х150 cm
Noodles. 2011
Canvas, oil, 170x120 cm
Soup. 2010
Canvas, oil, 150х130 cm
Pots. 2011
Canvas, oil, 120х100 cm
Сisterns. 2011
Canvas, oil, 170х120 cm
Mongrel. 2007
Canvas, oil, 110х150 cm
Basic Instrument. 2015
Oil on Canvas. 110 x 120 cm