Erarta Galleries London presents Laces & Surges by Moscow artist Anna Taguti. Short-‐listed for the Kandinsky Prize (Best New Project, 2009), Russia’s most esteemed prize for the contemporary arts, her work combines unusual approaches to printmaking with elements of collage and delicate hand-‐stitched embroidery to create otherworldly works on paper and panel, and textile pieces that defy classification.
The pieces included in Laces & Surges borrow imagery from Coptic textile patterns. By doing so Taguti has adopted a form that can be edited, supplemented, and ultimately distorted, as the Coptic fabrics have multiple meanings and multiple lives. They are a palimpsest that provide the basis for an infinite series of adaptations and reincarnations, as their borrowed symbols begin to disappear under the additions and modifications of Taguti. Half erased and partially magnified, Taguti creates a new meaning and a new secret, perhaps sacred, language. Where once there was the face of a saint, we see a benign Lenin or the famous Rodchenko image of Lilya Brik, a thoroughly Soviet siren and muse.
Primarily working with seriography, Taguti has an innovative and open approach to printmaking. Her process is fluid and fleeting, again allowing for multiple interpretations. The processes she uses leave material traces of making, traces that in themselves become part of the narrative of the image. Frequently collaging her prints into larger panels, the images defy a simplistic, mimetic reading of the imagery. Her choice of printmaking alone is central to the reading of the work, for printing is a process of multiples, editions of the same image created over and over, but Taguti’s prints are all one offs, they are all hand-‐finished and all unique. Printmaking in its essence is an image of a memory: the image exists on the plate, or stone, or screen, and what is presented to viewer is an imprint of that image, its afterlife. Though she addresses themes of destruction, her interest lies in the rebirth that will follow.
The title of the exhibition, Laces & Surges, highlights the complex dichotomies of her work. While ‘laces’ suggest containment, control and that which is held back or withheld, ‘surges’ rush forward, swelling and sweeping everything in its path to the side. A surge cannot be laced, just as the meanings and readings of Taguti’s elegant images cannot be limited but conform to centuries old techniques and styles of imagery.
Anna Taguti was born in Riga in 1960. The daughter of artist Yakov Kozlov, Taguti studied art from a young age, first at the Moscow Arts School and later at the Surikov Institute. In 2009 she was short-‐listed for the Kandinsky Prize. She has exhibited extensively in Russia and Europe, and in 2012 completed a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York. Her work can be found in prominent public and private collections included the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Jewish Painters in New York.