Alexander Ponomarev /   Alexander Evgenievich Ponomarev

Russian Federation 1957

Installation, Photography

Alexander Ponomarev
Alexander Evgenievich Ponomarev
Russian Federation
May 30, 2017
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

A former sailor and a merchant marine, Alexander Ponomarev is an acclaimed artist who has traveled the globe searching for artistic inspiration. His works – installations, films, drawings, photographs – are all inspired by remote places such as the Arctic, Greenland and Antarctica, as well as the far seas. Born in 1957 in the city of Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine, he does not have the background you might expect for an artist – he obtained a degree from the USSR Nautical Engineering College in Odessa and spent years working as a sailor of the Soviet fleet. His art is greatly influenced by his past profession, and he keeps an enthusiasm and bond with the sea and the marine universe.

SubTiziano, 2009, Installation on the Grand Canal, Official Collateral Project, 53 biennale exhibition
A.Ponomarev – SubTiziano, 2009, Installation on the Grand Canal, Official Collateral Project, 53rd Venice Biennale

Maya: A Lost Island

The Moscow-based artist began producing his alluring inventions in the early 1990s while serving in the naval fleets of Russia. His experience in nautical engineering and a career as a submariner left a remarkable mark on his artistic output prevailed by monumental installations and films such as breathtaking Maya: A Lost Island, 2002. For this project, the artist persuaded the 5th fleet of the Russian Navy to lay a smokescreen in front of the island of Sedioyatyl located in the Barents Sea. He recorded the disappearance of the island’s landmass underwater in a film and photographs that have been exhibited throughout the world.

Ponomarev’s experience in nautical engineering and a career as a submariner left a remarkable mark on his artistic output

Maya - A Lost Island, 2002
A.Ponomarev – Maya: A Lost Island, 2002

Between Art and Technology

The colossal works made during some of the many oceanic journeys undertaken by the artist, are on the borderline between art and technology; they have an almost touchable force with dynamic complexity manifested through elaborated actions articulated over time. Without any practical use, his works take the viewer into an alternate, fictional and adventurous dimension that blurs his perception and makes him questions his comprehension of science. Some of his distinguished works include a nine-metres-long kinetic piece Base (2003), and Point of View (2010), an installation of two floating sailors looking out at the world through the tree trunks.

His works take the viewer into an alternate, fictional and adventurous dimension

exhibition ship Point of View, 2010
A.Ponomarev – Point of View, 2010

Exhibitions and Collections

In a career that spans over three decades, the charismatic artist has exhibited his works in many notable galleries and museums around the globe including Barbarian Art Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland; Calvert 22 Foundation, London, UK; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM), Monaco; Museum of Science and Industry, Paris, France; Krokin Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York, USA; and Laboratoria Art and Science Space, Moscow, Russia, to name a few. He participated at Venice Biennial of Contemporary Art three times – in 2007, 2009 and 2015. For the 56th Venice Biennale of Art, in 2015, he presented one of his latest project Concordia, inspired by the Costa Concordia disaster. Many prestigious collections are home to his works including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France, the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, Russia and the National Museum of Singapore in Singapore. In 2008, he was named an Officier des Arts et des Lettres by France’s Minister of Culture. He is also a member of the Russian Academy of Arts.

The charismatic artist has exhibited his works in many notable galleries and museums around the globe

Mirage Architecture, 2012, Richard Taittinger Gallery, NY, installation view
A.Ponomarev – Mirage Architecture, 2012, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York, installation view

Interactions with Geography, History and Ecology

More than thirty years after Alexander officially began to make artworks, his imagination is active like the first day. His work continues to be a product of compound interactions with geography, history and ecology. During many of artist’s voyages around the world, on the one hand, and inside his thoughts and feelings, on the other, these interactions crystallize into the spectacular installations, drawings and photographs.

He lives and works in Moscow.

Featured image: Portrait of the artist – photo credits Antartic Pavilion
All images copyright of the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2017The Antarctic BiennaleAntarcticaGroup
2016Stored in IceRichard Taittinger Gallery, New York, USASolo
2016Setouchi Triennale 2016 The islands of Seto Inland Sea, Kagawa, JapanGroup
2015Concordia, installation, 56th Venice Biennale of ArtVenice, ItalySolo
2015Subaquatic, with Artem MirolevichBarbarian Art Gallery, Zurich, SwitzerlandDuo
2015SinthomeRichard Taittinger Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2014Voice in the Wilderness, 5th Biennale of Marrakech31° 26'N 08° 10'W in Agafay Desert, Marrakech, MoroccoSolo
2014Ice LaboratoryLaboratoria Art and Science Space, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2010Sea StoriesCalvert 22, London, UKSolo
2009Subtiziano, 53d Biennale of Contemporary Art in VeniceVenice, ItalySolo
2009Sub-ZeroStudio Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, London Solo
2009Feedback, 3rd Biennial of Contemporary ArtMoscowSolo
2008Surface TensionGallery Cueto Project, New YorkSolo
2008Point of ViewGallery Nina Lumer, Milan, Italy Solo
2008Exit to the SurfaceMNMN - New National Museum of Monaco, Monte Carlo Solo
200752d Biennale in Venice, projects for the Russian pavilionVenice, Italy Solo
2007The Parallel Vertical, the central project of the 36th issue of the Autumn FestivalSalpetrier Cathedral, Paris Solo
2007The Secret Channel, a special project, the second Biennial of Contemporary Art in MoscowMoscowSolo
2006Narcissus Vice VersaCentre for Contemporary Art Granit, Belfort, France Solo
2005North Trail of LeonardoGallery Nina Lumer, Milan, Italy Solo
2005Alexander PonomarevGallery Rabouan-Moussion, Paris Solo
2005Monument Artifacts Jules Verne in the Bay of the Somme, the projectExhibition Hall Kortua, France Solo
2005Topologie du Zéro absoluMaison de la Photographie, MoscouSolo
2005Topologie du Zéro absolu, Le vent en roseGalerie Rabouan-Moussion, ParisSolo
2005NEMO-VERNE, un monument à Jules Verne en baie de SommeLe Crotoy, FranceSolo
2005Festival ArtMedia, firstRunIvry, FranceGroup
2005ART MOSCOWGalerie Krokine, MoscouGroup
2005Festival Sous les ponts, le long de la rivière IILuxembourgGroup
2004Exposition Bulldozers III (commissaire A. Landréat), Festival ARTKliazmaMoscouGroup
2004Passage d'Europe, commissaire L. HegyiMusée d'art moderne, Saint-EtienneGroup
2004ART MoscowGalerie Krokine, Moscou RussieGroup
2004RivagesMusée d'Art et d'histoire de Saint-Brieuc, FRAC BretagneGroup
2003La Toison d'or, Laboratoires artistiques flottantsApollonia, StrasbourgGroup
2003Abstraction russeGalerie nationale Tretiakov, Moscou, RussieGroup
2002Fumée sans feuMusée Sakharov, Moscou, RussieSolo
2002Mémoires de l'eauCité des sciences et de l'industrie, Paris, FranceSolo
2002Les Ateliers d'Art MoskvaMoscou, RussieGroup
2002De Moscou, Le QuartierCentre d'art contemporain de Quimper, FranceGroup
2002ARCOGalerie Krokine, Madrid, EspagneGroup
2002Les temps moscovitesCentre national d'art contemporain, Vilnius, Lituanie Group
2001Alexander PonomarevGalerie Palitra, Kharkov, Ukraine Solo
2001Alexander PonomarevGalerie Krokine, Moscou, RussieSolo
2001Abstraction russeMusée russe, Saint-Pétersbourg, RussieGroup
2001HimalayaGalerie Palitra, Kharkov, UkraineGroup
2001FacettesMusée de Volgograd, RussieGroup
2000Mer, forum international d'art contemporainDogomys, Sotchi, RussieGroup
1999ART ManègeGrand Manège, Moscou, RussieGroup
1999HérosPetit Manège, Moscou, RussieGroup
1999FormesMusée des Beaux-arts d'Ekaterinbourg, RussieGroup
1999Sardines à l'huileCentre national d'art contemporain, filiale de Kaliningrad, RussieGroup
1999Art communication tour 99, exposition austro-russeCentre national d'art contemporain de Moscou, RussieGroup
1998SorosCentre d'art contemporain, Moscou, RussieSolo
1997CREDO, série d'expositionsFondation pour la culture russe, Moscou, RussieGroup
1996Alexander PonomarevGalerie Kino, Moscou, RussieSolo
1996Ressusciter les naviresgalerie nationale Trétiakov, Moscou, RussieSolo
1995Festival KUKARTTsarskoe Selo, Saint-Petersbourg, RussieGroup
1995Présentation de la collection d'art contemporain d'IncombankMusée des Beaux-Arts d'Oulianovsk, RussieGroup
1994Arts graphiques abstraitsMusée des Beaux-arts d'Oriol, RussieGroup
1993Alexander PonomarevGalerie 6 de febrero, Valencia, EspagneSolo
1993Russische Kunst der 60-90 JahreResnabrück, AllemagneGroup
1993Ideal City. Trends in contemporary russian artMusée national de Singapour Group
1993ART MIF 3le Manège, Moscou, RussieGroup
1993Postmodernisme et traditions nationalesGalerie nationale Trétiakov, Moscou Group
1993Arts graphiques russesMusée des Beaux-arts, Ankara, TurquieGroup
1993Arts graphiques, HermitageMaison centrale des artistes, Moscou, RussieGroup
1992Alexander PonomarevGalerie Espai 29, Castello de la Plana, EspagneSolo
1992The lessons of Magnitsky. Geometrical abstraction : Moscow experienceCentre national d'art contemporain, Moscou, RussieGroup
1992Los tres artistas rusosGalerie Octubre, Castellon de la Plana, EspagneGroup
1991avec E. GorchakovaGalerie Ost and Vest, Copenhague, DanemarkSolo
1991ART MIF 2Grand Manège, Moscou, RussieGroup
1991Nos contemporainsMaison centrale des artistes, Moscou, RussieGroup
1991USSR exhibition of drawingsMaison centrale des artistes, Moscou, RussieGroup
1991Les artistes contemporains de MalevitchGalerie nationale Tretiakov, Moscou, RussieGroup
1991New circle, exposition d1artistes russes, ukrainiens et américainsCentre Martin Luther King, Washington, Etats-UnisGroup
1990avec A. KonstantinovMusée Hermitage, Saint-Pétersbourg, RussieSolo
1990ART MIF 1Grand Manège, Moscou, RussieGroup
1990Exposition des jeunes artistes d'URSSGrand Manège, Moscou, RussieGroup
1989XIXème exposition de jeunes artistesMaison centrale des artistes,Moscou Group
1989Transavangarde et néoclassicismeCentre cinématographique, MoscouGroup