contemporary art

George Pusenkoff

Russian Federation 1953

Installation, Conceptual Art, Video Installation

George Pusenkoff
George Pusenkoff
Russian Federation
January 29, 2015

George Pusenkoff is a Russian painter and installation artist, recognized for his artworks that combine two cultural realms which have rarely been intermeshed this closely before – modern art and cultural history and digital image production with new media and computer technology.

Pusenkoff reacted to development of computer technology with a digital aesthetic that corresponds with the postmodern perception of the world. Born in 1953 in Krasnopolje, USSR, Pusenkoff studied art as well as computer sciences. He got his education at the Moscow Academy for Polygraphic Design, and at the Moscow Technical University for Informatics.

In his early career, Puskenoff worked predominantly with acrylic, rendering vibrant forms at various stages of abstraction, though he gave them titles that anchored them in specific narrative contexts, often referencing art-historical subject matter, as in Kidnapping of Europe, Bronzino, Ciccolina and Yves Klein. Pusenkoff painted his first digital border in 1996, simulating the 8bit look of the first computerized windows. He continued to experiment with the visual language of the computer screen, at times using just the browser window bar as an abstracted geometrical form.

The pixels are always visible in Pusenkoff’s works, sometimes emphasized, sometimes hardly recognizable. For the artist, the pixels are not a metaphorical figure but an acting unit as well as a sign of a real interaction between art and technology.

Mass culture has always been subject to imitation and consideration in Puskenoff’s work, including icons of the post-digital age as cyber-culture has become increasingly ubiquitous. Many of his motifs originate from the visual agenda of the last hundred years. He invokes famous icons of modern art such as Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square, Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square or Piet Mondrian’s reduced geometric paintings and transfers them into a new aesthetic.

In 1999, Pusenkoff painted his version of Andy Warhol’s take on the iconic Renaissance Da Vinci original – his silk screened Mona Lisa, surrounded by a browser box, became the basis for an ongoing, travelling installation. George Pusenkoff has translated Leonardo’s beauty with the help of the computer and digital media technology into a visual language that fits our times, and opened up new levels of interpretation. This is especially true for his conceptual works with this famous portrait, such as the photographically documented travels of a black-and-yellow Mona Lisa through Russia. The so-called Mona Lisa Tower is a freestanding, accessible tower made from aluminum. Inside the roofless tower 500 square Mona Lisa portraits in any shade of color hang closely together – a continuation of serial painting in the age of digital reproduction and an overwhelming open-air vortex of images.

Pusenkoff’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Moscow’s Museum of Modern Art, and the 2005 Venice Biennale. In recent period, George Pusenkoff has been exhibiting along with his son, Ilya, who is a photo and video artist, under a name Pusnkoff&Pusenkoff. A Cologne-based art duo is approaching an interdisciplinary dialogue between their artistic material – the still and the moving image, the abstract and the figurative, implying their artistic visions into captivating video installations.

The artist lives and works both in Cologne, Germany and Moscow, Russia.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2008La Condition Humaine (1:1)Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum, Germany Solo
2007Mona Lisa und das Schwarze QuadratMuseum Ritter, Waldenbuch, Germany Solo
2007Who is AfraidMoscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow Solo
2007I BelieveWinzavod Contemporary Art Center, MoscowGroup
2006Der gestohlene BlickArt Loss, Cologne, Germany Group
2005From the Digital to the AnalogueNew Manege State Exhibition Halls, Moscow Solo
2005Mona Lisa Goes SpaceVenice, Italy Solo
2005George PusenkoffGalerie Uwe Sacksofsky, Heidelberg, Germany Solo
2005SquareMuseum Ritter, Waldenbuch, Germany Group
2005Russian Pop ArtState Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Group
2004Mona Lisa’s JourneysState Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Solo
2004Berlin – Moskau - Moskau – Berlin 1950–2000Martin-Gropius-Bau, BerlinGroup
2004Berlin – Moskau - Moskau – Berlin 1950–2000State Historical Museum, Moscow Group
2003Erased or not ErasedJüdisches Museum Westfalen, Dorsten, Germany Solo
2003Das Recht des BildesMuseum Bochum, Bochum, Germany Group
2002Mona Lisa Goes RussiaHeidelberger Kunstverein, HeidelbergSolo
2002Mona Lisa Goes RussiaStadtische Galerie, Iserlohn, Germany Solo
2002Digital Field PaintingsGalerie Bernhard Knaus, Mannheim, Germany Solo
2002Erased MalewichKulturgeschichtliches Museum, Felix-Nussbaum-Haus, Osnabruck, Germany Solo
2002Painted And ErasedMärkisches Museum, Witten, Germany Solo
2002Abstract Art in Russia - 20th centuryState Russian Museum, St. Petersburg Group
2002Kunst nach KunstNeues Museum Weserburg, Bremen, Germany Group
2001Nicht Ruhe geben, bis die Erde quadratisch istMannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim, Germany Group
2000Erased DreamsBrigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany Solo
2000Art & PixelErnst Hilger Gallery, Paris Solo
1999PaintingBrigitte March Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany Solo
1999BlauGalerie Brigitte Schenk, Cologne, Germany Group
1998Frühstück im GrvnenGalerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna Solo
1998Simply VirtualState Russian Museum, St. PetersburgSolo
1998Digital ExpressionismGalerie Brigitte Schenk, Cologne, Germany Solo
1997Simply VirtualMannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim, Germany Solo
1997Erased RauschenbergGalerie Benden & Klimczak, Cologne, Germany Solo
1997Mona Lisa in RussiaGuelman Gallery, MoscowSolo
1997Mona Lisa in RussiaNational Centre for Contemporary Arts, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia Solo
1997George PusenkoffGalerie Brigitte March, Stuttgart, Germany Solo
1997Homage to the PixelKulturallianzen, Allianz-Versicherungs AG, Cologne, Germany Solo
1996George PusenkoffGalerie Brigitte March, Stuttgart, Germany Solo
1995George PusenkoffUrsula-Blickle-Stiftung, Kraichtal-Unteröwisheim, GermanySolo
1995George PusenkoffState Russian Museum, St. Petersburg Solo
1994George PusenkoffGalerie Berndt, CologneSolo
1994George PusenkoffTransArt Exhibitions, Cologne, Germany Solo
1994Europa – EuropaBundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany Group
1993George PusenkoffEvelyn Aimis Gallery, Boca Raton, USA Solo
1993A WallState Tretyakov Gallery, MoscowSolo
1993A WallGalerie Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf, GermanySolo
1993Adresse provisoire pour l’art contemporain russeMusée de la Poste, Paris Group
1992George PusenkoffGalerie Fernando Quintano, Bogota Solo
1991George PusenkoffGalerie Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf, GermanySolo
1989George PusenkoffRichard Demarco Gallery, EdinburghSolo
1989George PusenkoffHill Gallery, London Solo
1988Shock Workers of Art - ASSA Art-Rock-ParadeHouse of Culture of Moscow Lamp Factory, Moscow Group
1987Retrospection 1957–1987Hermitage Amateur Society, Exhibition Hall at 100 Profsoyuznaya, MoscowGroup