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Blossoms and Fantasies
Yelena Tyklina
September 5th - October 5th, 2008
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Biography of Yelena Tylkina

On June 8, 1965, in the small town of Orsha in the Vitebsk Province, Belarus, at approximately 11:00 in the morning, a girl was delivered by “C” Section. The child’s mother, Anna Tylkina, named her Yelena, after the great trouble maker, Princess Helen of Troy. By osmosis, the word “rebel” etched itself into the new soul along with a lust for swimming against the current which never left Yelena Tylkina. The town of Orsha was just a dot on the map of the Soviet Union, as many thousands of similar towns over all the sixteen republics from Baltic Sea to the Bering Strait. For millions of households living without plumbing or a water supply, the “pechka”, the Russian fireplace, was the only source of heat in the bitter winter. It was a struggle to survive year after year. The time of the reign of the communist leader, Leonid Brezhnev, was a gigantic, poisonous swamp that sucked everything in it, including decency, idealism and hope. The KGB’s busy iron fingers were everywhere, squeezing obedience to mediocrity. The slogan “Individualism must be destroyed”, became the motto for the future.

In the arts, Soviet Realism was well entrenched. That “realism” consisted of portraits of great leaders swollen from alcoholism and boredom, heroes of space and land, joyful workers and peasants happily enduring long hours of back breaking labor. The robust androgynous woman with the shovel on her shoulder became the “Madonna” of the Soviet Union. Yet, creative forces sought new venues of expression and people bent boundaries and broke rules. In the “70’s” Russia was swept by spirit of the “Bulldozer Exhibition”. Unofficial Art was presented in private apartments and on the streets and, on some occasions, destroyed on government orders by using bulldozers. The participants were arrested and many served time in jail or in internal exile. Artists, musicians and intellectuals escaped abroad, such as a great dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, the artists Mikhail Chemiakin, Oscar Rabin, sculptor Ernest Neizvestny and the poet and leader of the Moscow underground art movement, Alexander Glezer, were among the lucky few.

The “free” system of education of the Soviet Union provided no future for the majority of artists and Yelena Tylkina had to do many odd jobs to support herself: laying brick walls, painting beer barrels, selling vegetables on the street, to name only a   few. She had her share of misunderstandings with government authorities for anti-Soviet activities beginning at the age of twelve, by expressing publicly her opinions about the hypocrisy and aggressiveness of Soviet politics. Yelena’s “University of Life” was completed with honors, as was her formal art education, which included watercolor, acrylic, pastel, graphics, murals and portraiture.

In 1989, Yelena Tylkina’s fortunate opportunity arrived and she left behind a life of second degree frostbite, the awful stench of pickled herring, colic from indigestion, and a rectum already burning with irritation from being wiped all too many times with newspapers brimming with propaganda. After months of long journeys through Europe, from Poland to Italy, as a stateless, political, refugee, with only bag of dry kasha
as her priceless possession, she settled in New York City. Odd jobs and holes in her shoes were not a novelty for Yelena. But her Karma was to change as easily as the letters of her name, from Slavic to English, as from a black hole to a starry night.


Museum Group Exhibitions
   
2006 Unknown Russia
C.A.S.E. Museum of Contemporary Russian Art, Jersey City, New Jersey
2005 Contemporary Russian Art, New Masters of Portraiture
with artists O. Rabin, M. Chemiakin, D. Gerrman, E. Neizvestny
C.A.S.E. Museum of Contemporary Russian Art. Jersey City, New Jersey
Contemporary Russian Art
C.A.S.E. Museum of Contemporary Russian Art. Jersey City, New Jersey
International Art Exhibition
C.A.S.E. Museum of Contemporary Russian Art, Jersey City, New Jersey
2002 Mirrored Echoes
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane, Washington
2001 Paintings and Sculpture
Jemison-Carnegie Heritage Hall Museum, Talladega, Alabama
2000 Paintings and Sculpture
Coral Spring Museum of Arts, Coral Spring City Center, Coral Spring,  Florida
Millennium Exhibition- Snapshot
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Juried Show
Ann Norton Museum, West Palm Beach Florida

Solo Exhibitions
 
2005 3-D Meditation
C.A.S.E. Museum of Contemporary Russian Art, Jersey City, New Jersey
2002 Yelena Tylkina: Retrospective of a Decade’s Work
King’s Fine Arts Gallery. New York City
1997 Dark Side of the Soul
Artopia Gallery New York City
1994 Watercolors
Lourdes Chumacero Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico
1985 24 Geometrical- Abstract Paintings
New Worker Gallery, Red Fighters Hall, Orsha, Belarus
  
Selected Group Exhibitions
 
2006 Visions
Kings Bay Gallery, Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, New York
2004 7th Annual Williamsburg Salon 2004
Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, New York
Vertical Peace
Life Space, Long Island City, New York
2003 Brave Destiny
with artists H.R. Giger, Lauren Lipton, Brigit Marlin
Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, New York
National Association of Woman Artists Exhibition
United Nations, New York City, New York
Small Things Considered
The Elisabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York City, New York
2001 Writings on the Wall
Hewlett-Woodmere Library Gallery, Hewlett, New York
Cleansing of the Soul
King’s Fine Arts, New York City, New York
1999 Spring Group Show
Arts Proper Gallery, New York City, New York
Plateaus and Pinnacles
The Chelsea Center, Brookville, New York
Selected Contemporary Artists Exhibition
Art Proper Gallery, New York City, New York
1998 International Art Exhibition
Galleria Rua Nova, Lugo, Spain
Permanent Collection Exhibition
King’s Fine Arts, New York City, New York
1997 Thirty year Anniversary of the Gallery of the City University
QCC Art Gallery / CUNY, Queens, New York
1996 NYC Artists
Artopia Gallery, New York City, New York
1995 Sexuality and the Nude
Artopia Gallery, New York City, New York
Long Island Art Exhibition
with artists Manolo Valdes, Quintana Martelo
Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, New York
Recent Acquisitions
QCC Art Gallery, Queens, New York
Contemporary Russian Paintings
Galleria Rua Nova, Lugo, Spain
1993 International Art Exhibition
Lourdes Chumacero Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico
1988 New Artist Exhibition
Memory Gallery, Orsha, Vitebsk, Minsk, Belarus
1984 Artist and Designers
City Hall, Smolensk, Russia
1981 New Artist
Victory Hall, Orsha, Belarus
1978 Young Artist
Red October Hall, Minsk Belarus
 
 
Commissions
 
1989 Mural, Private Banquet Hall, Disabled People’s Electrical Factory
Sponsored by the Orsha Industrial Committee Orsha, Belarus
1985 Mural, High School No.2, Orsha, Belarus
Sponsored by the Soviet Education Ministry
1984 Mural, Vyazma School of Cooking and Restaurant Management
Sponsored by the Soviet Education Ministry, Vyazma, Russia

Archives
 
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
Orsha School of Fine Arts, Orsha, Belarus
Historical Museum  of City Orsha, Orsha, Belarus
Awards  
2003 Artist Showcase Award Winner
Manhattan Arts International Magazine
2002 Artist’s Showcase Award Winner
Manhattan Arts International Magazine
2001 Ambassadors of Peace Youth Orchestra Program Cover
Queensborough Community College Theater, New York City, New York
2001 Dictation - Written by Anna Babson, front cover
Partisan Press Publication
2000 Artist Showcase Award Winner
Manhattan Art International Magazine, New York City, New York
Award of excellence, 9th Annual Cover Art Competition
Manhattan Art International Magazine, New York City, New York

Selected Bibliography
 
Irina Aks, Visions, Metro NMgazine, September 22, 2006. Brooklyn, NY
Vitaliy Orlov, Visions, Forward, September 8-14, 2006, Brooklyn, NY
Margarita Shklarevsky, Graffiti Artist of New York, Russian Bazaar, September, 2006 NYC
Margarita Shklarevsky, Review of Solo Exhibition, Yevreisky Mir, November 14, 2002
NYC
Margarita Shklarevsky, Yelena Tylkina, Russian Bazaar, March 22-28, 2002. NYC
R. Khidekel and D. Nahas, Yelena Tylkina, A Life of Colors, QCC Art Gallery, 2001 NY/CUNY
Margarita Shklarevsky, Women Artist of 21st Century, Russian Bazaar, July 6-12, 2000  NYC
Boris Gurman, How to Draw a Dream, Yevreiki Mir, Aug.3, 2000 NYC
Margarita Shklarevsky, Cleansing of the Soul, Vecherniy, May19-21, 2000 NYC
Jose Carlos Diaz, Yelena Tylkina, Noticias de Arte, Spring, 1998 NYC
Regina Khidekel, The Artist as Amazon, Novoe Ryskoe Slovo, March 19, 1997 NYC
Regina Khidekel, Yelena Tylkina, Noticias De Arte, Feb.1996 NYC

Selected Private and Public Collections

C.A.S.E. Museum of Contemporary Russian Art, Jersey City, New Jersey
QCC Art Gallery / The City University of New York, USA
National Association of Women Artist, Millennium Collection, USA
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, USSR
Evgeny Pavlovich Leonov, USSR
Allan R. Wagren, USA
Salvatore Ferregamo, Inc., Italy
Van Cleef & Arpels, Inc., USA
King’s Fine Arts, Inc., USA

Education
 
1989 Minsk University of Arts and Theater, Minsk, Belarus
1984 Smolensk Art Institute, Smolensk, Russia
1981 Orsha School of Fine Arts, Orsha, Belarus
1978 Orsha Young Arts, Orsha, Belarus

Artist Website

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