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Irina Starzhenetskaya

Born: 1943

member since: 2019


Irina Starzhenetskaya belongs to the generation of young artists from the 1970s. These painters introduced a new style and aesthetic into Soviet painting as along with their own vision of history and modern life. A graduate of the Surikov Institute and a student of the “Soviet impressionist” Alexei Gritsai and “Soviet neoclassicist” Dmitry Zhilinsky, she went beyond her teachers in freedom of expression. Her wild and free painting is tempered by a subtle and accurate application of colour; and ennobled by a series of deep cultural references.
In her work Irina combines two essential layers of Russian culture, and by overlapping and juxtaposing familiar motifs she has developed an individual artistic style.  On the one hand, there are motifs from the Russian avant-garde; its search for colour experiments with form. On the other hand, it is possible to trace the traditions of ancient Russian monumental painting: the capacious expressiveness of symbolism with a bold domination of space. 
In the late 1970-s, Irina Starzhenetskaya, along with her husband, sculptor Anatoly Komelin, settled in Tarusa, having their house and the summer studio there. Over the years, both artists have taken part in the restoration and decoration of various Orthodox Russian churches: the Church of the Resurrection of Christ and the Cathedral of Peter and Paul in Tarusa, and the temple of the Small Ascension on B.Nikitskaya Street in Moscow. In these works they have tried to get closer to the artistic canons of the Orthodox Church.
Irina Starzhenetskaya's works are part of numerous public and private collections. She is exhibited in the following state galleries: Tretyakov gallery (Moscow), Russian Museum (St Petersburg), Glinka Museum of Music (Moscow), Museum of Moscow History (Moscow), MMOMA (Moscow), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Neue Gallerie (Aachen), Slovak National Gallery (Bratislava), as well as state art galleries in Vologda, Ivanovo, Omsk, Tomsk, Yaroslavl. She is also exhibited in private collections in the UK, US and Europe.

1957-1962       studied in Moscow Secondary Art School
1968    graduated from Surikov Moscow Art Institute

“The group show of 23 Moscow artists”, Central House of Artists (Moscow, 1982)
“Self-portraits and portraits of friends”, Venice Biennale (Venice, 1982)
“Aspects of the Modern soviet Art”, Ludwig Museum (Cologne, 1982)
“Aspects of the Modern soviet Art”, Neue Gallerie (Aachen, 1982)
“Irina Starzhenetskaya” (Poznan, 1984)
“Dmitry Shostakovich and his time” (Duisburg, 1986)
Aspects of the Modern soviet Art, Neue Gallerie (Aachen, 1986)
Irina Starzhenetskaya (Copenhagen, 1987)
Personal view (Edinburgh, London, 1987)
Contemporary artists from Moscow, Contemporary art museum (Tampa, 1991)
Liquid, fragile, solid (Florence, 1991)
Moscow - Washington, Washington - Moscow, State Tretyakov Gallery, Carnegie library (Moscow, Washington, 1991)
“Irina Starzhenetskaya and Anatoly Komelin”, West Art Gallery (Oslo, 1992)
The Tale of Bread and Tears (Lyublyana, 1992) 
“Irina Starzhenetskaya and Anatoly Komelin”, State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, 1993)
“Russian Collection. End of the 20th century”, Contemporary Art Center M’ARS (Moscow, 1994)
“LA TERRA RITROVATA”, (San Remo, 1995)
“Irina Starzhenetskaya and Anatoly Komelin”, Manege Gallery (Moscow, 1996)
“Art Manege International art fair”, Manege Central Exhibition Hall (Moscow, 1996)
“The world of sentimental objects in images”, State Pushkin’s Museum of Arts (Moscow, 1997)
“State Prize of the Russian Federation” laureate exhibition, State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, 2000)
“Female art of the 15th-20th centuries”, State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, 2002)
“Cultural space. Contemporary artists from Moscow”, (Athens, 2003)
“Contemporary art fair Art Paris”, (Paris, 2004)
“Art for future generations”, Embassy of Netherlands in Russian Federation (Moscow, 2004)
“In Gurzuf I wear my Indian jeans”, Kovcheg Gallery (Moscow, 2006)
“Biblical motives in the works of contemporary artists”, Kuznetsky most 20 (Moscow, 2006)
“Traditional and contemporary”, Manege Central Exhibition Hall (Moscow, 2007)
Seropukhov Museum of Arts and History (Serpukhov, 1988)
Central House of Artists (Moscow, 1989)
Tarussa Art Gallery (Tarussa, 1991)
State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, 1993)
Exhibition hall of the Heritage magazine (Moscow, 1994)
Kaliningrad Art Gallery (Kaliningrad,1994)
Phoenix Cultural center (Moscow, 1996)
Russian Gallery (Tallin, 1998) 
Central House of Artists (Moscow, 1999)
Manege Central Exhibition Hall (Moscow, 1999)
Manege Central Exhibition Hall (Moscow, 2001)
Tarussa Art Gallery (Tarussa, 2001)
Gallery Art 21 (Moscow, 2001)
L. Zakirova Gallery (Amsterdam, 2002)
Contemporary Art Center M’ARS (Moscow, 2003)
State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, 2004)
Contemporary Art Center M’ARS (Moscow, 2006)
New Gallery (Tambov, 2007)
Gallery Vincent (Moscow, 2007)
Russian Academy of Arts (Moscow, 2008)

M. Yablonskaya. Irina Starzhenetskaya // Soviet Art. 1988.
William Meyland. I. Starzhenetskaya, A. Komelin: exhibition catalogue. – Podolsk, 1987.
A. Komensky. Wonder approaching // Art. 1990.
A. Vasnetsov. One of the visitor images // Art. 1990.
E. Gorchakova, V. Gorchakov. Human. Painiting. Nature // Iskusstvo. 1990.
Alexander Rozhin. I. Starzhenetskaya, A. Komelin: exhibition catalogue. – Мoscow, 1993.
M. Lazarev. Ikonostas // Our Heritage. 1994.


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