Popova’s work negotiates the physical, economical and political articulations of painting today as well as materiality and the value of art objects. Dwelling on the difference between creative workers (cognitariat) and workers that use their hands, Popova examines the production of surplus value and how this can be defined, particularly in a time of digitalization.
Painterly gestures of the window cleaner drawing and redrawing the infinity symbol on the screen rub the difference between labour and leisure, productive time online and the time wasted.
Yelena Popova (b. 1978, Urals, Russia) lives in Nottingham and works at Primary studios. Yelena graduated from MA Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2011. In 2014 Yelena was shortlisted for Arts Foundation Award in Painting. Yelena’s work is part of 100 Painters of Tomorrow publication by Themes and Hudson.
Recent solo shows include: A World to Gain, Figge von Rosen, Cologne; Drying Time, Paradise Row, London, ‘Insoluble Moments’, Knoll Gallery, part of Why Painting Now?, curated by_Vienna 2013; The Portrait Gallery, Cole Gallery, London, 2013; ‘Olympic Throw’, Invites Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2012; ‘Unnamed’, Figge von Rosen Gallery, Berlin, 2012.
Recent group exhibitions include: The Other Side, Garage, Moscow, ‘Infinite City’, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA 2013, Abstract Possible, Eastside projects, Birmingham curated by Maria Lind, ‘Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union,’ Saatchi Gallery, London, 2012-13; ‘The Futures of the Past’, Kunst Raum Riehen, Basel, Switzerland, 2013, ‘Red Mansion Prize’, RA, London, 2012; ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries’, London, 2011 and ‘New Sensations’, London, 2011.
Yelena’s work is at Arts Council Collection, Royal College Collection, Saatchi Collection, Zabludowicz Collection, Nottingham Castle Collection and at various private collections.