Leonid Tskhe was born in 1983 in Leningrad Oblast. He graduated from the Secondary Art School under the Academy of Arts, where he met future co-founders of Sever-7 art group Alexander Tsikarishvili and Nestor Engelke. Until 2007, he attended the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, the workshop of Andrei Pakhomov, majoring in graphics. After graduation, he worked at Detskaya Literatura publishing house. In 2013, he became a member of the Sever-7 art group. Among many others, the group launched the ‘Tower’ exhibition (the parallel program of Manifesta 10), the project ‘Lost & Found’ (2019) at M HKA (Antwerpen), ‘SADPP-7’ (2018) at OVCHARENKO. His first solo exhibition took place in 2017 and was followed by others: ‘Stagings’ (2018) at Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘The Boy and the Clew’ (2019) at OVCHARENKO.
Своды | Valts, 2018
Без названия | Untitled, 2019
Без названия, 2019
Без названия (2 части) | Untitled (2 parts), 2020
Сон шаровой молнии | The dream of ball lightning, 2020
Черная туча | Black cloud, 2020
Пирамида | Pyramid , 2021
Демон Лапласа | Laplace's Demon , 2021
Фигуры в складках | Figures in Folds , 2021
Без названия | Untitled, 2021
ZDRAVSTVUYTE!Group exhibition 26 Jul - 7 Sep 2023OVCHARENKO presents a new collective project in the framework of co-operation with the auction house VLADEY. The name of the exhibition of OVCHARENKO artists "HELLO!" (ZDRAVSTVUYTE!) has a double meaning. The complexity and at the same time the beauty of the Russian language allows you to find in the simple word "Hello!" both a wish of good health and a greeting at a meeting. And the meeting at the exhibition will be held with marvelous artists and their works of art.
For 33 years of his work OVCHARENKO, while the first exhibition of the gallery (then called "Regina") was held in September 1990, 278 group and solo exhibitions were held. In religion "33 years" are the age of Jesus Christ — the time of perfection, the period of life when the peak has been reached. Christ's rebirth occurred at the same time when he was 33, so " HELLO!" (ZDRAVSTVUYTE!).
Vladimir Ovcharenko, founder of VLADEY and OVCHARENKO: "The time in our country and in the world is not easy. And when was it easy? It is very complicated for artists now. Their world has completely changed. For many of them it has turned out to be tragic, while others continue to create magnificent works of art. We are happy to represent the best of the best, it is a great honour and responsibility. Moscow is a world-class cultural centre. And it always will be. It deserves new great art exhibitions. And they are coming!".
Over the last year and half OVCHARENKO in co-operation with VLADEY has frequently presented personal exhibitions of its artists, among them projects made by Alisa Gorshenina, Sergey Zarva, Alexey Kallima, Pavel Pepperstein and the PPSS art group, Ivan Razumov, Inal Savchenkov, Leonid Tshe and Nestor Engelke.
Artists: Victor Alimpiev, Sergey Bratkov, Oleg Golosiy, Stas Volyazlovsky, Erwin Wurm, Alisa Gorshenina, Mikhail Dolyanovsky, Sergey Zarva, Alexey Kallima, Egor Koshelev, Vlad Kulkov, Vladimir Logutov, Jonathan Meza, Ryan Mosley, Pavel Pepperstein, Jack Pearson, PPSS art Group, Daniel Richter, Inal Savchenkov, Maria Serebryakova, Semyon Faibisovich, Claire Fontaine, Leonid Tshe, Ivan Chuikov, Dmitry Shabalin, Nestor Engelke.
Leonid TskheMONO 5 May - 30 Aug 2022Permeating Ivory Black
The defiant rejection of the color "language" that Leonid Tskhe used before needs an explanation; otherwise we will not be able to understand his outstanding expressionist gesture. After all, all the paintings presented at this exhibition are painted with a single black pigment, burnt bone (Ivory Black), without the addition of any other dyes.
It is known that if you want to understand what the artist is talking about, it is necessary to clarify his origin: what landscapes accompanied his childhood and youth, what was the light that illuminated his early time, how he distinguished the horizon, how long was his shadow, which he stepped on at different times of the day. The answers to these questions will make it clear a lot about his artistic world.
Leonid Tskhe is a real St. Petersburg artist, both by origin (he was born near Peterhof) and by education (Tshe received it at the Academy of Arts). The nature of illumination in the north-west of Russia, where white nights spill over in summer, and in winter the daytime interval is almost imperceptible, dictates a special understanding of color. Because of the low sun, which invariably gives long shadows, it can be called sliding. Few of the artists of Leningrad/St. Petersburg felt the power of daylight, giving not literary allusions or constructive strategies, but the pure excitement of the foundation of visible life. But it is precisely this quality of experience that painting always strives for. Therefore, St. Petersburg art is highly literary-centric: it narrates rather than paints. And, as I wrote above, there are compelling reasons for this.
If you walk around the old St. Petersburg houses, where the remains of the original interiors are still preserved, then such a thing is surprising: the highest quality of grisailles that served as an addition to them, for example, in the form of imitations of neo—antique bas-reliefs, classicist sculpture, architectural forms like columns, vases, bowls and urns, painted almost entirely in gray, less often in sepia. They always imitate some kind of absolute landscape, against which mythological scenes are played out. The mastery of these works, which have lost most of their authorship, is capable of striking. They cannot be correlated with the heavy landscape painting of the same era: they are airy, light, romantic and at the same time expressively accurate. It was as if the thrill of impressions, often fictitious, and the impeccable distinctness of lexical means, which remain unchanged, converged in them. Therefore, they appear to be art — and it is in this context that one should understand the monochrome works of Leonid Tskhe, who is discovering a new authenticity.
Firstly, this artist's virtuoso drawing, his sense of line, boundaries and the weight of the tonal spot are psychologically oversaturated. The paintings of this artist cause a "nervous response", which is why it is impossible not to look at them: they seem to suck in, like a funnel of someone else's life suddenly opened up, emitting a powerful light of recognition on the witness / contemplator. This is a special vision – it cannot be learned, it is, in essence, primitive, very powerful and reliable. With this way of seeing, with all its expressiveness and fluency, sometimes even randomness, it is impossible not to agree. It is as if you are dealing with an accuracy achieved without an analytical procedure, unforeseen and incredible. But its brand is so high that it claims to be symbolic in nature.
Of course, such a limitation of funds raises a question: the artist does not even use whitewash, and the only way to achieve transparency of tone is liquid polishing on the white ground of the canvas. This is where the phenomenon of "dark color" arises: these paintings do not appear in black and white (which they actually are), but seem to emanate accumulations of unlived color given in reserve. It is as if Leonid Tskhe was speaking in the language of meanings that are colored for us, in the arsenal of our experiences.
I keep thinking about how close it is to poetry, but not in the sense of the plots set out in the poetic texts, but quite differently, because the poetic text is printed on white paper with graphic letters, but if this is a genuine poem, then the whole visible multicolored world with its deep content, events and incidents literally falls on us, mental states of longing or grace. Indeed, culture sometimes appears as unity in the most unexpected variations.
Looking at these exciting canvases, extremely large and open, like a human feeling, and intimate and hidden, like the content of this feeling, you understand what kind of self-waste is revealed before our eyes. The artist sees what we want to see: it's as if he's talking about what we know, but for some reason we're not talking. (Without naming the obvious in words, we lose access to the visible). It's as if this is a dream that we once saw, which explained a lot, but was lost when we woke up. Our nature is such that we are doomed to remember this loss. Probably, such a memory is motivated by a stingy choice of means of visual expressiveness. For the unconscious, the most stable thing in us, is devoid of details, and yet nothing can compare with it in the degree of accuracy: there is nothing more capacious and dramatically meaningful. So it is here. A stingy language speaks with the richest meanings, which become color-bearing in ourselves, who have discerned their innermost, read and remembered their trembling vibrations.
That's how poetry lives. Here is Batyushkov writing in 1819 "the great grisaille" about the ancient Roman Baiae, submerged in the Bay of Naples, in black letters on white paper — but how much there is a delightful and ghostly similarity with what we see today in the painting of Leonid Tskhe:
"You wake up, O Baia, from the tomb
When Aurora rays appear,
But the crimson denny won 't give it to you
The radiance of the past days,
Will not return cool shelters,
Where swarms of beauties basked,
And never your porphyry colonnades
Blue waters will not rise from the bottom."
North-7Marshes Your Way 31 Mar - 9 Jun 2021Every step of your path is the first. The depth of every meter of this swamp is unpredictable. To get into these swamps, you need to go through the hut...
First-hand Art. The Collector's View: Looking back and Forward13 Nov 2020 - 27 Jan 2021This year, the OVCHARENKO Gallery celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. It is a grand and joyful celebration, not only because it, in fact, aligns with the anniversary of our new state,...
Leonid TskheThe Boy and a Clew 29 May - 31 Aug 2019OVCHARENKO представляет персональную выставку Леонида Цхэ «Мальчик и клубок» с новой серией живописи.
North-7SADPP-7 (The School of Active Drawing and Performative Posing) 11 Sep - 19 Oct 2018The Saint Petersburg art group North-7 presents The School of Active Drawing and Performative Posing (SADPP-7). The concept of the school is only used for convenience as the project is...
The Boy and the Clew. OVCHARENKO. Moscow, Russia.
Plays. Name Gallery. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Stagings. Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Moscow, Russia.
One’s Own Dasha. Name Gallery. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Form as a Story. Freud’s Dream Museum. St. Petersburg, Russia.
NeoPetersburg. ART4Ru. Moscow, Russia.
Contemporary Drawing. PERMM. Perm, Russia.
NeoPetersburg. Name Gallery. St. Petersburg, Russia.
Temple Masterpieces, or Enjoy Your Bath! VLADEY. Moscow, Russia.
ZDRAVSTVUYTE! OVCHARENKO in cooperation with VLADEY. Moscow, Russia.
Unnamable. Selected works from the collection of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Arsenal Center of Contemporary Art. Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
Crouch Start. Futuro Gallery. Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
Millennials. The State Russian Museum. St. Petersburg, Russia.
Future Behind the Clouds. DK Gromov. Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
Neoinfantilism. DK Gromov. St. Petersburg, Russia.
Bird Concert. Tsaritsyno Museum. Moscow, Russia.
Luxury. The Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Constantin Sorokin. Moscow, Russia.
MorMir. Kunsthalle Nummer Sieben. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Lost & Found North-7 Expedition. M HKA. Antwerp, Belgium.
Every Artist Is Someone’s Child. MOST Gallery. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Cosmorama XVIII. Museum of Moscow. Moscow, Russia.
Plays. Name Gallery. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
SADPP-7. OVCHARENKO. Moscow, Russia.
Drawing Lesson. Name Gallery, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The Phantom Knight. Tsaritsyno Museum. Moscow, Russia.
The Seventh Part of the World. Name Gallery. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Neopetersburg. The graphics. The State Museum by M.V. Nesterov. Ufa, Russia.
New Space. Smena. Kazan, Russia.
Form as a Story. Freud’s Dream Museum. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
New Space. The Center for Urban Culture The Truth. Moscow, Russia.
Neopetersburg. Art4 Museum. Moscow, Russia.
Contemporary Drawing. PERMM. Perm, Russia.
Neopetersburg. Name Gallery. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Painting after Painting. The Arts Academy. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Complex Issues. Diaghilev Museum of Contemporary Art. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
No Time. Special project of the 6th Moscow Biennial. Center for Contemporary Art Winzavod. Moscow, Russia.
Star City. Pro Arte Foundation for Culture and Arts. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Places. III International Art-Prospect. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Tower. Parallel programm of Manifesta 10. Research Base North-7. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Last Discoveries. Center of Contemporary Art Sokol. Moscow, Russia.
Levopisanie. Research Base North-7. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Common Place. Peresvetov Gallery. Moscow, Russia.
Common Place. Name Gallery / Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum Saint Petersburg, Russia.
DA!Moscow. Moscow, Russia, 2021.
DA!Moscow. Moscow, Russia, 2019.
COSMOSCOW. Moscow, Russia, 2017
Seventh Independent Fair of Contemporary Art. Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2017.
COSMOSCOW. Moscow, Russia, 2016
2016 – Innovation Award (short-list)
The Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Constantin Sorokin. Moscow, Russia.
February 2016 The Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Constantin Sorokin (Moscow)
- The State Russian Museum. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
- Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Moscow, Russia.
- BREUS Foundation. Moscow, Russia.
- Museum of Contemporary Art ART4. Moscow, Russia.