press release

Opening: 28 April 2016

Alexei Kostroma analyses - ironically, critically and philosophically - the analogies of cycles as they appear in human activities, social structures and the world as a whole. In TIME OF PIGGY, he creates various approaches and reciprocal references to the global concepts of time and money, as well as to their repercussions on the individual. His artistic work is based on his philosophy of complex systems and an organic worldview in which time, logic and chaos are the supporting pillars. As a result, in his art he uses particular natural materials, such as feathers, eggshells and lemon-yellow pigment, as well as his own numerical systems.

Numbers and sums are recurring motifs with which Alexei Kostroma examines the relationship of the individual to the prevailing financial cycle. The sums in the series “Bills and Debts” inevitably lead to the question of what is left in the “piggy bank” to pay for life in the coming month. In his large-format paintings, long columns of numbers compete with nonrepresentational colour gradients. Here, emotions and facts, individual concerns and universal systems stand in contrast to one another even as they form a single entity. Depending on the light, the content of the paintings changes, evoking both: day and nightlife, bright and dark sides – opposites that interact with one another and are necessary to all existence. 

Alexei Kostroma’s Figurative-Numerical-Paintigs constitute a circular argument for which he has developed his own numerical colour scheme. The aesthetics of brightly shimmering colours in beetles and butterflies serves to facilitate communication between the insects. Alexei Kostroma attempts to decipher it by transposing it to his own numerical language. What from a distance appears to be velvety surfaces is in reality a thoroughly structured, complex system.

Alexei Kostroma (*1962 in Kostroma, Russia) has participated in numerous solo and group shows in various European countries and the USA, including institutions like the Ludwig Museum of the State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (Germany, 2004), the Bass Museum of Art (Miami Beach, USA 2008), the Saatchi Gallery (London 2011), the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow 2011). He has won numerous awards, among them the 2011 Kandinsky Prize in Moscow. His work is represented in prestigious national collections, such as the State Hermitage (Saint Petersburg) and the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam). The artist lives and works in Berlin. TIME OF PIGGY is Alexei Kostroma’s first solo exhibition at 401contemporary, Berlin. It will be documented in a catalogue (supported by the Museum of Organic Culture, Russia) which is available mid May.


with Alexei Kostroma / Britta Kaiser-Schuster
09.June2016, 19:00 h

401 Contemporary, Potsdamer Straße 81 B, 10785 Berlin (Tiergarten)