Nika Neelova

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Nika Neelova was born in Moscow, Russia in 1987. She received a BA from the Royal Art Academy, The Hague and an MFA in sculpture from Slade School of Fine Art, London, where Neelova currently lives and works.

Nika’s practice is predominantly inspired by architecture. She often takes fragments of crumbling Soviet-era buildings and transforms them into the keystone of her minimal installations. Her Soviet background is very important to an understanding of her work and she is inspired by the dystopian realities of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Stalker. Neelova’s work hypnotises in a similar way to Tarkovsky’s long and silent landscapes... As the result of her Soviet-Russian heritage, she is keenly aware of the way that materials and architecture influence our sense of time and place, and that even the most solid structures are subject to ruin. The artist works with materials such as jesmonite, plaster and recuperated objects from homes slated for demolition. Neelova creates alchemy with the synthetic and organic elements of her work.

Nika Neelova
Fragments shored against the ruins (ongoing series), 2015
Wood, cement and marble dust
Variable dimensions

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Nika Neelova
Folded rooms, 2017
Perimeter of the artist studio traced in stainless steel, mounted of hinged
Variable dimensions

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Nika Neelova
Untitled (ikea stools), (ongoing series), 2017
Cast jesmonite, cast plaster and pigments and plastic pipe holders
Variable dimensions

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Nika Neelova
Lithic, 2017
Recycled upholstery foam soaked in jesmonite and aluminium frame
400 x 300 cm 157 1/2 x 118 1/8 in

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Nika Neelova
Lateral cuts series. Model of internal architectural cross-sections, 2019
Cast ardex, jesmonite, metal rods, acrylic
25 x 25 x 25 cm 9 7/8 x 9 7/8 x 9 7/8 in

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Nika Neelova
Lateral cuts series. Model of internal architectural cross-sections, 2019
Cast ardex, cement fondu, jesmonite, acrylic
25 x 25 x 25 cm 9 7/8 x 9 7/8 x 9 7/8 in

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Nika Neelova
Lateral cuts series (3 pieces). Models of internal architectural cross-sections, 2019
Cast ardex, jesmonite, metal rods, acrylic
Variable dimension, each 35 x 33 x 21 cm 13 3/4 x 13 x 8 1/4 in

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Nika Neelova
Apart, 2019
Mixed media
Variable dimensions

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Nika Neelova
Apart, 2020
Uprooted parquet floor from The Tetley (bitumen side exposed), hinges
280 x 180 cm 110 1/4 x 70 7/8 in

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Nika Neelova
Stratigraphy V, 2020
Studio debris cast in jesmonite
100 x 70 cm 39 3/8 x 27 1/2 in

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Nika Neelova
WG20 (sepia, umber, ivory black), 2020
Watercolour and marker on paper
740 x 420 cm 291 3/8 x 165 3/8 in

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Nika Neelova was born in Moscow, Russia in 1987. She received a BA from the Royal Art Academy, The Hague and an MFA in sculpture from Slade School of Fine Art, London, where Neelova currently lives and works.

Nika’s practice is predominantly inspired by architecture. She often takes fragments of crumbling Soviet-era buildings and transforms them into the keystone of her minimal installations. Her Soviet background is very important to an understanding of her work and she is inspired by the dystopian realities of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Stalker. Neelova’s work hypnotises in a similar way to Tarkovsky’s long and silent landscapes... As the result of her Soviet-Russian heritage, she is keenly aware of the way that materials and architecture influence our sense of time and place, and that even the most solid structures are subject to ruin. The artist works with materials such as jesmonite, plaster and recuperated objects from homes slated for demolition. Neelova creates alchemy with the synthetic and organic elements of her work.

Neelova’s works call to mind cold and massive Brutalist Soviet buildings in a post-human world. Nika’s aesthetic is very connected to her cultural background and is evidenced at every stage of her practice: from idea’s inception through to the artwork’s realisation.

‘I am Imagining an alternative human history’ says Nika. In imagining an alternative human history, through giving another life to ordinary objects, she is also exploring the variations and possibilities of alternative futures. By reshaping the obvious to the human mind, she is also reframing it, and playing with our psychological consciousness and perception.

Nika works primarily with sculpture and large sculptural installations, recently also drawings that will form part of Nika’s solo show. This exhibition brings together different works across a number of Nika’s selected projects in order to give its viewers a larger understanding of Nika’s discourse and practice.

Neelova’s recent solo exhibitions include drifts (there is always ground, even at night), MLF Brussels (2018), Glyphs, Noire Gallery, Turin (2019) and Ever, The Tetley,Leeds (2019).

Maria Abramenko

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