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16/10 - 20/11 2021

Mendes Wood DM is proud to present its first exhibition of sculpture by the Russian artist Evgeny Antufiev. Recent works belonging to the artist’s idiosyncratic “archaeological” practice will be on display to viewers in the gallery’s Brussels space.

A native of the Siberian Republic of Tuva, on the border with Mongolia, Antufiev was raised in an environment replete with spirituality, shamanic practices and a deep interest in myth and history that are, at times, indistinguishable from one another. He is, simultaneously, a product of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, belonging to a generation of Russians who witnessed the fall of a political and social narrative that had been propped up by its own cycle of myths and histories.

These two essential elements of the artist’s background perhaps explain his interest in creating elusive mythological and historical narratives that borrow diverse and discordant elements to fabricate stories that veer between the real and the imagined, the archaeological and the mythical.

Bringing together a vast array of symbolically charged materials that have been used throughout history by various civilizations – bronze, amazonite, malachite, amber, wood and textile – Antufiev works exclusively on his own, without the help of assistants, engaging with practices that range from wood carving to bronze casting, producing work that is uniquely situated somewhere between craft and conceptual art.

Evgeny Antufiev (Kyzyl, Russia, 1986) lives and works in Moscow.

Selected solo exhibitions include Dead Nation: Eternal Version, Villa Giulia, National Etruscan Museum, Rome (2021); Dead Nation: Golden Age Version, Chiesa di San Giuseppe delle Scalze, Naples (2019); When art became part of landscape, Manifesta 12, Palermo, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russian Academy of Arts, Moscow (2018); With a copper mask in one hand and a vase full of secrets in the other, my body will rest in a sarcophagus, guarded by twelve specially trained monsters, Emalin, London (2017); Immortality Forever, M HKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp (2017); Immortality Forever, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow (2015).

Antufiev’s work has also been part of group shows at M HKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp; Galeria Municipal Porto, Porto; Museo Civico Medievale di Bologna, Bologna; Fondation Cartier, Paris; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia; Baltic Triennial 13, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius; Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Manifesta 11, Zurich; Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

Upcoming exhibitions include ARS22, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki (2022) and the 5th New Museum Triennial, New York (2021).

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