Liza Bobkova | Restoration of Time

13.03.2024 - 24.03.2024

A bright new international talent is bringing her work to London, where she will be launching
her first UK exhibition at ART4 in Cromwell Place, South Kensington in the gallery's room 11.
The exhibition, Restoration of Time, will take place between the 12th of March, 2024, and is on
view until the 24th.

Liza Bobkvoa grew up in Soviet Russia, near the border with Latvia. The artist graduated in St.
Petersburg from the Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design, Russia’s oldest design school. A
city sparse in established museums or galleries, her style developed instead in the milieu of its
lively underground micro-spaces. Her work favours the pursuit of expression over direct
message, moving flexibility between the approach and material best suited to her vision and
chosen theme.

Bobkova’s work seeks to explore the new shape of communication in the 21st century. The artist
favours the creative use of material and medium, finding ways to re-express our familiar forms
of communication. Through her work Bobkova encourages a shift in perspective. She unveils the
texture of a message or conversation in the new context of bold materials like metal and glass,
through total installation or an act of performance. From videographic portraiture in Presence
Detection Methods (2022), to engravings on window panes in There Were 10 Sunny Days in
January (2019) or the scintillating wire sculptures of Period of Oscillation (2016), her work is
ambiguous and often surprising, whereby the invisible aesthetic properties of an ordinary
message become its defining features.

In 2023 Bobkova moved from Russia to London, where she opened ART4, London’s newest
contemporary art gallery. For Bobkova, ART4 represents a chance to participate in the rich
London market, an ecosystem of art and creativity on a scale that is new to the artist. She has
been inspired by the work of her husband and gallery’s co-founder Igor Markin, the founder of
ART4 museum - Moscow’s largest private contemporary art space. The curation of ART4 gallery
will echo Bobkova’s love of raw materials and specialised craftsmanship (Bobkova herself spent
seventeen years as an artisan blacksmith), favouring artists that use classic earth materials to
produce unfamiliar, contemporary art. There are two exhibitions planned for the spring, and
three for the autumn alongside the gallery’s participation at international art fairs.

Bobkova’s new exhibition, Restoration of Time, continues her study on material and
communication. It features two brand-new series of sculptural works, one in bronze and the
other in porcelain. The bronze series features 30 etched and polished plaques. The porcelain
features 18 asymmetric porcelain squares alongside a porcelain house of cards.
Bobkova uses these materials to explore our relationship with the linear progression of time.
With both metal and ceramics, the process of craftsmanship is often arduous: porcelain
hand-rolled paper thin and carefully fired to produce delicate sheets; bronze painstakingly
engraved with abstract images transcribed from the sound waves of digital voice notes. They
maintain an air of fragility distinct from their rugged canvas, just as the porcelain house of cards
instils an anxiety reflective of the unstable nature of the present moment. The artwork in both
materials is indirect, and the interpretive work of the viewer plays a central role in its messaging.
Their minimalist installation encourages the contemplation of these deceptively simple pieces.

‘I am glad that I did not stop at the direction that the academy gave me. Artists with a classical
education often stop at the edge of Method… The most important thing is that we worked with
real materials in our hands from the first days. This is the reason why I boldly paint sand in
rainbow colours, paint fabrics, shoot films, do performances, polish and weld metal, sew shirts
with my mom, create jewellery. I am free to explore different creative paths and extremely
happy about it.’
Liza Bobkova

‘I am delighted to support Liza in this new endeavour. I believe that she is a charismatic artist
and curator who can develop a unique curatorial vision that would involve not only more
diverse types of art in terms of materials used, but a diverse set of international artists.’
Igor Markin, Co-Founder

Liza Bobkova Bio:
Liza Bobkova (b. 1987, Ostrov, Russia) is Director of ART4 gallery, as well as a multidisciplinary
contemporary artist who works with total installation, sculpture, video and drawing to explore
how individuals are socialised in the modern world.
Liza graduated from the Artistic Metalworking Department of St Petersburg’s Stieglitz State
Academy of Art and Design (2011), applying the tools of a classical art education to create bold
experiments with materials including metal, porcelain, fabric, glass, photography and video.
Immediately after graduating, disillusioned with Russia’s education and curatorial system, she
left the contemporary art world to work as a blacksmith, actively resuming her career as an artist
in 2016. Liza was a guest lecturer on the master’s programme at the Stieglitz Academy, where
she created a contemporary art library to give students access to up-to-date publications on the
art of today. When the war in Ukraine began, Liza left her job and the studio where she had
worked for 17 years. In 2022 she moved to Moscow, where she launched the Tupik
contemporary art fair at Art4 Museum. Since late 2023 she has been based in London.