Sunday, February 24, 2008

Audio and Video Interview with Elena Volkova from Radar Redux

Footage from Waterlines opening reception and Elena talking eloquently about her work. Thanks to Jack Livingston and Radar Redux for time, energy, and (thankfully) editing!

For more audio and video interviews, go to

Have You Heard? Urbanite Magazine Feb '08

Modest Masterpiece

For some, the idea of owning original art is as abstract as a Jackson Pollock: Sure, it’s big and beautiful, but who can afford it? Paperwork Gallery, located in the Midtown Yoga building in Mount Vernon (107 E. Preston St.), aims to remedy that with its exhibits of high-quality, affordable works on paper. Opened in December by visual artists Cara Ober and Dana Reifler, Paperwork features art made by both emerging and established Baltimore artists. (Disclosure: Ober is an occasional Urbanite contributor; Reifler is a participant in the 2008 Urbanite Project.) Exhibit catalogs are available for all shows, and additional works from represented artists are available. Catalogs can be purchased at or at the gallery.

The opening for Paperwork’s new show featuring Elena Volkova’s photography is Feb. 8, 7 p.m.–9 p.m. Open Fri 4 p.m.–7 p.m. and by appointment. Go to

—Marianne Amoss

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Paper Airplane: Call for Entries due April 1


Paperwork Gallery in Baltimore, MD presents a national juried show of works on paper, including drawings, paintings, prints, mixed media, and photography. Jurors: Amy Eva Raehse, Director of Goya Contemporary Gallery and Jaqueline Milad, Director of the Union Gallery at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Exhibition dates: June 15 - August 30. Applications must be postmarked by April 1. Applications should Include three jpegs, a title sheet, a one page resume, and a $15 application fee made out to Paperwork Gallery. Send applications to: Paperwork Gallery. 107 E. Preston Street. Baltimore, MD. 21202. Please email us at for more questions.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Waterlines Essay by John Penny


Viewing the recent work of Elena Volkova immediately involves the viewer with questions about their awareness of boundaries and location. To paraphrase Edmund Jabes observation that “Light needs much dark in order to dazzle” , these works need much space in order to be situated.

By paying close attention to some of the images one can deduce that they are windows framing the sky, whilst other images may be of snow banks, or the sea, perhaps with mist, or the imprecision of a photographic time exposure. However, what they are – whether graphite drawings or photographs, or even what they are images of – is of secondary importance to how they are. They are tenuous.

As clouds, mist, snow, or blurred moving water the surfaces under consideration are barely ‘captured’, or at best, slight notated as fleeting states of affairs. They are citations of tenuity, lacking as they do, substance, or solidarity. Their thinness and scant perceptibility is most obvious in the relationship that is maintained with their boundaries. Edges are only established in order to bring themselves into question.

If the images are tenuous, then so is their form of presentation. Where the images are located on the paper is approximate. The photographs ‘anchor’ the centre of the page but are indeterminate in terms of where they stop or start vertically, and the drawings are anchored by an almost indiscernible grid to the paper that supports them and that either they fade into or emerge from. The work is suspended by clips from stretched wires, and is viewed against walls comprised of different surfaces. The paper curves slightly and casts shadows; it carries its images but is still allowed materiality in our space, even if it is a vulnerable materiality. The size of the sheet of paper, whether large or small, never lets the viewer forget that it is a material; a material bearing an image and suspended in front of a wall as an insubstantial intervention in our space. The openness of the material to the viewer, it’s vulnerability, has a direct bearing on one’s perception of the work and it’s meaning.

Temporality and contingency come together in the moment of the artwork, in one’s encounter with the artwork, to reinforce the tenuousness of that encounter. An encounter in which one is pointedly reminded of our own tentative presence and attempts at making sense of what is before us physically and by implication.

- John Penny

A few photos from Elena's Opening Reception...






There will be more pics soon! Elena has a fancy camera and we didn't realize it was set on manual focus. Oops.