In Sudbina’s paintings pieces of frayed reality are artfully combined with areas of pure gestural abstraction, forming her dynamic visual language.
This contrast explores the relationship between actuality and human perception, a physical space and a memory of it. Layer by layer, she builds tactile planes interrupted by calligraphic lines of ink. Through a mastery of surface and composition, Sudbina’s paintings imaginatively balance the language of abstraction with references of contemporary life seen through the prism of her artistic vision.
Born in Moscow in 1984, Anna came of age in the post-Soviet Russia where apart from academic drawing and painting she studied linguistics, philosophy, and psychology.
Sudbina embarks on her artistic practice with three main stages in mind, for the first layer she considers a traditional figurative representation of reality, to set the colour scheme and composition, providing a context which she refers to as the Ego. Occasionally she begins with pure abstraction starting from the gestural base, allowing the canvas to guide her into discovering the composition. The second layer is Sudbina’s Id, an intuitive state of concentration in which her raw, gestural mark making is dictated by her subconscious. The third stage, the SuperEgo, is about finding compositional balance through non-action and negative action, standing back to analyse and then jumping forward to undo, scrape or cover up parts of the painting.
In essence, Sudbina’s point of departure is a debate between choice and chance. Her hands choose to control her chosen mediums, acrylic and ink using small found objects, a process which is juxtaposed by the chance involved in gestural mark making, such as the independent behaviour of materials, a splash of ink or the unpredictability of mixing colour. In building a composition, Sudbina finds herself in a meditative state, guided by her subconscious thoughts, memories and experiences, each painting becoming its own spiritual journey.
For several years, Sudbina’s worked closely with the world’s leading Architects and Interior Designers. These working environments and experiences greatly informed her outlook, instilling an inclination toward all things high-quality and aesthetic, a familiarity which is visible in her use of colour, texture and compositions, particularly her Interior of the Mind series.
While studying at Central Saint Martins, Sudbina began combining her training in academic drawing and painting, which she had studied under the esteemed Moscow artist Maria Burganova, with the freedom of abstraction. The result is a body of work that documents Sudbina’s increasing confidence in her mark making and style, moving away from the detail of her earlier figurative compositions toward abstract spaces and places. To achieve this, Sudbina has adapted new and innovative ways of painting, a process which involves a pulling and pushing of paint using found objects such as plastic clothes tags. The control she gains from using smaller tools over paint brushes, is a closeness between artist and painting which mimics that of process art, building layers not as a painting per se but as a two-dimensional sculpture. Once again, we are reminded of Sudbina’s interest in architecture, space and three-dimensional form, particularly in her figurative series Tangible Abstractions.
The expansiveness of Sudbina’s expressionistic canvases are contrasted with the intimacy of minute details, subtle changes in tone and intricate painterly brushwork with sharp ink lines painted quickly, directly and with conviction. Technically fluent her complex and beautiful multimedia paintings have an enigmatic quality, titillating the imagination and speaking to the subconscious.