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.
Sudbina’s paintings are sold internationally and can be found in private collections of the likes of Suzanne Brenner (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), Brigitte Stepputtis (Global Head of Couture at Vivienne Westwood) and Vincent Fang (multi-Golden Melody Award-nominated lyricist).
Abstract Perceptionism or Speculative Realism.
My art is a reflection of how we experience reality, shaped by memory, perception, and emotion. I seek to capture the essence of human experience through the use of abstraction, rather than a focus on physical likeness or details. Rooted in the figurative representation of reality, my paintings are distorted by layers of ink and paint that superimpose memories over the brushstrokes. I am drawn to abstract forms and meaning, yet recognisable shapes and silhouettes often remain visible. Like fragments of memory that can be both vague and detailed, they create a space for the viewer to engage with the work in a more subjective and personal way, to speculate and find their own meaning within the artwork, as they bring their own life experiences and perspectives to the interpretation. This interactive dialogue between the viewer and my work is key. It creates a dynamic and constantly evolving relationship, which enriches both the art and the viewer's experience of it.
I don’t know where the painting is going when I start. I use unconventional tools (shower squeegees, recycled clothing tags and small found objects) instead of a brush to introduce an element of chance into the painting process that disrupts the figurative detail and opens up space for the viewer to connect with the work in a more empathetic way.
I don't paint from memory, but from the loss of it, and the abstraction of the image allows me to relive some of those moments in a different way. My paintings are a call for raw emotion, alluding to fleeting moments that are precious and dear to me. If my work can evoke similar feelings in someone else, then I am happy.
My creative process is fuelled by positive energy. I surround myself with beautiful objects and cultivate good vibes in my studio. I believe that the canvas captures the energy of the artist, and so it is my responsibility to filter what I let out into the world together with my work.
My art practice is informed by the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, particularly his ideas about deconstruction and the role of memory in shaping our perception of reality. Just as he deconstructs language to reveal its hidden meanings and assumptions, I deconstruct reality through layers of abstraction to reveal the emotions and memories that underlie our experiences. I aim to challenge traditional notions of representation and meaning and invite viewers to engage with their own perceptions and emotions in new ways and see the work through the prism of their life experiences, in line with Derrida's notion that meaning is always contingent on context and interpretation.
In my Abstract Portraits series, I explore the poetry and universality of human experience. It is not about the physical likeness but about the essence of a human aspect. This abstraction of the portrait allows each viewer to speculate, and feel the work following their emotional intelligence.
My Interior Of The Mind series explores the relationship between memory and perception, as well as the impermanence of our experiences. Using a base of geometric shapes, right angles, and perspective, I create an architectural structure that represents the stability of memory. However, the details start disappearing layer by layer, like time chipping away at the memories, and the still life in the paintings is distorted, broken into pieces, and then put back together again with a network of lines that obscure and bend perspective to unveil what's left once we forget. This process evokes hazy recollections of past memories, blurring the line between the familiar and the unknown, and invites the viewer to engage with their own memories and the process of remembering.
By drawing on Derrida's ideas about deconstruction and the role of memory in shaping our perception of reality, I hope to create works that are not only aesthetically engaging but also thought-provoking and emotionally resonant.
PUBLICATIONS & AWARDS
2023 29Jun-9Jul / Espacio Gallery / London
2023 13-14 May / Kingswood Art Center, Dulwich Artists Open House / London
2023 April / Artdom / Grand Hotel Oslo
2023 March / Adria Hotel South Kensington / London
2023 March / The Other Art Fair / London
2023 Feb / Artdom / Soho House Mumbai
2022 October / The Other Art Fair / London
2022 / The Summer Exhibition / Drifter Galleries / Queens Park / London, UK
2022 / Drifter Residency / London, UK
2022 / Dulwich Artist's Open house festival / London, UK
2022 / Artitude fair / London, UK
2020 / Private Collection / Morrison & Foerster / The Scalpel / London UK
2019 / SWA / The Mall Galleries / London UK
2018 / Present Perfect Continuous / Zverev Centre Of Contemporary Art / Moscow Russia
2017 / National Youth Arts Trust Auction hosted by Grayson Perry / Vitra / London
2017 Jul / FLUX Exhibition at The Chelsea College of Art
2016-2017 / Resident artist at By Other Means gallery
2016 / Forgetting II, By Other Means gallery / London
2016 - Forgetting I, By Other Means gallery / London
2015 / Reserve, 46 Gresham Street, The City of London
2012 / Eastern Satellite and Unaligned, East 2 gallery, Vyner Street / London
2011 / Creativi-Tea, Haymarket Hotel, 1 Suffolk Place, London SW1
2011 / ATOM rooms, 328 Portobello Road, W10 5RU / London
2010 / Hands On, Arts gallery, UAL, 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY / London
2008 / XYZ: An ABC of Space, Lethaby Gallery, Southampton Row
2008 / Contemporary Art Exhibition ¨Let Them Eat Cake¨, London W11 3SL
2008 / Lyon & Turnbull: Contemporary Art and Design, 1 Marylebone Rd, Westminster, London NW
VOGUE India - How Artdom encourages artists to paint across geographical and psychological boundaries 2023
Art Plugged - FEMALE ARTISTS NOT TO MISS AT THE OTHER ART FAIR LONDON 2023
Mint Lounge - Collaborative art project focuses on women’s rights in India and UK
Ebony And Co Talks - In Person:
Artist, Anna Sudbina / 2022
The Warriors Within Collective - Searching for beauty and equality- by Anna Sudbina / 2022
On In London - Immersive Sky Art Installation
Rise Art - 6 Questions With Anna Sudbina / 2018
ARTIT Award winner, issue No5 / 2018
NYAT - Ready Set Bid, an overview of an Auction where my work was exhibited alongside Dali, Picasso, Miro, Chagall and Renoir hosted by Grayson Perry / 2017
Inside Artist Magazine - Flux / 2017
Style & Snitch Flux Exhibition review highlighting Anna Sudbina / 2017
A Limitless World STATES OF FLUX : MEET RUSSIAN ARTIST ANNA SUDBINA / 2016
Hedonist Magazine Fractions, interview with Anna Sudbina / 2014
Vogue UK, High Plains Drifter by Mario Testino, work featured in photo shoot / 2012