Rue-de-2-Moulin

George (Gaga) Kovenchuk

Gaga is great. Gaga is simple. Gaga is profound. Gaga is a life. He captures. He conveys. He evokes. He is abstract. He is figurative.He blends. He distorts. Nothing stays still and yet everything comes together. He narrates without telling tales. Because he grabs our eyes, engages our senses and then lets our minds go wandering. His then are subjects without consequence, bodies without substance, lines without fixity. In this there is great consequence, substance and fixity.   Gaga is timeless. And Gaga is global. But Gaga is also of the moment, here and now. For Gaga’s artist heart of being as becoming. And it has always been thus. For Gaga has always at heart been an ’EnergeticPencil’ (the name of the group of satirical Leningrad artists he joined in the 1960’s). As such he captures both corners and kernels of life, be it at home in St.Petersburg or away on his transcontinental travels.   There is a magic in this man.  He feels history and finds essences.He has worked wonders with forthright Mayakovsky (Bedbug, illustrated book, 1975), realized the visual legacy of his grandfather, Nikolay Kulbin, spearhead of Futurism , and of his mother, child prodigy and sculptor Nina Kulbina, and passed on his talents to his unique son,  Alexei Kulbin,the quiet painter of modern Russian passage.   Gaga is appreciated the world over. He paints, draws, films, photographs, installs, exhibits. He makes quirky ceramics and collages. His art speaks, even chants,  yet the only preaching it does is on the value of being creative, imaginative, wholehearted, funny and kind. His canvases are filled with colorful plasticity, as objects,  people, buildings and nature are welded into robust form relishing life.  Yes, to know Gaga and his art,as I have done for nigh on three decades, is to be infected by his joie de vivre.We could all do with a piece of his genius.

                                                                                D. Jeremy Howard, 

Senior Lecturer in Modern Art,  author of (for example): The Union of Youth. An Artists’ Society of the Russian Avant-Garde(1992), East European Art (2006), and co-author of The Decorated School (2013) and Vladimir Markov and Russian Primitivism (2015).

Museum Collections

  •  National Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
  • National Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.
  • Russian National Library, Estamp Department, St. Petersburg.
  • Russian National Library, Estamp Department, St. Petersburg.
  • National Museum of Mayakovski, Moscow.
  • National Museum of History of St. Petersburg
  • Tambov Regional Gallery, Tambov
  • Kursk National Gallery of Deineka, Kursk
  • Sakhalin Regional Museum, South Sakhalinsk
  • The Central Exhibition Hall “Manege”, St Petersburg
  • Moravian Gallery in Bruno, Czech
  • Spencer Museum of Art, USA
  • Zimmerli Art Museum, USA
  • Les Musees de La Citadelle, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

Major Personal Exhibitions

  • “I called myself Gaga”, Blue Hall, St. Petersburg, 2012
  • “Two Artists “(joint exhibition with son Aleksei Kulbin) , Nabokov Museum, St. Petersburg 2012
  • “Oh South, Oh Nice…” Kursk National Gallery, 2007
  • “Kovenchuk”, Gallery Club Matisse, St. Petersburg, 2005
  • “GAGA” ,Galerrie Pastor Gismondi, Monte Carlo, Monaco 2004, 2005
  • “Ended up in Moulin Rouge”, Gallery Club Matisse , St. Petersburg, 2005
  • “GAGA”,Galerie “W”. Paris, 2002, 2003
  • Marble Palace,  St.Petersburg, 2002
  • “GAGA”, Galerie Aleksandr. Berlin, 1998
  • “GAGA”, Galeriw “W”. Paris, 1998
  • “GAGA”, Galerie Perspective. Heuchelheim, Germany, 1997
  • “GAGA”,Fine Art Gallery, London, 1990
  • ‘’GAGA’’, Galerie Aronowitsch I Trora Kvarn, Trosa, Sweden, 1988, 1989, 1990
  • ‘’Gaga Kovenchuk’’, Exhibition Hall of Aurora Journal, St. Petersburg ,1981
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