Pavel Aksenov is a legendary figure of the Moscow art scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Born in Izhevsk, he moved to Moscow and got involved with the art squat Tryokhprudny Lane Studios, whose artists were known for their wildness and sense of humor. They provided a counterweight to the seriousness of Moscow conceptualism and expanded the territory of art. During our research for the Triennial, we met up with Pavel Aksenov in Izhevsk. He is investing a lot of energy and resources in the development of the local art scene, while continuing his own artistic practice, which retains its bold, ironic tone. The Triennial presents a homage of sorts to Aksenov: the exhibition includes works from his Moscow and London periods—his sketchbook with drawings made in a London prison will be shown in Moscow for the first time—as well as recent paintings and drawings. His wry look at reality and his acute sense of human suffering, melancholy, loneliness, and unsettledness make him one of the leading artists in Russia today.
Pavel Aksenov (b. 1960, Izhevsk, Russia) lives and works in Izhevsk. He graduated from the Art Faculty of Udmurt State University. He was a member of the art group Lodka and an active participant in the art squat Tryokhprudny Lane Studios, Moscow (1991–1993). In 1993, Aksenov emigrated to France and then moved to London, where he lived until 2008. Solo exhibitions include: Collages, Izhevsk Museum (2014); Artists, Gallery of the newspaper Izvestia of the Udmurt Republic, Izhevsk (2012); Without Burning Bridges, Green Art Gallery, Perm (2011); and Titanic, Tryokhprudny Lane Studios, Moscow(1991). Group exhibitions include: Joy Bar, Fabrika Center for Creative Industries, Moscow (2016); Izhevsk Contemporary Art, Cultural Alliance, Moscow (2012); Art Against Geography: Cultural Alliance,Winzavod Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2011); and Not Toys!?, State Tretyakov Gallery,Moscow (2009).