Ilya Gaponov was born in 1981 in Kemerovo, an industrial mining town in the Novosibirsk region. His monumental and intensely detailed paintings are created with bitumen and Kuzbass varnish, both byproducts of coal mining. The monumental scale of Gaponov’s work recalls the epic paintings of historical revolution but with entirely contemporary content. His unaffected observation combines with his superb academic craftsmanship to create deeply moving images of unparalleled sincerity. Frequently working in series and large narrative cycles his paintings are cinematic in scale, but the subjects are rendered with such extreme pragmatism that the paintings themselves ultimately become oddly distanced commentaries on spirituality and morality.
Gaponov graduated from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris in 2004 and continued his studies at the acclaimed Mukhina Academy in St Petersburg, graduating in 2007. He continues to live and work in St Petersburg. Until 2010 he worked in partnership with Kirill Koteshov, also from Kemerovo.
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS AND FAIRS:
2011 The Throne of Thyatira. Triumph Gallery, Moscow, Russia.
2011 In the Depths. IX Krasnoyarsk Biennale, Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
2011 Sandpit. New Holland Summer Festival, St Petersburg, Russia.
2010 Vive la Jeune Garde. Les Ateliers du Vent, Rennes, France.
2010 Art Moscow
2010 Summer Snow. Maison du Loir-et-Cher, Blois, France.
2010 A Hero of Our Time. II Moscow Young Art Biennial, Moscow, Russia.
2010 Futurologia. Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia.
2009 Kandinsky Prize Exhibition. Louise Blouin Foundation, London, UK.
2009 Krasnoyarsk Biennial, Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
2009 The Topography of Happiness. Tsaritsyno Estate, Moscow, Russia.
2009 Art Moscow
2009 Art Factory Festival, Ekaterinburg, Russia.
2009 Russian Beauty. National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia.
2009 Europ'Art. Oboima Project Bureau, Geneva, Switzerland.
2008 Father Frost Lives. Triumph Gallery, Moscow, Russia.
2008 Three Days. Triumph Gallery, Moscow, Russia.
2006 Do Not Disturb. Moscow Arts Centre, Moscow, Russia.
2005 Nutcracker. St. Petersburg Conservatoire, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Ilya Gaponov’s paintings can be found in public and private collections throughout Russia. His work has also been collected by many high profile international collectors.