Anna Razumovskaya is a Russian artist whose portfolio consists mostly of portraits painted in oil. Her work depicts female figures as a way of celebrating womanhood and femininity, as her subjects tend to pose in ways which showcase the grace and elegance of the female body. She is therefore the antithesis of many modern feminist artists, such as Tracy Emin and Jenny Saville, whose representations of women are often highly eroticised and provocative. Nevertheless, Razumovskaya’s work is equally empowering.
Born during the height of the Cold War, and growing up under the repressive communist regime, her background influenced her artistic style. Her liberal family, and fashion-enthusiast mother, both contributed towards her growing interest in the world of art. Her upbringing manifests itself in her expressive use of colour and uninhibited painting style. Razumovskaya often depicts her female subjects in evening dresses, which emphasise the beauty of the female form. She is well-travelled—having held solo exhibitions in London, New York, Paris, Toronto, Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Berlin—citing her travels across Europe as another key influence on her style and colour palette.
Some of Razumovskaya’s work can be seen at the Artique Gallery in Canterbury, located in the Marlowe Arcade. One piece, ‘Luminous Day’, captures two women with their backs to the viewer. It uses a colour palette of primarily muted cool tones, so that the warmer tones of the subjects’ skin become the focal point of the piece. Razumovskaya is heavily influenced by the portraiture of the Renaissance era, seeing as there are classical elements present to this piece. Her use of heavy, visible brushstrokes, make the painting a better fit amongst contemporary artwork. This piece is an overall empowering and unapologetic celebration of the female body.
A second piece in the gallery, ‘Time Goes Slowly’, depicts a solitary female figure viewed from the side angle. The piece features Razumovskaya’s iconic icy blue background, so that the emphasis once again falls upon her subject. The vulnerable pose of the subject is a significant element of the painting, as it shows that she does not shy away from depicting the realities of being a woman in the modern world. As with the rest of her work, there is an underlying likeliness to fairy tales. It is one of the qualities that makes viewing Razumovskaya’s paintings such a captivating experience.
'Time Goes Slowly'
It is no surprise that art experts have called Razumovskaya ‘one of the most exciting and collectable artists on the contemporary scene’.