January 8 — February 12, 2022

Weight, Power, Burden

Yana Payusova

Conduit Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Yana Payusova.

Yana Payusova’s fascination with memory and identity continues in Weight, Power, Burden, a large-scale sculptural installation that investigates the importance of materiality to recollection and personal narrative. Rendered in painted ceramic, her life-size portraits, juxtaposed with assemblages of artifacts, invite contemplation of the embodiment of individual experience in accumulated belongings. Assembled items, when viewed in correlation with the personal depictions, encourage the viewer to construct a narrative built from the imagined experiences embodied in each object.

Observation thus becomes a participatory and collaborative process that investigates the productive tension between emotional and intellectual engagement with the concepts of memory, materiality, and identity. Human figures, embellished with inventories of personal objects, represent the encoded experiences and artifacts of the dissolved Soviet Union and encapsulate the enormous impact of radical political and cultural shifts on collective memory, which is repeatedly modified, reconfigured, and woven into personal histories.

Yana Payusova was born in 1979 in Leningrad, USSR. Classically trained as a painter at the St. Petersburg Fine Art Lyceé, she later immigrated to the US and received an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Payusova’s paintings and sculptures blend the styles and symbols of folk art, Russian icons, graphic poster art, illustration, and comics, and reflect Payusova’s cultural heritage and her training in traditional Russian realist painting. Payusova exhibits both nationally and internationally, including recent venues at the Northern Clay Center, Howard Yezerski Gallery, and Tucson Museum of Art. Most recently Payusova was an Artist-in-Residence at the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark and a Visiting Artist at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Payusova is an Assistant Professor of Painting in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Artist Video