Born in Ukraine in 1981, Diana Machulina works and lives in Moscow. She is the art icon of the young generation of contemporary artists in Russia, and has been named best young artist by the Kandinsky Prize Jury in 2008. Diana Machulina had already participated in many prestigious exhibitions in Russia and abroad.
Diana Machulina is graduated from the Surikov Institute, the most traditional art school in Russia but also today the most prestigious, then she studied at the Stuttgart Academy of Art and Design. She finished her education at the Moscow Institute of Contemporary Art and at the Pro Arte Institute in Saint-Petersburg where she learned cultural journalism, which had brought her to curatorship. She still writes exhibition reviews and curatorial articles in major art magazine and exhibitions in Russia
In her artwork, from paintings to sculptures and installations, Diana Machulina represents different aspects our ordinary environment, to reveal an unexpected reality, sometimes disturbing, often dark and secret, or to point its absurdity. Diana Machulina’s paintings are mostly done in a realistic style. They testify of an impeccable technique, inherited from the long pictorial tradition of Russian art. Her works are full of joy, but with hidden darker notes. She look at the ways of the world, the absurdity of life or the vulnerability of the human being to external forces, with a clear realism and a fair dose of irony.
A vein of absurdity and black humor which is an enduring characteristic of the Russian culture, from the Gogol literature of the 19th century to the theatric plays of Oberiu group, directed by Daniil Kharms or the narrative installations of Ilya Kabakov, which we can see the heritage in Diana Machulina’s artwork.
Prizes and awards
Kandinsky Prize, Best young artist, 2008
« Younger than Jesus » artist directory, New-Museum, New-York, 2009.
Selected for an artist residency in Paris, Couvent des Recollets, summer 2010
Selected for an artist residency in Rome, American Academy, with the support of the Joseph Brodsky Foundation, 2013
2016 « Opening of Postcommunism: cadavre exquis », Dukley Art Center, Montenegro
2012 « In Praise of Folly », Guelman Gallery, Moscow
2011 « Exercises », Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow
2010 « In Praise of Folly », Galerie Stanislas Bourgain, Paris
2009 « Pandora’s lovely stuff », Galerie Stanislas Bourgain, Paris
2008 « Rubber Soul », Galerie Stanislas Bourgain, Paris
2007 « Old New» , Marat Guelman gallery, Moscow, Russia
2006 « Pillow’s book», Ecomusée Voltaire, Geneva, Switzerland.
Group shows (Selection)
2016 “The Betrayal of intellectuals”, Suite Russe Paris, Ritz Hotel, Paris
2015 “The art of being there”, Saint-Petersburg (Russia)
2014 “Quelles sont nos ruines”, Ateliers du Vent, Rennes (France)
“Cinque Mostre – Time and Again”, American Academy in Rome
2013 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Main Project, “En plein air”, collective project
“Museum of Modern Art : Department of work and employment”, New Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, as part of the 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art
2012 «Decoration of the beautiful. Elitism and kitsch in contemporary art», New Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
«Monuments and Documents», Tretyakov gallery, Moscow
«Limited Edition», Open Gallery, Moscow
«Motherland», Sibfair, Novosibirsk
2011 « Hostages of Void », Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow; 16th Line gallery, Rostov-on-Don
« Motherland », Perm Museum of Modern Art, Perm
« Сontra mater», special project of 4th Moscow biennale, Stroganov State University of Art and Industry, Moscow
« Contrepoint russe », Louvre Museum, Paris
« Jeune création russe », les ateliers du vent, Rennes, France
« Futurologia, Russian artists and the avant-garde heritage », Garage Art Center, Moscow. Curator Hervé Mikaeloff.
« The russians are coming », Havre Magasinet Art Center, Boden, Sweden
Kandinsky Prize in London, Louise T Blouin Foundation, London
Third Moscow Biennale of Contemporary art (September 2009)
« The european studio », project of the European Commission representation on Russia, Central House of Artists, Moscow.
2008 « Invisible difference », Artstrelka Projects, Moscow
« Laughterlife », Paradise Row gallery, London and Volker-Diehl gallery, Moscow. « Uncomfortable art », 000130 gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2007 « Comprachicos », «Sots-art. Political art in Russia from 1972 to now », La Maison Rouge, fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris
«Old New», in the project «History of the present time» of curator Iara Boubnova, 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary art, Moscow.
Installation «What time is God?” in the exhibition «Artist diary », special project of the 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary art, Moscow.