“An artist lives partially in a dream - just like a poet does. I strive to reflect something impossible to exist…to allow an audience to see beyond the reality, to make up its own fairy-tale, to become a participator and a creator. And thus to feel happy for a moment…” says Elena Shlegel.
And indeed the laws of reality somehow lose their power in Elena’s paintings. She is one of those artists who inspire an audience. Her every work offers an extremely comforting feeling of warmth, contentment and prosperity. Her paintings are the emotional answer to the desire to forget about the daily problems. Her main goal is the creation of a unique and refined atmosphere. Her artistic elegies have no defined borders between the form and the content. The light plays an important part in her works – it’s as if each and every detail is illuminated from within.
Elena Shlegel isn’t in a hurry to say a lot at once – her works are quiet with meaning. And then suddenly this silence gives birth to a moon, a human profile, a fish…and over there, at a distance, one can see either a flower or a star or a young girl. And those images are all real – they are simply intertwined the way impressions and experiences are in our subconsciousness. It’s hard to define some specific style in a poetic manner and plasticity of Elena’s enigmatic compositions. Her characters somehow exist outside time and space -- as if dissolving in her landscapes and still-life paintings. And the artist herself defines her style of painting as “courtly romanticism” and offers the following conception of her work:
In between a day and a night
A summer and a winter
Reality and a dream
Ups and downs
Emptiness and creation.
To stop a feeling of time and a place of crossing, a border –
And to reflect in a form of artistic images.
One can talk or be silent
In between the lines, the words and the thoughts there is something left on a canvas.
Things, characters and symbols interact with each other
Creating a complex multilayered space.
A fairy-tale with its romantic feel.
Water, milk, blood, a woman, a bird, a cat, a jar, a tangle, a house,
A city, a roadway…
Blood moves in a body, water flows in a river, milk of an old fairy-tale
Pours into our vessels and returns refreshed by a myth.
Elena Shlegel was born in Minsk, Belarus in 1965
1984 Graduated from Minsk Art College
1991 Graduated from the Belarusian Art Academy (Monumental Art Department)
1988 Began participating in the republican and international exhibitions and projects
1996 Became a member of the Belarusian Artists Union
1998 Became a laureate of the Republican Exhibition “Persona, Space, Time”
1998 Joined the “International Artists Guild” Association
2004 Joined the “Artel” Association
2005 Became a grant holder of the Ministry of Culture of Belarus
1995 The Alternative Theater. Minsk, Belarus
1998 “Mastatstva” Art Gallery of the Belarusian Artists Union. Minsk, Belarus
2006 “The Space of Fantasy”, the Museum of Modern Art of Belarus. Minsk, Belarus
1988 The Republican Exhibition of Youth, the State Art Gallery “The Palace of Art”. Minsk, Belarus
1998 The Republican Exhibition of Monumental Art, the State Art Gallery “The Palace of Art”. Minsk, Belarus
1989 “The Artist and Ecology” Republican Art Exhibition, the State Art Gallery “The Palace of Art”. Minsk, Belarus
1990 The exhibition of Belarusian artists dedicated to F. Skaryna 500th Anniversary. Vilnius, Lithuania
1990 “Experiment” Republican Art Exhibition, the State Art Gallery “The Palace of Art”. Minsk, Belarus
1995 The White Art Festival, the State Art Gallery “The Palace of Art”. Minsk, Belarus
1995 The exhibition of Belarusian artists. Esslingen, Germany
1997 “The Pure Flowers of Belarus”. Brussels, Belgium
1997 The exhibition of Belarusian artists. Burgsteinfurt, Germany
1998 “Persona, Space, Time” Republican Exhibition of Youth. Minsk, Belarus
1999 “ArtSalon” Annual Art Exhibition, the Central Artists’ House. Moscow, Russia
2000 “Zoloto” Art Gallery. Minsk, Belarus
2001 “Tagheles” Art Gallery. Berlin, Germany
2004 “Ecology” Annual Art-Salon, the Central Artists’ House. Moscow, Russia
2004 “You and Me”, Art Service Center, the Central Artists’ House. Moscow, Russia
2004/05 “March Cats” exhibition of the “Master” Creative Association. Minsk, Belarus
2004 “Water, Interpretations”, the State Palace. Minsk, Belarus;
2005 “To the Memory of Borisov-Musatov”, the Museum of Modern Art. Minsk, Belarus; the Belarusian Embassy. Tallinn, Estonia
2005 “Fall 2005”, the State Art Gallery “The Palace of Art”. Minsk, Belarus
2005 “Art-Step”, the Museum of Modern Art. Minsk, Belarus
2006 “Art Step”, the gallery of the National Library of Belarus. Minsk, Belarus
2006 “Carnival” exhibition of the “Master” Creative Association. Minsk, Belarus
2006 “The New Collection”, the Museum of Modern Art. Minsk, Belarus
2007 “The Territory of Love”, the Museum of Modern Art. Minsk, Belarus
2007 “A Woman’s World”, the National Museum of Art. Minsk, Belarus
2007 “PostTradition”, the State Art Gallery “The Palace of Art”. Minsk, Belarus
Elena Shlegel’s works are at the National Museum of Art (Minsk, Belarus), the Museum of Modern Art (Minsk, Belarus), the Literary Museum of M. Bagdanovich (Minsk, Belarus), the National Library of Belarus (Minsk, Belarus), the collections of the Ministry of Culture of Belarus (Minsk, Belarus),, the Art Funds of the Belarusian Artists Union (Minsk, Belarus), the “Lukoil” Company (Russia), as well as in private collections in Belarus, Russia, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Japan and the USA.