On 23 September, a personal exhibition of a famous Voronezh artist Ksenia Tarakanova “Expression in painting” opened at the Rector’s gallery in the main building of VSU. The exhibition presented bright and original paintings. Working with colours is a characteristic feature of Ksenia Tarakanova's works. Her paintings are known for their original texture, a riot of colour, and interesting themes. The style of the artist’s paintings can be called rebellious.
Ksenia is the master of Alla prima (literally "at first attempt", also called "wet-on-wet" painting). It takes just a few hours to create a painting while the impressions are still fresh. Ksenia makes paintings of different genres. They are known for their bright colours and light brush work. The richer the colour is, the more positive the painting becomes. Many works by Ksenia Tarakanova are done using the spatula technique when you use a spatula, a device for mixing paints, instead of a brush. Such paintings are characterised by their patchiness and texture.
The artist’s works are presented in art catalogues and art publications in Russia and abroad. In 2008 Ksenia was mentioned in a Swiss encyclopaedia of successful people “Who is who in Russia” in the section about “Cultural and art figures”. Ksenia also leads an active public life, and in 2009 she was awarded with a silver order for "Worship to the art". Her paintings were exhibited in Israel, Greece, and Portugal. Kseniya has created over 700 paintings, some of which can now be found in the embassies or consulates of European countries, as well as in private collections in England, Hungary, USA, Belgium, and other countries.
At the opening of the exhibition, VSU rector Dmitry Endovitsky noted that should a young man declare his love to a woman near one of Ksenia Tarakanova’s paintings, they just should ensure it is the right painting.
“Street Art, Abstraction in turquoise, Shanghai 1-2, Dancing peonies, all these works were done in the style of abstract expressionism. When we were preparing the exhibition, I heard different opinions. Some were delighted, some were surprised. Some people said they didn’t understand these works. I wanted to try something new in art. I have been using a traditional painting technique for many years, it has become polished, and I confidently painted familiar still lifes, landscapes, nudes, and portraits. I wanted to use other methods of painting and to get rid of the habitual stretcher and brushes. However, during my creative business trip to Paris, I had already used the stick method and the technique of squeezing the paints directly from the tube. But it wasn’t intended, it was accidental because I forgot my brushes and a spatula in my studio. Abstract expressionism is spontaneous expression of the artist’s inner world. Some will call such art chaotic and disorganised, but it’s not true. The artist organises the abstract forms and the position of colour spots and lines. There is a clear common idea. Something familiar can be used as the core of the painting, but the theme is developed using multiple dispersed drops, dabs, and splashes. Bright open colours are often used to create a dramatic effect. The layer of paint can sometimes be 1.5 centimetres thick. I have enjoyed working with a spatula since art school, I like putting wide random dabs and extracting special effects from the combination of colours. But now I’ve decided to move on and use the dripping technique. It’s a typical technique for abstract expressionism. You splash, drip, and spray paints in order to achieve spontaneous decorative effects. Such famous artists as Hans Hofmann and Jackson Pollock, as well as other representatives of action painting, also used the dripping technique. Of course, I’m not going to just copy Pollock’s work, I want to try my hand at the dripping technique,” said Ksenia.