Elena Kovylina

Born in Moscow in 1971

She attended ╠oscow’s “Memory of 1905” High School for Visual Arts from 1988 to 1991.  Upon graduation, she progressed to the Surikov Art Institute, where she studied until 1995. During this time, she received a classical Soviet art education, involving both art history readings and “boring exercises in drawing nude workers and executing colourful landscapes,” in an intellectual and artistic atmosphere that she has described as “oppressive academism” In total, she received thirteen years of such education, and by the time she was accepted to the Zurich institute in 1996, she was establishing herself as a socialist-impressionist painter. She was shocked, however, to discover that her Swiss instructors considered her works to resemble those painted by their grandparents, and in turn they were surprised to hear that she had never encountered artists in the style of Joseph Beuys, a German graphic and performance artist who is now considered to be one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists. In 1999, she completed a course on new artistic strategies at the Georges Soros Centre of Contemporary Art in Moscow.

Lives and works in Moscow