Constructing Memory: Andrew Fish & Pavel Romaniko

Hynes Convention Center

January 27-May 25, 2018
Reception February 13, 2018 6-8pm

Pavel Romaniko’s photographs are culled from current events in his homeland of Russia and its Soviet history. True to the title of this series “Nostalgia”, the work has an uneasy familiarity and brings collective cross-cultural memory to bear on the viewer. His meticulously constructed miniature environments captured in photographs create images that are mundane at first glance, but reveal themselves to be disturbingly hypernormal. The wooden chairs, wallpaper, etc. are undeniably familiar and yet not quite right, evoking how memory works: fact and fiction blur together to reveal something of our true nature.

The architecture of Andrew Fish’s paintings also conjure familiar thoughts and places. One could imagine Fish taking photos everywhere he goes. The sources for his paintings stem from his daily lived experiences and those snapshots are his reference point. Fish renders a finely crafted portion of these cityscapes visible while leaving an openness that allows the viewer to find his or her own associations. The color and light in his paintings carry a sort of optimism, but the paintings—with their singular figures and swaths of gestural strokes—often feel solitary and vast.

Fish’s paintings are scaled to the viewer and appear as doorways or windows to another place. He literally enlarges his ideas on the canvas to engage the viewer bodily, almost tempting the viewer to walk through the door. Romaniko takes the idea of a shared cultural memory, distills it into tiny dioramas and then blows it up again with photography producing an uncanny effect. This exhibition digs into the world of place and memory questioning what constitutes a true memory. Can a memory become more textured, powerful and true as it degrades and regenerates with time? Fish, transforming photographs into textured paintings, and Romaniko, creating sculptures meant to exist as photographs, leverage this transformation in their very processes.

- Caitlin Foley