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Nova Benway in Conversation with Olga Chernysheva: Is Drawing a Medium?

27 April 2016


New York curator Nova Benway and Moscow-based artist Olga Chernysheva talk on the potential and enchanting power of drawing.

Benway’s talk will be in two parts: first, she will provide a brief history of The Drawing Center, discussing its evolution as a cultural institution serving New York City and beyond. She will focus particularly on the museum’s engagement with living artists and trace the development of Open Sessions, the residency/exhibition program she founded with artist Lisa Sigal in 2014. Now in its second cycle, the program accepts artists from all over the world, affording them the opportunity to create their own context for their work.

The second part of the presentation will be a discussion with Moscow-based artist Olga Chernysheva, whose work will be presented at The Drawing Center in October 2016, in an exhibition curated by Benway. Chernysheva’s past work has focused on contemporary life in Russia, but at The Drawing Center she will exhibit drawings that respond to her recent month-long visit to New York. Chernysheva and Benway will discuss this new commission, how drawing can address contemporary moments, and the peculiar perspective of the visitor.



Nova Benway is a curator at The Drawing Center in New York, where she is organizing an exhibition of Olga Chernysheva’s work (opening on October 5, 2016). With artist Lisa Sigal, Benway directs Open Sessions, a two-year program of experimental exhibitions and public programs co-organized with 36 local, national, and international artists. Open Sessions incubates new ideas about drawing, providing a rare, extended opportunity for artists to work together in creating their own context around the medium. The program supports drawing in relation to film, architecture, sculpture, music, and other fields. Benway is a frequent contributor to books on artists’ work; her essays have been translated into Spanish, Italian, and Polish.


Olga Chernysheva studied at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow and later at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. She lives and works in Moscow. Chernysheva’s recent solo exhibitions include Peripheral Visions, GRAD, London (2015), which was a special project of the sixth Moscow Biennale; Keeping Sight, M HKA, Antwerp (2014); Compossibilities, Kunsthalle Erfurt (2013); and In the Middle of Things, BAK, Utrecht (2011). In 2001, Chernysheva represented Russia at the Venice Biennale. Her work has also been seen in recent group exhibitions including All the World’s Futures at the Venice Biennale (2015); Bergen Assembly (2013); and Ostalgia, New Museum, New York (2011). Later in 2016, Chernysheva will have a solo exhibition at The Drawing Center, New York.

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