Katya Tishkevich is a contemporary artist working with painting, drawing and sculpture.

Born in 1991 in Minsk, Belarus. Graduated from Minsk Glebov Art College (2012) and Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design (2018) as a painter and an artist of monumental art.

She explores the states of hopeless persistence, transcendent pain, agonie of life within the finite human existence. 
Her artistic intention is to create the shapes of meanings, emotional signs that embody some experience,
archetypes of various kinds of inner encounters and let the viewer feel this sensational palette of senses.
Tishkevich became a finalist of Arte Laguna Prize 17th edition in painting category (Venice,2023) and took part in A. I. R biennial : Friend of artist with Peer Review (A.I.R. gallery, Brooklyn, 2023).
She exhibited in St.Petersburg in Antonov gallery(2020), Museum of nonconformist art(2020), Arts square gallery (2020) and in Minsk.
Her works are in public collection of Museum of nonconformist art and in private collections in Italy, Russia, Israel, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, Latvia, Netherlands, Austria and Minsk.

Artist lives and works in Minsk, Belarus

2012-2018 Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design
Title of qualification awarded: Artist of Monumental Art (painting)
2015-2017 French University College of Saint Petersburg State University (CUF)
Study of Literature and Philosophy - Francophone Department
2008-2012 Minsk Glebov State Art College
Title of qualification awarded: Painter. Teacher of fine art

Heartbeat, Wolf & Galentz, Berlin
A.I.R. Biennial: Friend of the Artist, with Peer Review, curated by Eriola Pira, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. 
Exhibition of finalists Arte Laguna prize, Venice, Italy
ASH, group show co-curated with Nastya Shakunova at art space Vershy, Minsk, Belarus
Thawed patch, artist-run space Russian shield, St.Petersburg, Russia
Russian shield, artist-run-cooperation Russian Shield
New names, Museum of nonconformist art St.Petersburg
Pre-auction exhibition in Antonov gallery, St.Petersburg
Solo show Paired interactions during the Marathon of young artists in Art square gallery, St.Petersburg
Autumn salon in Art palace, Minsk,Belarus
Online exhibition Lockdown by Chrysalis Mag
Online exhibition This distant place, so close by Ghost Art Project
Online exhibition The shape of content. Art from Afar by Off The Cost Project 
12 Florence Biennale of contemporary art,
Contemporary Art fair SAM FAIR, Saint Petersburg, Russia
 Exhibition with Hanna Asianienka at Bughouse in Minsk during the Open August festival
Exhibition of plein air atworks from Ferapontovo at Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design
 Exhibition of plein air artworks at Ferapontovo museum
 Exhibition Goldfinch of White Nights at Manege, St. Petersburg

100 artists bringing figures to life, ARTIT book

Text by Nicholas Cueva for Peer Review Volume 1

“I once found a dead cat by the side of the road that had been lying there all day,” Katya waxed to me. “I buried him the next day.”

Katya Tishkevich’s work presents disgust, dark delight, and pathos with a cold hand akin to Marlene Dumas, disinterested brushwork with almost a holding back of violence. The type of empathy she makes available, high-octane and heady, is a little haunting. Her palette is closer to Louise Bourgeois’s spare watercolor musings, not straying too much from monochrome, in a severe way.

I see struggle and an uneasy knowing in Katya’s works. An unpaid karmic debt of sorrow, unable to be changed, focused into vignettes. It is the skeleton of hope left to freeze. Illustrations of final moments and portraits of regret.

Katya’s present pieces, with the stark relationship between marks and the forms they encompass, give her figures an alien feeling. In her watercolors, the body is laid bare with an analytic eye, its internal secrets and sinew pulled out and spread for the viewer’s consideration. In her oil creations, there is more weight in the marks, portraits seem blurry with the same anger and sadness that the depicted faces carry.

Her more figurative works often have skeletal thin bodies strewn about like pro-life propaganda. An aura of repugnance confronts the viewer, a specter of self-examination. There is something of the sensation we get from Mulholland Drive, the scene where a man describes a nightmare that unfolds exactly like the moment he is experiencing. He recalls seeing something terrible, just behind the building. Slowly, his elaborating and narrating march him forward into his dread, to fulfill his own prophetic vision, to meet his own terror.

Katya gives us moments to reflect on our own fragile existence, the miracle of life and the miracle of love, by showing us their limits and absences.

She often places central figures and forms in simple and solid backgrounds, further reiterating a clinical consideration, alienating and dehumanizing. This composition sets up a deeply charged focus on the by product of violence implied by her forms. The lifeless body doesn’t belong to anyone anymore, strewn like trash across a road; it is now a matter of image and metaphor, waiting for the viewer to gather it all back up again.

Her rare works with multiple figures feel somewhat like Leon Golub’s detached examinations of violence, with a haunting twist. Violence isn’t being carried out at the moment, per se, but its effects aren’t being addressed either: a passive form of post-torture torture. A huddled, naked, and injured man surrounded by cloaked figures actively ignoring him. Neglect, either through fear or apathy, barricades the relationships between figures, in opposition to the empathy teased out of the viewer. It is the story of the good Samaritan, without the Samaritan.

Her sculptures often reference burials, with bodies in rubble, forms like grave markers demarcating space among chaos, dead plants, soil. When I asked her about the possibility of life after death, she said, “I couldn’t even imagine something beyond the decay.” I suspect that’s not from a lack of imagination, but from her overwhelming sense of the chaos around her. Her portraits often have the sympathy of the sternly painted faces of Rouault: half-shadowed, half-abstract expressions framed with dark and direct brushwork.

Many of her figures are so eviscerated and abstracted that recognition of a person seems almost beyond us.

Stiff brushwork like a slap. Haunted.

“My favorite purpose of art is to provoke, disturb, force people to think, empathize, and develop empathy.”

She talks about Albert Camus’s The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus. Alienation, revisited in a post-Disney world.

The poverty of color and reliance on reds echo her post-Soviet background. Sparse, economical mark-making, for the highest emotional return. When asked about her color choices, she remarked, “They deeply agitate me. While working with these colors they echo my emotions, such as anger, pain, passion, struggle.”

She lives near the beginning of possibly the “last war,” in the way they meant it during the first world war: the “war to end all wars,” the eruption of which threatens all. This brief peace and order we have all come to take for granted, now seemingly paper thin, stretched like Katya’s figures.

Paying deep attention to negative emotions is rewarding (a sentiment that seems alien to the American mind).

We must imagine Katya happy. Returning over and over to the viscera and violence. Like Sisyphus pushing the rock, Katya puts a strong brush up against a nightmare and pushes back. There’s literature supporting the practice of returning to the image of trauma in an informed and controlled way, to alleviate the stress of memories. Can we empathize? Do we squeeze into the surgeon’s theater? Does the execution chamber have another seat? Do we stop to give change to the man holding up his sunken face? Can we look in the mirror one more day?