Sanya Kantarovsky

Disease of the Eyes

Sanya Kantarovsky, installation view, Disease of the Eyes, view on One World, 2018, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. Courtesy of the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.

Sanya Kantarovsky, installation view, Disease of the Eyes, view on One World, 2018, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. Courtesy of the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.

Sanya Kantarovsky, installation view, Disease of the Eyes, view on One World, 2018, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. Courtesy of the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.

Sanya Kantarovsky, installation view, Disease of the Eyes, view on One World, 2018, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. Courtesy of the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.

Sanya Kantarovsky, installation view, Disease of the Eyes, view on One World, 2018, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. Courtesy of the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.

Sanya Kantarovsky, installation view, Disease of the Eyes, view on One World, 2018, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. Courtesy of the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.

Sanya Kantarovsky, installation view, Disease of the Eyes, view on One World, 2018, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. Courtesy of the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.

Sanya Kantarovsky, installation view, Disease of the Eyes, view on One World, 2018, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. Courtesy of the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.

Sanya Kantarovsky, installation view, Disease of the Eyes, view on One World, 2018, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. Courtesy of the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.

Sanya Kantarovsky, poster for the exhibition, Disease of the Eyes, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018. Design: Ben Brodmann

Exhibition text and related events (PDF)
Press images (ZIP)

Das Blut im schönen Blau der Wellen, Badische Zeitung (09/2018)
Zwischen Heute und Stalin-Zeit art – Das Kunstmagazin (08/2018)
Trügerische Sicherheit, kulturtipp.ch (08/2018)
Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst, Frieze (08/2013)

Lush, moody, touching, and wry, the paintings of Sanya Kantarovsky (*1982) offer a strange form of address. Their subjects gaze at you insolently (while on horseback, a corpse its casual companion), or entreatingly (while floating, probably wounded, in an endless sea). These are saturated images, built up from washes of color, layers of references, sly nods to our contemporary moment, and the self-conscious stylistic inflections of painters of yesteryear. One senses that their maker believes in the urgency but also the absurdity of painting as he assembles marks that are not afraid to be imperfect, even awkward. They make almost palpable such emotions as alienation, embarrassment, intimacy, and desire, exposing quotidian human melodrama and existential cruelty, all while being able to laugh at themselves as they turn to you so that you may laugh, too. Here, in the Russian-born artist’s largest exhibition to date and first institutional show in Switzerland, Kantarovsky shows all new paintings and monotype prints—the connections between the two mediums revealing much about his process of constructing images.

Trailer for Sanya Kantarosvsky’s short film “Disease of the Eyes,” which will premiere at the Stadtkino Basel to accompany his exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel (Date to be confirmed)