Art News 27 February 2017
Australia-based Russian Anna Rubin in Hong Kong for Asia Contemporary
A very modern artist mastering the
timeless Flemish Realism style
When the Asia Contemporary Art Show opens at the Conrad Hong King on 17 March, look out for the artist Anna Rubin who turns the exhibition name on its head.
Her paintings are clearly representative of the 400 year old Flemish Masters Realism school and based on the Byzantium technique of oil painting in layers, dating back more than 700 years.
Hardly contemporary, even though the artist herself is a relatively recent proponent of a seemingly ageless artistic tradition.
But Anna Rubin is no copyist. She’s an award winning, highly recognised artist from Australia who meticulously produces still life in oils using age-old techniques that require up-to 500 layers with each painting taking her eight weeks or longer to finish.
Living in Australia since 2002, Anna’s collections have been successfully sold-out in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne galleries. Her artwork has achieved extraordinary results in art auctions.
Numbers matter to this Russian-born MBA graduate from Germany’s Düsseldorf University whose paintings are now being resold on the secondary market.
It was reported in the Courier Mail (Brisbane, Australia) that her very first painting “Iris”, exhibited and sold for A$16,500 in 2006, was a year later valued for insurance purposes at A$28,000. The same newspaper report in May 2008 noted that one of her works was snapped up by an influential patron for A$35,000 then sold through an auction house for A$88,000.
She first came to the attention of well-known Sydney gallery owner Richard Martin, who invited her to exhibit in July 2006. One of her paintings – inspired by the fish she had remembered seeing at the markets in Moscow as a child – proved the signature work in the show, selling for A$38,500.
She sees herself as a contemporary extension of European realism tradition as perfected by Flemish-Dutch masters. But what is remarkable to many is that Anna Rubin the artist emerged out of “a creative chrysalis” a mere 11 years ago with her first solo exhibition on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia early in 2006.
It was a sell-out, as was her next few exhibitions, including her first in Sydney’s Richard Martin gallery. She was back at the well-regarded Sydney gallery two years later with a solo show – “Les Objets d’Amour” – from 16 – 27 February 2008. Another case of all in her collection selling out.
Here’s how Richard Martin describes her work at the time:
“Rather than compromise tradition and artistic integrity for commercial opportunism, Anna has steadfastly remained true to the style, persisting in the creation of artwork that accurately reflects her European roots, interpreted with breath-taking 21st century realism.
“In doing so, she labours over each painting for up to eight weeks to achieve a result not replicable by modern methods of mass production. Since her first solo show in February 2006, Anna’s work is now found in numerous private collections throughout Australia.”
After celebrating the 10th year anniversary of her art with another sold out exhibition in 2016 at Palazzo Versace, on the Gold Coast of Australia, Anna started looking at expanding overseas. The first step was her participation at the Singapore Contemporary Show in January 2017.
Encouraged by the reception she received – albeit amidst an exhibition of very different art styles to her own – with some promising sales to local buyers, so she decided to dive further into the Asian art market.
“Les Objets de Beauté de l’Abondance” by Anna Rubin
Even though the bigger show in Hong Kong represents even more competition, Anna is undeterred as she’s hoping that there might be added interest in what she calls her “Chinoiserie” works. The miniature, elegant collection she is offering in Hong Kong is her own “Golden Age” – the Alchemy of Renaissance and Belle Époque.
As someone who spent many years working in interior design, she fully understands the very decorative style, influenced largely by the French that incorporates the use of Chinese motifs and techniques.
Before she came to Australia in 2002, she says her “artistic aspirations continued to smoulder” while she created a business in restoring and renovating European heritage manors, based from Germany.
Anna’s work extended to architectural and interior design for period properties throughout Europe, while extensive travel during this period afforded her the opportunity to also explore and study art collections across the European continent.
Now she’s seeing owners of grand homes and apartments in Europe and Australia positioning her distinctive paintings in prominent places.
“Even though my paintings have shown quite remarkable increases in value since first sold, I really don’t want to hear they are being safely stored out of sight somewhere. I want them to be seen and enjoyed,” Anna Rubin says from Australia in advance of her first Hong Kong showing.
She will make sure she shows a selection of her more recent original still-life paintings for sale and as well as her limited edition prints of previously sold works, especially released for this exhibition.
For a preview of what Anna Rubin will have on show in Hong Kong, go to the official artist page at Asian Contemporary website: http://www.asiacontemporaryart.com/artists/artist/Anna_Rubin/en/
About Anna Rubin, the artist
The artistic integrity of this period of classical Realism endures in Anna’s meticulous works, as she draws from her personal history, multicultural experiences and reflections to capture real life subjects in the Flemish-Dutch School manner.
A fourth generation Muscovite, Anna was born in Moscow, Russia. Her mother was a writer of children’s educational programmes. Her father, an engineer, died in a car accident when Anna was small. In his absence, her grandfather provided the foundations for a lifetime passion for fine art by taking Anna to visit many museums and exhibitions in Moscow from the age of five. He also introduced Anna to drawing and the method of Aquarelle, watercolour painting in transparent washes.
Art is in Anna’s genes. Her great grandfather was Sava Nikitin – a 19th century monk in the Novodevitchev Monastery, a restaurateur and a painter of Russian orthodox icons and wall paintings. Call it “genetic inspiration”.
For Anna Rubin’s full biography, go to www.annarubin.com/anna-rubin-biography/
About Anna Rubin Prints
“Les Objets de Beauté”, 68cm x 58cm (Limited Edition Print)
Special Hong Kong Limited Edition of 10 Fine Prints on Canvas
The extremely positive feedback and high demand for these artworks inspired the release of the first Limited Edition Prints. It is kept very exclusive and collectable as the number of prints is limited to only 10 of each painting.
A high-quality method called Giclée was applied to reproduce these artworks into limited edition prints, on canvas (pronounced gee-clay). Giclée is French and translates as meaning “sprayed ink”. Giclée prints are museum quality reproductions of original art from traditional media, by means of a high quality printer using advanced pigment ink technology.
Limited edition prints are priced at US$1,600.
For more on the artist and to see high resolution images of her prints, go to this website: http://annarubin.com/limited-edition-prints/
Issued on behalf of Anna Rubin for the Asia Contemporary Art Show, Hong Kong 17-20 March 2017
by Ken Hickson
Managing Editor, The Avenue for CreatIve Arts
Fifth Avenue Media and Editorial Services, Singapore
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