Leza Lidow

On September 3rd the Gallery "Dom Naschtschokina" presents: In the Halles of the museum, an Exhibition of the works of artist, Leza Lidow! By Jula Lewitina:

It has been told that the American artist is from the direct line of Russian Count Dolgorukij. With her installations and paintings, Leza Lidow has already caused furor in LA, Paris, Geneva, Rome, Brussels, New York, Berlin and Florence. Her attention getting "Chess Game" was recorded in 1995 in the Guinness Book of Records! It was named by the leading art critics as one of the most original projects of contemporary art!

Even though, as Lidow is from Russian ancestry of famous family Count Dolgorukij which founded the City of Moscow, until now none of her exhibitions took place in russia.

The house of Dolgorukij. was struck in the beginning of the 20th Century by the same tragedy as so many Russian intellectuals. Driven out by Bolsheviks, so found Leza's family refuge in New York. Already as a child, Leza showed talent for art and painting.

At 18 she married famous composer, Friedrich Hollander, who wrote for Marlene Ditrich and songs for many film sound tracks in Hollywood. Because of her Slavic beauty, many film companies were vying for her to be an actress in their movies, but she declined because she wanted to pursue her own interests.

The turning point in her endeavors came when she met Salvador Dali. The legendary surrealist was impressed by her works and encouraged her to continue with her style. America was the first country to recognize Leza's work just as Dali's before her.

In 1960 a relative asked Leza to create mannequins for the window displays of her boutiques and since then she painted three-dimensional figures, a favorite them of surrealists. She took soulless mass products and gave them life. Painting them, filling them with symbols and metaphors and bestowing them with meaning and timelessness.

The center of this exhibition is Leza's composition "The Chess Game." this powerful installation includes 32 life-size figures that are grouped on an 8 x 8 meter chess board. Leza personalizes each chess figure and lets a party match between women (in red) and men (in blue) take place. Through this unusual game unfolds the story of the relationship of the two genders and their different impact o the world. These painted figures of women and girls represents victory over men's destructive, aggressive and dominant actions. Women are for Leza, symbols of rescue and hope.

The second installation of "The Last Supper" is the most unique interpretation of a biblical subject. With a flirtation towards blasphemy depicted is a female savior figure that offers Judas a palm branch, symbolizing forgiveness. The 12th female apostle represents the rescue mission of women toward equality and emancipation.

Not less spectacular is Leza's installation, "Cloning." It mirrors the outward happy and inwardly emptiness in the live of woman.

Leza's creation encompass an extraordinary realm of themes from gender conflicts to world pollution. In all these motifs, Leza keeps all women;'s issues in mind!!

In Moscow on the opening day, September 3, 2004, Leza Lidow will be present at the Vernissage. A chess game will take place with chess champion , Anatolij Karpow. Also invited are US Representative, Alexander Gorbatsshow, and other renowned guests.

DETAILS In 1995, Leza Lidow entered the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the installation "Chess Problems." The installation is a chess board measuring 8 x 8 meters with 32 human sized figures on it.

WHERE Contemporary Russian History Museum, through November 3. TICKETS 50-100 rubles.

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