Andrei Roiter: OPEN

Opening November 16th 2023

Closing January 2024

On November 16th, Álvaro Álcazar Gallery presents the solo exhibition of Moscow-born artist Andrei Roiter (1960), a show that features around twenty works made in the last few years, including paintings and a sculpture. Twelve years after his solo exhibition at the Fúcares Gallery, the artist returns to Madrid with a major exhibition that will be on view until mid-January 2024. 

Andrei Roiter’s work is a compilation of a whole series of personal experiences, starting from his youth —marked by Soviet totalitarianism— and spanning to the present global, political climate. Issues such as emigration, voluntary exile and a search for self- identity, are present in the artist’s iconographic repertoire, either explicitly or as a symbolic reference. Thus, one of the recent elements that Roiter repeats the most is the rectangle with the circle in the center, as in “Opening” #2, #3 and #4, where the artist is speaking to us of openness and escape. One of his favorite works of his old friend, Ilya Kabakov, is “Man Who Flew into Space from His Apartment”, the installation piece that includes a hole in the ceiling of an apartment through which the occupant ejected himself into space. Roiter relates autobiographically to the work, as he himself fled Russia at the end of the 80’s. 

Roiter is also inspired by other artists who interact with spacial boundaries, such as Lucio Fontana and Gordon Matta-Clark, who used empty buildings as a medium to open huge holes in their facades, leaving the emptiness inside. In Roiter’s case, his ruptures illuminate a hidden, metaphysical space behind the canvas. Cardboard or moving boxes (“Yellow Tower”, “Spire”) also frequently appear in his work, sometimes forming crude models of buildings parodying grand, empirical towers such as the Empire State Building and the Kremlin. Architecture is precisely another of his most reiterated themes (“Ivory Tower”), as we must remember that he trained for some years in this discipline. 

From a formal perspective, Andrei Roiter’s work is characterized mainly by his technical mastery and by the austerity that surrounds the forms and the palette, predominantly limited to greens, sepias, reds and browns. These generally earthy, muted colors, underlie the melancholy of the artist, yet there’s a persistent presence of a glowing luminosity. 

The thoughts and feelings Andrei Roiter lays bare in this exhibition, he has pointed out, represent complex universal experiences such as solitude, groundlessness and fragility. The objects in his paintings are symbolic and metaphorical portraits of human aspects, brilliantly executed.

List of works