Olga Geoghegan - OLGA YUKHTINA – GEOGHEGAN
Olga Yukhtina - Geoghegan was born in Ukhta in the far North of Russia in 1965.
At the age of ten she was offered a place at the Leningrad Academy of Art's special art school. On leaving school she immediately won a place at the prestigious Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Academy of Art where she began a lengthy, formal training in painting and theatrical decoration under Professor Kochergin, the Chief Artistic Designer at the Maly Theatre, St. Petersburg, which regularly tours to London and other European cities. She worked for a spell in the Kirov (Mariinsky) and Maly theatres as a scene painter before exhibiting throughout Europe. In 1998 she moved to London where she has participated in a number of joint and solo exhibitions. Her works can be found in private collections all round the world.
Olga’s journey has taken her from her birthplace in Ukhta, a town in Russia’s frozen north, built to service part of Stalin’s gulag system, through Leningrad where she studied at the Academy and became embroiled in the bohemian artistic milieu of the ‘80s and 90’s, to 21st century North London where she now lives and works.
Her work is figurative, highly individualistic, and reflects her journey with its timeless theme of alienation. Her canvases are worlds in themselves where her figures, either solitary or in strangely disconnected pairs, emerge from richly coloured impasto as if uncovered there by the artist in her manipulation of the paint. They are extraordinarily moving, if a little unsettling, with their curious blend of pathos and humour and remind one of the portraiture of Velasquez and Vermeer where isolated subjects hold us with their detached gaze. Meanwhile Olga’s still lifes, with objects as isolated as her people, almost verge on abstraction. Yet her opulent palette and perfectly balanced compositions also hold beguiling echoes of the rich canvasses of the Dutch school.