Olga Tobreluts has been at forefront of the post-Soviet and international art scene since 1990s. She is one of the first artists ever to use digital and computer technology in her work. Tobreluts’s early works were intricate manipulations in which historical realities and myths of modern culture melted together transforming them into a magical super reality. In the 1990s she began visiting the Institute ART+COM in Berlin and increasingly began to focus on computer graphics, photography and 3D modelling in her work.
Her pioneering work led to art critic Bruce Sterling calling her “Helen of Troy equipped with a video camera and a computer.” In the early 1990s, Tobreluts put out a series Models featuring some popular figures of antiquity, which she “restored to life” by providing them with photographically credible and flawless bodies – the figures even wore the clothes of famous fashion designers.
In 2000, Tobreluts started working on a grand project comprising a series of 54 works titled Emperor and Galilean, the eponymous characters of Henrik Ibsen’s play. The series was exhibited at Henie Onstad Museum, Olso, Norway, and later at the StateRussian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. She gave up using computer technologies in 2003 and returned to painting, carrying out experiments with the chemical makeup of paints to expand her range of methods of light transmission.
In 2009 she created a series of photographs and a video piece “A Prisoner In The Caucasus” with references to Oscar Shlemmer’s unconventional Triadic ballet debuted in 1922. Tobreluts also pays tribute to Wassily Kandinsky:
Geometric line is the track made by the moving point; that is, its product. It is created by movement specifically through the destruction of the intense self-contained repose of the point. The line is, therefore, the greatest antithesis to the pictorial proto-element the point.
Her six works have now been acquired for the collection of prints in the Word & Image Department of The Victoria And Albert Museum in London. They will appear in future displays and are available for viewing in the Prints & Drawings Study Room. Olga Tobreluts lives and works in St Petersburg and Budapest.
Olga’s work has been exhibited at prestigious institutions such as the Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow, the Ostende Museum in Belgium, the Modern Art Museum in Stockholm, and many others. Additionally, MoMA, NY, the Mario Testino Foundation, the State Russian Museum, the Ludwig Museum, the Baron von Stieglitz Museum, V&A Museum and the Wolfgang Joop Foundation have acquired her work. Her recent exhibitions include Venice Biennale, 2019 and Parkview Museum in Singapore