Elena Strygina
Artist, art manager, curator, founder of Youngest gallery and Youngest collection
Winner of Global Talent Visa, UK
2010 - 2023
Work experience Linkedin
2009 - 2011
University of the Arts, London
Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art
2000 - 2007
St. Petersburg University of Technology and Design
BA, MA in Fashion Design
2021 - 2023
Youngest Gallery & Youngest Collection
Founder, chief curator
  • Kid Art Gallery
    Research. Overview of the most exciting artworks created by kids all over the world
  • Youngest Gallery & Collection
    Highlights of the Youngest collection - a private collection of kids' art
  • The Best Art schools
    Research. Overview of the most inspiring art schools around the world
  • Dacha, a project in the framework of the 'This is Our Country, Grandma' art fair

    Curated by the prominent art group North-7, the Art Fair 'This is Our Country, Grandma' gathered dozens of independent art spaces, art associations, and galleries from St. Petersburg, Moscow, the Ural area, and other regions of Russia, as well as the USA, Finland, Georgia, and Belarus.

    The main theme of the project - the image of the suburban "countryside" - the space between the urbanized and wild environment.

    The concept of the exhibition 'Dacha', curated by Elena Strygina, mirrored one of an art fair. The young artists were immersed in the fair's mounting process. Wondering around the huge building site freely, as if they were visiting grandmother's dacha, they were exploring art, talked to other artists, and, getting inspired by the whole action, created artworks right on the spot. Looking back at those works created by kids in December 2021, one can sense the cold breath of approaching war: military subjects, wooden phones, the volcano that destroys the world... most of the works have become a part of Youngest collection. The most impressive piece Excavator was purchased by Sergey Limonov, one of the leading collectors of contemporary art in Russia.

  • Youngest Gallery
    @ Wajukuu Art Festival
    December 2022

    Wajukuu Art Festival is a major event organized by Wajukuu Art Project, founded in 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya.

    A participant of Documenta 15 (2022) Wajukuu Art Project is a testimony to the resilience and the capacity of people to transmute suffering into beauty. Wajukuu Art Project is a registered community-based organization situated in Lunga-lunga neighborhood of Mukuru slum.

    As the project grows the goal remains the same: to make Mukuru a place where a child could thrive and to create employment through the production and sale of quality artworks.

    Through art classes, Wajukuu empowers children and youth to use art to connect with their heritage, cope with challenges they face in their home and community, speak out against injustice levied upon them, and envisage an alternative future.

    The aim of collaboration was to participate in art classes for kids, exchange ideas, and, together with local artists, introduce new creative activities for kids. As a result, fantastic artworks were created during the art classes and some works were purchased for the Youngest Collection.
  • The Youngest
    A book, collection of interviews
    upcoming project

    A collection of interviews with the leaders of the most exciting educational practices around the world, artists, and kids.

    In the situation when the education system in the world remains quite conservative and doesn't quickly adapt to the rapid changes and challenges of reality, my goal is to explore the most exciting educational practices, aiming to develop creativity and independent thinking among the younger generation.

    I am also interested in talking to professional artists about what inspired them in their childhood; what is their opinion about the contemporary education system, especially in the arts, and what would they like to improve.

    As for kids, it is interesting to know what ideas they have about their own art practice, what they would like to explore, and what kind of environment they would like to be in order to get inspired.
2017 - 2020
Anna Nova Gallery, St. Petersburg
Director, chief curator
  • Things
    Group exhibition
  • A Trace Left by the Future
    Jonathan Monaghan
  • Laboratorium Suggerere
    Valeria Abendroth
  • Marchantia Polymorpha: Up Close and Personal
    Anastasia Potemkina
  • Architectural Bureau "Woodman & Partners" or a Paradise Built by Me
    Nestor Engelke
  • Ants Never Sleep

    Vlad Kulkov
  • Summer Camp 07/19
    North-7 Art group
    Egor Kraft
  • A Pack of Malingerers
    Alexander Dashevskiy
  • Panspermia

  • It's Possible to Imagina What will Remain After
    Maria Agureeva
  • Stardust

    Group exhibition
  • Museum of Poisons

    Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov
  • Our Coming Was Expected on Earth
    Haim Sokol
  • Voice Cooling Tests

    Alice Kern
2012 - 2013
Red October Gallery (Moscow)
Exhibition manager, assistant curator
  • Homemade Russia
    Vladimir Arkhipov
    Continuing the tradition of conceptualism, Arkhipov makes up texts, documenting the story of these objects. Kandinsky Prize nominee (2013). Participated in the Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art (2017).

    In the context of the interdisciplinary project 'Homemade Russia', the artist collects handmade objects of utility (from 1994). It's important for Arkhipov that these objects are unique and were made from available materials which weren't for sale.

    Thie exhibition presented highlights from Vladimir Arkhipov's collection of unique artifacts. Objects made by ordinary Russians inspired by a lack of immediate access to manufactured goods during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    The archive includes hundreds of objects created with often idiosyncratic functional qualities made for both inside and outside the home, such as a tiny bathtub plug carefully fashioned from a boot heel; a back massager made from an old wooden abacus; a road sign used as a street cleaner's shovel; and a doormat made from beer bottle tops.

  • Сhapiteau Moscow
    Sergey Bratkov
    Sergey Bratkov is a Ukrainian artist and one of the founders of Fast Reaction Group (Quick Response Group) together with Boris Mikhailov and Sergey Solonsky. In Moscow, his first exhibitions "Kids", "My Moscow" and "Seven", shown at Regina Gallery, aroused the keen interest of the public and critics.

    Made in Bratkov's signature style, the portraits of ordinary citizens offer the viewer a kind of "section of society", a kind of collective image without embellishment. In addition to collages, the exhibition will feature Sergey Bratkov's video "Full Moon".

    "People of less than sober appearance stumblingly balance on a rope stretched out in their heads. Further away, you can see the magicians – oriental merchants at the market. Having built their pyramids of vegetables and fruit, they conduct dazzling price manipulations from their summits. Trained animals – stray dogs of menacing proportions meditate in front of a
    store with a sign saying "Meat". Over there, a man is dragging a metal bathtub on his back. Hard to see right away what that moving thing is. A ninja turtle perhaps? A woman in a green dress has bought five watermelons at once. She looks like a bunch of grapes.
    Someone's gotten drunk early and now lays on the lawn, like a fallen trapeze artist smashed on the stage."
    - Almine Rech
  • Monument to a Lost Civilization
    Ilya & Emilia Kabakov
    World-renowned artist Ilya Kabakov is regarded as a living classic of contemporary art which was confirmed by countless exhibitions in Europe and the United States. His famous "total" installations are well-known around the world; they have been exhibited at leading art institutions like Pompidou center in Paris, the MOMA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and at the Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kassel. Since 1989 his wife Emilia has joined him as they started working in collaboration.

    'Monument to a Lost Civilization' was first displayed in 1999 in Palermo and includes 37 installations, consisting of 140 individual pieces, collages, and artists' texts and documents. Ilya Kabakov: "This has been my principal dream over the last ten years – to set up a monument to the civilization where I was born, where I studied, and where I lived: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that no longer exists. I'd like to create an image of that place, not an objective one, of course, but the way I saw it and felt it, which is highly subjective. My longing got even more imperious after this civilization that was meant to last for ages fell apart and vanished so abruptly and promptly for its inhabitants". 'Monument To A Lost Civilization' was intended by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov to be exhibited underground in a windowless space. Viewers' confusion was supposed to impart the sense of the Soviet Union.

  • Erz-General Red Parsifal

    Jonathan Meese
    One of the most expressive and spontaneous European artists has changed the Red October Gallery interior drastically in just three days. Meese is famous for the fact that most of his projects are site-specific. The artist kept the idea secret. The only thing certain about the exhibition was its title: Erz General Red Parsifal.

    Meese lives and works in Germany, He works in almost every genre of art: painting, sculpture, video, installation, and performance. He participated in Berlin biennale in 1998, his personal exhibitions were hosted on every continent. Works of the artist are in the collections of the Pompidou Centre, Saatchi Gallery, and other institutions. Meese designed the sets for Wolfgang Rihm's Salzburg Festival Dionysus and he was also chosen to direct the opera "Parsifal", for the Bayreuth Festival 2016.

    The German artist could be called an extremist in art. In his work and numerous manifestos, Meese is promoting the cult of art and predicts its dictatorship on the Earth in the nearest future. The large-scale installation at Red October reveals all sides of Meese's personality. Behind the meters of bubble wrap, one finds a great charisma and insane energy inherent in all Jonathan's art.

    The title of the exhibition is meaningful. The Erzgeneral is the Evolution leader, the Metabolism-Soldier of Art. The Word "Red" stands for Total Alert, being totally fit for Art duty, for (R)evolution, red is always the color of Love, Fight(red, white, black are the three colors of precision), and power. There is of course also the reference to Red October, the Space of Total Art, the Room of Laws of Art… Parsifal shows the future: Dictatorship of Art.

  • Dogs' Life
    Olga Chernysheva, Semyon Faibisovich, Alexander Brodsky
    "Dogs' Life" is a project by Alexander Brodsky, Semyon Faibisovich and Olga Chernyshova.

    In the early 90-s, many Russians used to leave their children in orphanages and beloved thoroughbred dogs in the streets. Those dogs' offspring that survived formed a steadily specific and motley community of homeless creatures.

    The idea of creating a series of works about their life – a kind of hymn to the dogs' freedom – came to Semyon Faibisovich in the early 2000s. While the artist was gathering the material and creating paintings, dogs vanished from the Moscow landscape. Dog hunters were the main reason for that. Thus the hymn of freedom turned into the requiem for victims of cruelty towards animals.

    In the philosophical and allegorical installation by Alexander Brodsky, the same theme of requiem is original, as the installation's concept came to the artist after the dogs had already disappeared. It is a representation of an abandoned canine concentration camp.

    The video installation by Olga Chernysheva is full of optimism. Several screens are broadcasting how thoroughbred well-groomed dogs with buckets in their mouths are performing in order to raise funds for their unfortunate brethren in shelters.

    One of the main ideas of this three-part project is to provoke a discussion about the lack of kindness and animals' deprivation of normal life, or even just a life, because of human cruelty.
  • Reload

    Group exhibition
    The idea to create an Ark belongs to Sergey Bratkov, who created both a sketch and a plan. The role of Noah, who chose the set of artists and their works was played by Mikhail Ovcharenko. There are different styles of contemporary art exhibited.

    The artists participating: Evgeniy Antufyev, Oleg Dou, Ivan Gorshkov, Arseniy Zhilyaev, art duo EliKuka, Egor Koshelev, Olga Kroytor, Vlad Kulkov, Taus Mahacheva, Misha Most, Valeria Nibiru, Anna Parkina, Tatyana Peniker, Alexander Povzner, Anastasia Potemkina, Sergey Sapozhnikov, Emir Emir.

    The air is filled with talks about the end of the world on December 21, 2012. On the eve of the Apocalypse everybody inevitably draws conclusions. Who will be saved, and what will be saved? "Not everyone will be taken into the future", – Ilya Kabakov once said. Whose works, of which artists of contemporary Russia will survive any catastrophe? This is what "Reload" is about, a group exhibition of young Russian artists, which opened on December 18 in the Red October gallery.

    Time eliminates everything which is superfluous. It's the best filter for art as well. It determines the artist's contribution to the world of art and his influence on our future. Some Russian contemporary artists have already gained the status of living classics and have been internationally recognized. However, among the young generation of artists, there are those, whose works are worthy to become a part of cultural heritage.

No One Goes Into Space From Restaurants
Sergey Bratkov
Installation. Moscow, Red October
2013 - 2015

2019 - 2021
Nova Art Contest
A competition of projects by emerging artists
2017 - 2019
BOOKLET Magazine
Director of publication
2015 - 2017
My Street. Moscow Renovation Program
Project leader, responsible for international architectural firms involved
Moscow Urban Forum
Exhibition curator
2013 - 2014
Andy Warhol: Ten Famous Jews of the 20s Century
Exhibition Manager, assistant curator

A Joyful Archipelago Magazine
Gallery liaison
  • Cosmoscow Art Fair
    International galleries liaison

    In December 2010 the first edition of Cosmoscow Art Fair took place at the site of the former Red October Chocolate Factory in Moscow.

    Among the prominent foreign galleries that participated in the Fair were:

    Christine Koenig
    Gebr. Lehmann
    Leo Koenig Inc.
    Sprueth Magers
    Simon Lee
  • A Joyful Archipelago, publication

    A limited-edition 100-page publication was published on the occasion of the exhibition that took place in London in 2012 and featured artists' special projects alongside the essays by the new generation of Russian writers and poets.

    The contributors include Dmitri Prigov, PUSSY RIOT, Ivan Gololobov, Katya Kazbek, and Elena Strygina. Edited by Olga Grotova, co-edited by Oleksiy Osnach and Alina Dolgin.

  • Andy Warhol: Ten Famous Jews of the 20s Century
    Exhibition manager, assistant curator

    The exhibition is a comprehensive study of the lives of the ten Jewish luminaries selected by Warhol for his portrait series: Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Golda Meir, and Gertrude Stein.

    Through Warhol's portraits, archival material, photographs, videos and interviews, each life story unveils a broader examination of the eras in which the subjects lived.
  • Nova Art Contest

    Nova Art Contest is a competition for projects by emerging artists, who get a chance to implement their ideas and be supported by the professional community, and are offered other tools for further development.

    The contest is held every two years. Initiated by Anna Nova gallery in 2006, it has become one of the most exciting opportunities for young artists. 12 finalists of the contest get a chance to present their projects to internationally acclaimed professionals, receive funding for the realization of their ideas, participate in the large-scale final show, get residences, and have solo shows in major galleries.
  • Booklet 9
    Director of Publication

    Booklet is a magazine about contemporary art, published by Anna Nova gallery twice a year. The topic of the 9th issue is INNOVATION, and this issue was created in collaboration with interdisciplinary artist Egor Kraft.

    In this issue, we talk about innovation in art and about art in innovation. Among the contributors are the founder of the DSL collection and the first VR Museum Sylvain Levy, and Steven Sacks - the founder of bitforms gallery (NY), the first gallery in the world, dedicated to digital art.

  • Booklet 10
    Director of Publication

    Booklet is a magazine about contemporary art, published by Anna Nova gallery twice a year. The topic of the 10th issue is JOKES, and this issue was created in collaboration with artist Alexnder Dashevsky.

    In this issue, we talk about humor in art, highlight the most important art events, and interview famous curators and collectors. We are showing examples of how artists, such as Erwin Wurm and John Baldessari use irony in their art practice and publish funny stories told by gallerists, curators, and other art professionals.