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Ira Lensberr

In the Silence of the City
28 February
07 April


SISTEMA GALLERY presents the exhibition “In the Silence of the City” by Ira Lensberr, curated by Nadya October, featuring a new series of 13 paintings. Ira Lensberr’s paintings are about the aesthetics of grey everyday life and the pervading melancholy of the big city, its casual part. The artist captures random scenes of daily life “in the neighborhood”, in which it is unclear whether they are real or imagined. The series looks like a feed of photos in the phone gallery, taken on the run, photos that remain lying in the memory of the device for unknown reasons. In the paintings, a disturbing atmosphere comes to the fore, not only in the subjects, but also in the spaces of the suburbs themselves, hollow, transitional, filled with functional, monotonous architecture (liminal space). Ira Lensberr seems to capture the city in moments of timelessness, of reality failures, of silence. It is a city filled with disturbing images, in the eyes of a modern and exhausted man who owes everyone everything and has no time for anything, even when everything is done.


The very manner of painting of Ira Lensberr, jagged, abrupt, with the alternation of dusky and bright colors, conveys this unstable state. One can draw a parallel with the manner of contemporary artists working with the theme of the city and society, such as the leading representative of the New Leipzig School, Tim Eitel (Germany), creating a bright painting on the edge of figurative and abstraction, Justin Mortimer (UK), as well as Katerina Olshbaur (USA). At the same time, the artist herself speaks of the significant influence on her work of the Soviet industrial landscape of the 1920s and 1930s and the artists of the ” Arefyev Circle” with their sometimes depressing and then funny plots from the life of Leningrad in the 1950s and 1980s.


Ira Lensberr: “My emotions are in the spectrum of some kind of melancholy of an urban observer. I basically like this state when nothing is happening, when there is silence and background noise of the city and you remain in a kind of calm desolation. And there is anxiety, which is always in you if you grew up neurotic in a big city. But when you have had enough of all this tension going on around you, you pause and catch a relaxing glimpse of the workers in the park in the morning fog”.

Ira Lensberr

Ira Lensberr was born in 1988 in Volgograd. Lives and works in Moscow and St. Petersburg. A graphic artist by first education. In 2014  graduated from the British Higher School of Design in the direction of "Font Design". In 2023 graduated from the Master's program of the HSE ART AND DESIGN SCHOOL in the direction of "Contemporary Painting" in the workshop of Vladimir Dubosarsky. Used to teach at the HSE ART AND DESIGN SCHOOL at the Bachelor's degree program "Communication Design". The works are under the artist's pseudonym panicanddesign or Ira Lensberr. The main themes of the artist's works: philosophical existence, aesthetics of grey everyday life, depression of modern man in the city, problems of social memory. Ira Lensberr's illustrations have been published in Esquire, Elle and Marie Claire magazines.

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