Igor Vodorez

Artistic biography

Igor Vodorez is a Saint Petersburg artist engaged in graphics, exhibition spaces, installations, and performances. He was born on June 3, 1962, in Leninogorsk, Tatar ASSR. From 1979 to 1984, he studied at the Art Department in the Tyumen Academy of Arts.  


In 1985, the young artist moved to Leningrad and, in 1988, became a member of the Association of Free Artists of Leningrad (AFAL, Nevsky Prospekt, 20).  At this time, he becomes interested in reflecting the world of ideas by the human consciousness and begins to work in his current manner. 


From 1988 to 1997, his works were exhibited in numerous monthly exhibitions of AFAL. In 1989, at the show Artists from Leningrad in Örebro, Sweden, the first painting work was presented – I. Vodorez Flow. At this time, he did other essential paintings: Memory and Time, Split, Place of Power, Red Wall, and others. All of them are united by a single plan of the collision of forces of different nature, which reach the ultimate state in intense interaction. In the same period, he started to work on the series of pastel compositions World of Ideas, which was completed in 1996. The series can be divided into two thematic areas. The purpose of the first was to create an image of the creative and majestically beautiful forces of the Earth element as primordial matter. The second one draws a picture of another aspect, where each composition reflects a unique ontological fragment that identifies the all-cosmic seed.


In 1991-1992, the artist studied Catechism at the Seminary of St. Petersburg (with Father Alexander). Here the idea of creating works with a biblical plot and new graphic portraits is born, based on the transfer of a unique worldview and insight into the innermost depths of human essence. Since much of the sensory experience cannot be expressed in a classical portrait's language, the author finds a means to convey the secret meaning through the elements of the portrait's compositional form that are opposed and simultaneously reflected and refracted in each other, in various variations. He compares the part and the whole, inside and outside of a person, increases the tension within the artistic image, and gives it ambiguity. Separate elements make you think within the whole. What destroys the traditional unity is what determines the higher harmony. Nature loses the sense of its own "I" in the usual boundaries and experiences a metamorphosis of identity. This kind of transformation combines seemingly disparate parts into a single artistic image. The whole rich and varied human nature is strung on a thin thread of Metamorphosis's all-pervading idea. 


The following works reflect the artist's profound spiritual and creative search, his innovative ideas, and his own visual language: An Angel leading a Baby into the Desert (1997), Annunciation (1998), St. George the Victorious (2001). Creation of the World (2002) and a series of paintings expressing individual philosophical concepts and reflections: Unorthodox spaces, Time, Cosmogony, Gold, Contemplation [Созерцание], triptych The Birth of Feelings, created in 1998-2001. 


Since 1994, Igor Vodorez has been holding solo exhibitions in different regions of Russia.


In March 2002, a personal exhibition was held in St. Petersburg, Metamorphoses of Identity (Nevograf Gallery, 3 Nevsky pr.). Paintings on philosophical themes, pastel compositions, World of Ideas, and graphic portraits are exhibited. 


In February 2003, in the Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts. (The Museum-Apartment of I. I. Brodsky, Italyanskaya Square, 2) For the first time, the artist presents himself to the viewer as an installer and a performance artist. He offers a synthetic art project that includes three components: a classic exhibition, a video installation, and a performance that creates a single artistic image of Temptation.  The project was completed in creative collaboration with the famous theater director Yana Tumina and ethnographer and museologist Oleg Lysenko.  St. Petersburg magazine NWOA (New World of Art. St. Petersburg. 1/30/2003, p. 62) wrote about him "The works of Vodorez... they lead to a conversation about new problems of analytical painting and graphics, which is formulated again and differently in the current space of art in St. Petersburg." In 2007, Temptation was shown at the international museum conference In Search of a Museum Image in St. Petersburg. (Conference organizers: The State Hermitage Museum and St. Petersburg State University.) (Collection of conference articles. Image and concept in an art museum. Saint-Petersburg, 2007 / / Contemporary art exhibition in the Museum. P. 243-346).


In November 2003, at the State Museum of Urban Sculpture in St. Petersburg, Igor Vodorez presented a new synthetic project Mystery [Мистерия], created with Yana Tumina. In 2004, this project was shown at the Center of National Cultures in the city of Tyumen and in the exhibition hall of Vyatskiye-Polyany. 


From 2005 to 2019, he worked on the cycle of picturesque paintings Order and Chaos, on the series of pastel compositions Radiance [Лучезарность], on several works on biblical themes.


From 2011 to 2019, the artist is engaged in the Museum's works as a project manager.   


In 2011-2013, the Museum of the History of the depot St. Petersburg-Sortir Ovocny-Moskovsky (Russia, St. Petersburg, Sortirovochnaya str., 2, administrative building).


In 2013-2014, a permanent exhibition dedicated to the Great Patriotic War was created for the Museum of Pskov Railway Workers (29, Yan Fabricius Str., Pskov, Russia).


In 2014-2015 the project of the Museum of the October Center of Metrology was created. (Russia, Saint Petersburg, Predportovaya Street, 1A).  


In 2012-2016, to mark the 100th anniversary of Murmansk's city, the Museum of Murmansk Railway Workers was established (Russia, Murmansk, Oktyabrskaya st., 13).


In 2017 an exhibition dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Museum of the History of Pskov Railway Workers. (Russia, Pskov, Yan Fabritius st., 29).


In 2018-2019, a project was developed to update the Victory Road memorial complex (Russia, Leningrad Region, Petrokrepost station).


From 2017 to 2020, paintings of a new cycle were created: NanoLiza in 2017, Savior [Cпас] in 2018, Order and Chaos [Порядок и Хаос] in 2019, the triptych Quiver [Трепет] in 2020, the diptych Flight of Birds [Полет Птиц] in 2020.


"The artistic gift of Igor Vodorez embraces the harmony of form and expression, colorful flesh and mentality of the spirit, unyielding determination, and unsteady reflection. In his paintings, a complex image of beauty, in which all the elements of contemplation are merged." (the Neva Magazine, No. 11, 2002 P. 254-255. The author of the article is Nikolai Gromov – The Doctor of Arts, Professor of the St. Petersburg Institute of Culture and the St. Petersburg Theater Academy).


Igor Vodorez's works have been shown at many groups and solo exhibitions, International biennales in Russia and abroad, and can be found in the corporate, Museum, and private collections in Russia, the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe.


Solo exhibitions: 

1994 – Landscapes of St. Petersburg, Nizhnevartovsk, Russia

1994 – Old Pskov, Nizhnevartovsk, Russia

1995 – Landscapes and Still Lifes, Tyumen, Russia

1995 – I. Vodorez. Painting, Surgut, Russia

1997 – Marina. Dedicated to Z. P. Tyumentseva, Museum of the City, Uray, Russia

1998 – Autumn Fairy Tale. Painting, Museum of the City, Uray, Russia

1999 – Seasons, Museum of the City, Uray, Russia

2000 – From Realism to The Avant-garde, Museum of the City, Uray, Russia

2001 – Soul of Russia, The Exhibition Hall of Vyatskie-Polyany, Vyatskie-Polyany, Russia

2001 – Soul of Russia, Museum of the City, Uray, Russia

2002 – Landscapes, Exhibition Hall, Uray, Russia

2002 – Metamorphoses of identity, Nevograf Gallery, Saint Petersburg, Russia

2003 – Temptation, Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts. I. I. Brodsky Apartment Museum, Saint

Petersburg, Russia

2003 – Mystery, the State Museum of Urban Sculpture, Saint Petersburg, Russia

2004 – Mystery, Regional Palace of National Cultures, Tyumen, Russia

2005 – Mystery, Exhibition hall of the city of Vyatskie-Polyany, g. Vyatskie-Polyany, Russia 

2007 – Temptation, Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia


Group exhibitions:

From 1988 to 1997, his works were exhibited in numerous monthly exhibitions of AFAL. 

1989 – Artists from Leningrad, Örebro, Sweden

2002 – To the 5th Anniversary of the Nevograf Gallery, Nevograf Gallery, Saint Petersburg, Russia

2002 – Spring Salon. Under the sign of a woman. Nevograf Gallery, Saint Petersburg, Russia

2002 – The 1st Biennale of Graphics in St. Petersburg as part of the International Festival From the Avant-garde to the present days. (Exhibition Center of the Saint Petersburg Union of Artists, Saint Petersburg, Russia

2003 – The 1st St. Petersburg Pastel Biennale. Dedicated to the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. Great Hall of the Union of Artists, St. Petersburg, Russia

2004 – The 2nd Biennale of Graphics in St. Petersburg, The Manege Central Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia

2004 – Futurism in the 21st century. To the 90th anniversary of the famous Week of F. L.  Marinetti, Stray Dog Café, St. Petersburg, Russia.