Valera & Natasha Cherkashin

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Valera Cherkashin (August 23, 1948) and Natasha Cherkashin (April 19, 1958), known as Valera & Natasha Cherkashin, are contemporary artists[1] who have been working as a duo since 1983. They work with photography, create happenings, installations, and video art.


Valera Cherkashin was born in Kharkov, Ukraine on August 23, 1948. In 1979, he moved to Leningrad, where he worked and exhibited with the “Sterligov’s Group” - painters and artists who work and follow the traditions of the Russian avant-garde movement. A year later, Cherkashin moved to Moscow where he became more familiar with contemporary art and artists including Ilya Kabakov.

Valera met Natasha in the Moscow Metro in 1982. They married a year later. Their initial collaborations focused on images of public spaces and cultural memorials that defined the Soviet era. Photographs and newspapers became the basic materials for their artistic work. and in turn now document historical moments in this period of work entitled “The End of the Epoch.” In one, now famous “happening”, the Cherkashins staged an underground wedding at Moscow’s “Revolutionary Square” metro station where a woman was “married” to one of the three-dimensional soldiers from the 1930s in a traditional ceremony. The Cherkashins like to express their conceptual ideas using traditional forms of visual culture. In their project “The End of the Epoch” they used the traditions of the Russian avant-garde, the form that was born at the junction of the two epochs.

Since 1994, the Cherkashins have traveled a lot and created a number of international projects: “German Atlantis” at Olympia stadium in Berlin in 1996; "Goodbye Favorite European Portraits: hello euro" in the swimming pool of the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C. in 1999. Since 2005, the Cherkashins have been working on an international project “Global Underground” which will include art works about metros of 33 countries.

Select personal exhibitions[edit]

  • 1998 - Empires: Russia Past & Present. Together with Steve Yates and Bill Wright. The Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene, TX.
  • 1999 - Goodbye Favorite European Portraits: hello Euro. World Bank Headquarters Atrium Pool, Washington.
  • 2000 - From USSR to Russia. International Center of Photography, Shadai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
  • 2000 - Mirages of Empires. PhotoEspana 2000, Caja Madrid, Madrid, Spain. (Catalog)
  • 2001 - Mirages of Empire. Russian American Cultural Center, New York, 2001; The State Russian Museum. St. Petersburg, 2002. (Catalog)
  • 2005 - XV International Festival "Month of Photography in Bratislava", Slovakia.
  • 2005 - *Futurism & Nostalgia. Great Neck Arts Center, New York
  • 2005 - *New York Real and Unreal. Union of Photo Artists, Moscow.
  • 2006 - Night with a Pioneer Leader, Glaz Gallery, Moscow House of Photography, Moscow.
  • 2007 - Metro New York--Moscow. Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York.[2]
  • 2007 - The End of the Epoch. Project Museum of the USSR. Andrey Sakharov Museum & Public Center. Moscow. (Catalog)
  • 2008 - Jubilee exhibition. Union of Photo Artists. Moscow.
  • 2008 - New York. Premonition. Museum of Modern Art, Rostov on Don, Russia. (Catalog)
  • 2008 - Metro in art and Art in Metro. Exhibition in Moscow Museum of Modern Art. (Catalog)
  • 2008 - Global Underground, Gallery Blue Square, Paris, 2008;[3] Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC, 2008.[4]
  • 2009 - Exhibition in Barbarian-Art Gallery, Zurich (Catalog)
  • 2009 - Moscow - Bilbao. Transfer. Center for Contemporary art Winzavod and Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Together with Ima Montoya. Moscow (Catalog)[5]


Valera & Natasha Cherkashin's work is held in the following permanent public collections:

  • The Art Institute of Chicago; (1994, 1998), USA
  • The Museum of Fine Art Santa Fe, NM
  • The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA[6]
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2003, 2005), MA[7]
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA
  • Houston Museum of Fine Arts (1998, 2005),TX[8]
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA
  • Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • The Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, NJ
  • Newseum, Washington, D.C.
  • Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin, TX
  • The US Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
  • The New York Public Library, NY
  • The World Bank Headquarters, Washington D.C.
  • Museum am Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin
  • International Center of Photography, Tokyo
  • Motorola Company, Moscow
  • Foundation of Culture of Russia
  • Kolodzei Art Foundation], NJ[9]
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Rostov-na-Don


External links[edit]