Born 1982 in Moscow, Russia

Lives and works in New York


Sanya Kantarovsky works across mediums, including sculpture, animation and curation, with painting remaining at the center of his practice. Teeming with wry humor and unearthly narratives, Kantarovsky’s paintings propose scenarios of turmoil and investigate liminal spaces, physical proximities, affect, and cruelty. His sometimes delicate and often macabre subjects grapple with the confines of their bodies, interacting with one another in a painterly satire of status anxiety and existential crises. Willfully engaging the historical canon of painting and literature, Kantarovsky perverts tropes and archetypes with elements gleaned from more populist forms of visual culture such as cartoons, illustration, film and advertising. Kantarovsky’s paintings a reassembled through fits and starts, with layered abrasions and dispersions of material, resulting in surfaces that engender a productive delay in looking and seeing.


Kantarovsky had solo shows at Kunsthalle Basel and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin. His work has recently been shown in the 2nd Garage Triennale of Russian Contemporary Art, taking place at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow in 2020. Other group shows include Radical Figures, Whitechapel Gallery, London; GIVE UP THE GHOST, Baltic Triennial 13, Vilnius; The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, Jewish Museum, New York; The Eccentrics, Sculpture Center, New York. Kantarovsky’s works are held in many collections around the world, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.