Selected Reviews


Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Studio visit: Yuliya Lanina
Even among artists whose practices span media, Lanina’s is particularly expansive. Drawing and painting form the root of her work, but from there Lanina makes animatronic sculpture, animated films, mechanized music boxes and highly original performances that are hybrid animations and solo pantomime....In her studio, Lanina says the irreverence and dark humor have a fundamental purpose in her work: “It’s all part of our human existence. We’re complicated.”
Full article here

Yuliya Lanina Channels the Dark Side of Children's Fairy Tales at Redbud Gallery
Susie Tommaney
... Yuliya Lanina channels the dark side of children's lit in her new exhibit at Redbud Gallery, “Stories Untold.” Mixed in with a dozen acrylic and collage works on paper are four of her ingenious mechanical music boxes that are both inventive and whimsical.
Red Riding Hood and Vasilisa and Baba Yaga, both from 2015's “Once Upon a Time” series, are definitely not child's play. In the former, gremlin-laden trees sway back and forth to the music, intermittently revealing a predatory wolf with toothy grin. There's no mistaking Red's scream of terror, in spite of the tuneful melody by collaborator Yevgeniy Sharlat.
Lanina, never content to work in just one dimension, has been known to fuse media in the past with her performance art, animation, paintings, film, animatronics, public art and writings...
Full article here


Yuliya Lanina Turns Dreams into Reality
Yael Kanarek
In time, drawing became painting, then came installations, films, animations, mechanized dolls and dioramas and more recently – multimedia installations and performances. Once I started working with animatronics and moving image, painting and static sculpture were no longer satisfactory. That was my entry point into technology. I very much enjoyed the complexity of narratives which time-based work allowed me to explore. Having musical background also pushed me to involve sound and movement in creating stories and experiences for the viewer.
Full interview here


Navigating Yuliya Lanina’s “Misread Signs”
Annelyse Gelman
..To feel a painting transformed from a still-life or portrait into a living being frozen in time was uncanny, and deeply moving. I also noticed new aspects to the paintings: what previously had seemed like insignificant lines were suddenly apparent as hinges for stop-motion animation, seams physically cut through the characters. Nothing underscores the exhibition’s themes of trauma and recovery more for me than these seams. Just as a bone must sometimes be broken again in order to heal correctly, Lanina violently severed these creatures’ bodies in order to bring them to life.
Full review here

Yuliya Lanina’s artistic tales tell fantastic, often dark stories
Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Yuliya Lanina mines folk tales, diving into original and decidedly less Disneyesque versions than we are accustomed to today... Lanina packs in more than an undercurrent of darkness and violence and sexuality. Lanina injects each scene and tableaux with a kind of giddy fatalism, too. Hybrid human-animals may dance together, but that dance teeters on the edge of a melee.This is the stuff of original folk tales — the unsettling cautionary tales collected by the Brothers Grimm, the moody dark stories of Lanina’s native Russia. And it is the stuff of the human unconscious at its basest, uncensored by societal constraints...
During the Fusebox Festival this spring, Lanina performed “Not a Sad Tale” to capacity crowds. Lanina stood against a screen, her morphing drawings projected from behind and on her as she coordinated her movements to visually and wordlessly narrate one of her typically surreal enigmatic stories...
Full article here



Transfigurations of Queen Butterfly
James Kalm
Much ink has been spilled and many voices have become hoarse in recent discussions on the current state of “feminist art,” and intentionally or not, Transfigurations of Queen Butterfly places Yuliya Lanina firmly within this contentious dialogue. using herself as the model Lanina commingles aspects of performance... she creates an effigy of vulnerability... With works by artists like Ana Mendieta, Hannah Wilke, Eva Hesse, and Carolee Schneemann having established the canon, Lanina is free to use or abuse these sources in creative and critical ways...The struggle to balance historical precedents and current art world politics provides Lanina with ample material to develop her own feminist aesthetic as an ongoing dialogue.
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Scene One leaves me speechless. Lanina manipulates and reconstructs children's toys as hypersexualised animatronic characters for he films ... her characters showing naked skin and smoking stogies as they shift between scenes of depraved sexuality and scenes of judgement...Astounding.


Breaking the Silence – A Conversation with Yuliya Lanina
by Yuko Oda
…Performing in consort with my visual work in front of an audience is the most intimate and immediate way of connecting with the audience. It is also exhilarating to interact with my work on stage in real time and become one with it during a performance. There is something about the immediacy, vulnerability and the impermanence of that shared experience that is both exciting and terrifying…
Full interview here

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Within, Above and Beyond is the recent interactive multimedia piece by multimedia artist Yulia Lanina. In the piece, Lanina interacts with projected animations of her paintings in a narrative that chronicles Lanina’s journey to find clarity amid the noise of disconcerting news, images and social media.
Full Interview here


…Multimedia and performance artist Yuliya Lanina seizes the sense of harmony and disrupts it. Her highly charged, whimsical works defy definition, consisting of eclectic paintings, performances, and objects that unapologetically resist convention and challenge audience members to reflect on assumed notions of being and community.
The surreal, fantastical elements lull viewers into an alternative reality and subliminally invite them into an exploratory and uninhibited mode of consciousness. Yuliya’s exhibits often display transfixing cultural props, such as dolls, animatronics, and music boxes that bombard the senses. In her performances, she transforms into a living protagonist of an animated fairy tale. Her unusual artifacts, performances, and exhibits evoke a “dark matter” that beckons viewers to delve further into a magnetic world seemingly built upon non sequitur..
Full interview here

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Yuliya Lanina - The Nature of Being
Scott David Gordon
Yuliya Lanina is one of the most diverse artists I know having already gained a lot of experience and wisdom in her life and career. Her work is evocative and multi dimensional and is most often intended to be interacted with face to face in an immersive way. The interview covers most of her life, starting in Russia as a teenager, to the present day in Austin with her family and her busy and inspiring career as a multimedia artist extraordinaire. Listen to podcast here.


Interview with Yuliya Lanina
Günel Alizadeh
...Your work… not only touches the soul, but also excites imagination and forces us to search for answers to the mysteries and intrigues enacted by your characters. Their images remain in our memory - they are lovely, sentient, and unusual, they gaze at us from the looking glass, reminding us of our carefree childhood with its fantasies and fears, and of our youth, filled with radiant joy and sorrowful disillusionment, and of our losses and life’s cruelty, and of our helplessness, and finally of the power of smiling through tears and laughter in spite of everything...
Full Interview here

Pre-pubescent Bosch
Carla Gannis
...Like the Chapmans and Caine, there is an irreverence and dark humor that runs throughout Lanina’s work. She delivers a punked out, pre-pubescent "Boschian" universe, one for the morally relativistic set. Distinctions between good and evil are ambiguous, and Lanina’s fantastically original freakshow of chimeras animate at the flip of a switch.. Violence, neglect, addictions, and non-conformity are reflected through the prism of a fractured human identity...
Full article read here


Russian-born, Austin-based artist brings European sensibility to her work
Luke Quinton    
There’s something very European about making art with anthropomorphized animals... Austin-based painter and animator Yuliya Lanina takes visions of human-like animals and pieces them together, into a sort of Native American totem hybrid... If there’s a European sensibility to her work, she says, “Maybe it’s because life there has been a little less linear.”
Full article here


NaNaNothing music video commissioned by Mike Doughty has been listed as #9 in the Most Creative Music Videos by Fstoppers  
"Yuliya Lanina's animations are as sharp as the song's lyrics... Her stop-motion animation is an enthralling and nuanced visual treat that complements the music brilliantly.”


Radio interview with multi-media artist : Yuliya Lanina
Quinten Phea
Lanina's paintings, animations and animatronic sculptures portray alternate realities that fuse fantasy, femininity, and humor.  These characters come from a variety of sources. Tapping into Greek mythology with its half-human and half-animal demigods, Lanina also relies on her personal experiences of Russian fairy tales, which are filled with fantastic beings deeply rooted in paganism, mysticism, and symbolism...
Full interview here


Joel Zigman
Visual artist Yuliya Lanina joins us for a conversation about collaboration. Yuliya’s Arcadian Rhapsody is currently on display at the Women and Their Work Gallery. We talk about the event Arcadian Jam at the gallery where Yuliya’s animations, sculptures, displays, and paintings were complemented by a reading of poetry by Lisa Olstein, and a performance of Donald Grantham’s Lascivious Love Songs by vocalist Kathryn Findlen and pianist Charlie Magnone...
Listen to the interview here

Динара Гутарова
Посетители, пришедшие на выставку «Honky-tonk Belles» (Красотки Хонки-тонк) Юлии Ланиной, которая открылась в Русском культурном центре, попадают в волшебный мир, населенный сказочными существами - прекрасными нимфами с головами птиц, руками вместо ног, или животными и насекомыми с женскими лицами. Каждой из героинь (а в основном это именно героини, а не герои) присуще некоторое кокетство, ведь они же красотки кабаре - туфельки, чулки, шляпки, цветочки и прочие затейливые предметы женского гардероба. «Все мои работы автобиографичны, так как я пишу с точки зрения женщины, и мир женщины меня больше всего интересует», - говорит Юлия....
Full article here


Yuliya Lanina at Figureworks
Enrico Gomez
Fantastical. Alluring. Playful. Mysterious. These are just a handful of descriptors that describe the current work of artist Yuliya Lanina... This solo show, made up primarily of acrylic paintings on paper, fills the sun-filled rooms of the gallery with equally sunny subject matter, as mythological animal-human hybrids frolic contentedly across white backgrounds, intermittently sprinkled with amusing flora and fauna forms.....From the joyous, vibrant colors and carefree whimsy of these works, we can infer that “Belles” or “beautiful” is a world that not only Lanina’s creations, but that the artist herself, currently inhabits and enjoys.
Full article here

Birds & Bees
Hosted by Daniel Durning
Daniel Durning discusses work, processes and artistry with Yuliya Lanina and discusses her 2011 exhibition Birds and Bees showing at NYSG (NY Studio Gallery) in New York City (7 April-7 May). The closing event of her solo exhibition of animations and their supporting sculptures and drawings, coincides with the Festival of Ideas for the New City and featured a performance of Gentleman from Cracow, a collaboration with husband-composer Yevgeniy Sharlat and choreographer Caron Eule
Listen here to the interview


Shows Star Butterflies, Torn Origami, Foot Marks: Chelsea Art
Katya Kazakina
...Lanina's single butterfly inhabits a colorful fantasy landscape, where a centaur and Pegasus with kewpie-doll faces sport mohawks and dreadlocks. Rooted in Greek mythology and Soviet-era children's animation, her elaborate mixed-media works are part of a two-artist show (with artist Ho Sup Hwang) at 2x13 Gallery... Those playful and sinister characters also appear in the artist's video "Joruney". Projected onto a wall with a Soviet children's song as soundtrack it stars an energetic redheaded doll in a white bonnet. Oblivious to all the weirdness around her, the little girl marches ahead on wobbly heron legs...

Play with Me!
Fred Hatt
“Play With Me!”—it sounds like the entreaty of a bossy child. In this scorched and blackened landscape set around a tumorous tree, creepy baby dolls, human-headed birds and human-vegetable hybrids play out perverse games. Looking upon Yuliya Lanina’s Boschian orgy, it seems at times innocent, at times twisted. These feelings never quite resolve, but remain in a kind of sustained cognitive dissonance. The scene may evoke queasy laughter, a detached feeling of bemusement and/or disgust, but the title says “Play With Me”—we are asked to enter into this scene with a sense of childlike wonder and abandon...This imaginary world seems to represent the world we live in, where violence emerges from the most infantile impulses, and where softness and sweetness keep thriving amid all the darkness and horror. How are we to live in such a place? Yuliya Lanina’s answer is to assert the childlike spirit of curiosity and joy: Come out and play!
Full article here  

"Play With Me"
James Kalm
"Play With Me", the latest installation by Yuliya Lanina, is a miniature diorama in which doll sized hybrids act out a narrative that is part cartoon fairytale, part Marquise de Sade, all staged in settings keyed to various sheens of black. Kewpie doll cuteness turns sinister, and whimsical child's play takes on a Surrealistic creepiness as flowers bloom with eyeball centers, carros have sex, and the cuddly characters are outfitted in S^Mn  costumes. Birds with little girls heads harass the anti-heros like flying monkeys, or the harpies depicted on the 6th century BC Greek vases. "play With Me' is like popular Black Russian cocktail: though initially sweet an creamy, if you imbibe incautiously, its potent hidden ingredients, will leave your head skpinnig, and your knees shaking.

Celebrating Female Fertility
Lisa Paul Streitfeld
...The artist interweaves sculpture, painting, assemblage and collage with installation to narrate a contemporary mythology of spiritual rebirth reflecting her own swift passage from obscurity to the limelight...
Lanina, a practicing yogi, realizes the potential that contemporary women artists have to ride into the zeitgeist through a refreshing combination of talent, inner contemplation and zest for surpassing ego identity. There is a nearly perfect balance here between conscious/unconscious, light/dark and joy/rage. Giving birth to oneself is surely painful, but the engaging charm of "Transfigurations of Queen Butterfly" leaves us with the feeling that the journey is essential–not only for the artist, but for the society at large.
Full article here