A snail under a cloth 

A collective exhibition presented by the TONKA gallery at the Floréal Belleville exhibition space

ceramics, drawings, prints

43 rue des Couronnes in Paris

From April 21 to 24, 2022

With artists :

Ambartsum Kabanyan, Anatole Tièche, Anna Dial, Daria Galeeva, Daria Krotova, Dmitry Bulnygin, Ekaterina Kameneva, Juliette Vivien, Karla Tobón Pumarada, Lentov, Lota Lota, Masha Egorova, Marusia Nizovtsova, Nadia Likhogrud, Paulina Siniatkina, Shuling Liu, Zina Isaeva, Zina Isupova

The ephemeral gallery TONKA brings together ceramic works, sculptures and unique pieces of about twenty ceramists and visual artists. Under the funny title "A snail under a cloth" the exhibition - in the manner of this surprise guest - also reveals collages, sketches, drawings and prints.

What unites the artists at Floréal Belleville? Ceramics, at the beginning, but also their bias of a surprise in the medium, which makes everyday objects rise in colors, disguises them or reinvents them. Their artistic approaches, all very different, assert themselves in a search for the singular and an attention to the things that surround them. To see the extraordinary in the ordinary, the artists use trompe-l'oeil, but also the change of scale, where the object becomes miniature.

Perhaps for this reason, the exhibition evokes in its scenography the world of tales and childhood: the proportions are distorted or go from the very large to the very small, while the distinction between real and fiction, between true and false is blurred in the simplicity of forms and play.

The artists with the TONKA gallery will donate a part of the sale of Atelier d'Artistes en Exil, to support Ukrainian and Russian artists in the current context of war in Ukraine.

 Louise Morin, Marina Antsiperova, Natalia Kudryavtseva



Tamed nature. 9.10.2021 — 21.10.2021. 78 rue de Turenne, Paris

The nomad Tonka gallery presents the Russian-Georgian couple of young artists Pasternak-Totibadze. Alexandra Pasternak is the great-granddaughter of the writer Boris Pasternak, while Anton Totibadze comes from the family of famous Georgian realist painters. Despite their academic training in painting, they are driven by the idea of beauty and freedom rather than by the classical school or an unambiguous vision of art.

What unites these young artists is undoubtedly a shared vision, and disobedience to artistic hierarchies. Anton Totibadze's still-lifes are scenes of nihilism and mockery: a seagull and its food pictured against the sea, weightless oranges, or the reflections of a glass of beer next to an empty plate. 

Anton's neatness is also inherent to Alexandra Pasternak's work, but hers are landscapes painted from life. Her perspectives, depicting mountain ranges with clear skies and green valleys dotted with occasional sparse Cubist dwellings, evoke associations with tamed nature. Like in the works of her companion, these fragments of orderliness refer to a playful universe, an imaginary world far removed from rationality.

For their first exhibition in Paris, Anton Totibadze and Alexandra Pasternak reproduced their impressions of Georgia, which they explored during the summer, moving from the mountain ranges to the Black Sea coastline and to the arid regions with vineyards. Views captured from the road are revealed in panoramic shots, and the nature, as depicted by Alexandra Pasternak and Anton Totibadze, is exalted: simple, yet fascinating, and neatly carved.

Alexandra Pasternak and Anton Totibadze live and work between Moscow and Tbilisi; this is their first exhibition in Paris. They will be present at the opening of the exhibition to talk about their work and to invite their audience to the opening of the Tonka Gallery.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog and silver prints made by Anton Totibadze on the roads of Georgia and printed manually in Paris for the exhibition.