Location: Moscow and New Jersey
Nakhova graduated from the Graphic Design Department of the Moscow Polygraphic Institute in 1978. She was a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR from 1986 to 1989 and, alongside her friends and colleagues Ilya Kabakov, George Kisevalter, Vladimir Sorokin, Dmitrii Prigov, and Andrei Monastyrsky, is considered one of the founding members of Moscow Conceptualism. Nakhova received international recognition as a young artist for Rooms , the first “total installation” in Russian art, located in the Moscow apartment where she still lives today.
In 1988, Nakhova was one of the youngest artists included in Sotheby’s first auction in Moscow. The “groundbreaking” auction, titled “Avant-Garde and Soviet Art,” realized more than $3,000,000 USD and marked a major step forward in the opening of Russian art to Western European and American markets. Nakhova’s work caught the attention of American gallerist Phyllis Kind, who gave the artist three solo shows in New York in the early 1990s, Nakhova’s first exhibitions in the United States.
In 2011, Nakhova was featured as a Special Guest of the Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. As part of a large-scale retrospective of Nakhova’s work, her seminal installation Room No. 2 (1984) was recreated at the museum in its original size and detail alongside multi-genre works executed in a variety media and at different stages of her career.
In 2013, Nakhova was awarded the Kandinsky Prize in the category of Project of the Year, one of the highest honors in contemporary Russian art, for her work Untitled. Nakhova described Untitled as “my reckoning with history as comprehended through the history of my family — my grandma, executed grandpa, mom, dad and my past self. This is my attempt to understand the inexplicable state of affairs that has reigned in my country for the last century, and to understand through private imagery how millions of people were erased from history and happily forgotten; how people have been blinded and their souls destroyed so that they can live without memory and history.”