Exhibition of works by the late Vadim Bora opens at District Wine Bar, Aug. 2

"Telling the Secret" by Vadim Bora
"Telling the Secret" by Vadim Bora

Press release:

The Curved Line – A Celebration of Form
Archival Works on Paper and Canvas by the Late Vadim Bora

Opening Reception, Thursday, August 2, 6-9 p.m.
Exhibition runs August 2 – September 30
District Wine Bar

Works by the late Vadim Bora will be shown at District Wine Bar in the River Arts District in an exhibition titled “The Curved Line – A Celebration of Form”—Archival Works on Paper and Canvas by the Late Vadim Bora.

A beloved painter and sculptor in his adopted town of Asheville, Vadim Bora passed away unexpectedly in 2011 at the relatively young age of 56, leaving a body of work in private collections, archives, and museums internationally, that continue to educate, enlighten and beguile.

A collection of works on paper, including ink, charcoal and graphite, as well as select oil paintings will go on exhibition at District Wine Bar, celebrating the human form and figure — whether by a few simple strokes of a pen or a full-fledged lush oil painting — during August and September. Some works will be for sale.

Originally from the city of Vladikavkaz, Asheville’s sister city in Russia’s Caucasus Mountains, Bora was granted permanent residency and eventually citizenship under the coveted status “Person with Extraordinary Abilities,” based on the artistic merits and academic achievements of his work. Bora arrived in Asheville in 1993, quickly establishing a studio for sculpture and one for painting above the old Biltmore Hardware store in Biltmore Village, that now houses Rezaz.

Bora opened a second-floor studio on Battery Park Avenue in 1998, followed by a spacious gallery across the landing a few years later, home to many an international exhibition, as well as a celebration of local artists, classes, and convivial art discussions. He also launched a small temporary gallery in the Haywood Park Hotel in the early 2000s when a storefront became available. This is where he met a young Lauri Nichols, then director of sales and marketing for the downtown hotel.

“I immediately fell in love with Vadim’s art,” says Nichols, co-owner of District Wine Bar with her husband Barrett. “He had such a passion behind his art. It resonated in everything he did. This show is near and dear to me and we’re honored to have his work hanging on our walls.”

Fittingly, Bora spent many an hour within the brick walls of the studio of metal sculptor John Payne that now houses the Wine Bar. Bora fired his terra cotta sculptures in kilns within the Wedge Studios throughout the 2000s.

Bora’s widow, writer and curator Constance Richards-Bora who is curating the exhibitions says, “This is just the kind of place Vadim would have loved — discussions about art, philosophy and life, taking place with a glass of wine at one’s elbow, surrounded by ever-changing art.”

Richards-Bora, curator for the Grand Bohemian Gallery and Grand Bohemian Hotel curates one show a year since Bora’s passing. “I delved into the archives for many of the works on paper shown in this exhibition— some of which have never been seen in public,” she says. “Vadim very much liked simple lines…although he is more known locally for his exuberant, vibrant nudes or lush portraiture.

“Expressing a nuanced idea or deep emotion in just a few clean lines was also a great part of his talent. And this exhibition will feature both, as well as some studies, and allow collectors to acquire some pieces that have been heretofore unavailable.”

A variety of works will be for sale at his exhibition for the first time ever, and each sale includes a full color retrospective catalog created in 2012. As pieces sell, new works will go in their place, so this is an ever-changing exhibition.

Vadim Bora was a painter, sculptor and designer of jewelry and architectural ornamentation. He was known for his diversity of mediums and created five public works of art around Asheville, including Cornelia and Cedric on Biltmore Estate, On the Mend! at Mission Children’s Hospital, The Wings of Freedom veterans memorial sculpture at the VA Medical Center, Station Number 9 “Cat Walk” on Wall Street and others.

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