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A “Mammoth” Sculpture

October 10, 2022
photo of a sculpture
Anton Ginzburg (Russian, b. 1974), “Ashnest,” 2011, mammoth tusks, painted polyurethane, iron rods, resin, ash, bronze slag, sand, 170×158 inches. (Image courtesy of the artist)

Artist Anton Ginzburg and his work arrive at the UW Art Museum.


By Michelle Sunset 

Emerging from the ashes in the sculpture, Ashnest, by artist Anton Ginzburg are a DNA-like structure of white replica human bones and real 40,000-year-old mammoth tusks. This exciting work — 16 feet in diameter and 13 feet tall — is on view at the University of Wyoming Art Museum Oct. 1, 2022, through summer 2023. This exhibition will also include the screening of his film Hyperborea in the Wyoming Gallery, which has been newly renovated to serve as a dedicated film space in the Centennial Complex.

This dynamic multimedia project explores the utopic Hyperborea, a mythic land referenced throughout history, philosophy and literature back to the ancient Greeks. The film documents the artist’s journey through regions of Oregon and Russia and invites visitors to consider Quixotic journeys to real or imagined destinations. Throughout the multimodal project, Ginzburg undertakes the roles of archaeologist, historian, explorer and geographer. He incorporates his visage throughout the project, the tangibility of which invites us all to reflect on our own possibilities. These concepts intersect with art and science through Ashnest, as he incorporates mammoth tusk fragments with replicated human bones circling above a mound of ash. This intersection encourages many lines of inquiry, including the trade of geological and anthropological artifacts, reimagining history, and the birth and death cycle of the planet relating to the ideas of journey and destination.

The Art Museum is excited to continue our commitment to working with high-caliber internationally recognized artists. Anton Ginzburg (b. 1974) is a New York-based St. Petersburg-born artist and educator whose practice combines painting, graphic art, moving image and architectural collaborations. He earned a BFA from Parsons Paris of The New School and his MFA from Bard College at Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts in New York. His work has been shown internationally, including exhibitions at the 54th Venice Biennale, the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Canada, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, White Columns in New York, and the first and second Moscow Biennales. His films have been screened at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Les Rencontres Internationales in Paris, Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Dresden Film Festival and New York Film Festival Projections, among others.

The Art Museum is hosting Ginzburg for a residency in Laramie the last week of September 2022. Visit the UW Art Museum’s event page for specific program details:

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