Russian (CIS)

Stalingrad (etchings, 1967, 1969, 1972-1974)

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Stalingrad battle is a fateful symbol of the Great War. It was the most severe ordeal for Russia. I tried to think it over my own way, quite contrary to what was going on at that time in soviet art. An outline of the series emerged in my imagination showing an inhuman nature of that event. I had to avoid all artistic clich?s of that time, which were everywhere in abundance. To be sincere in my struggle with socialist realism I used two quite material sources as a base of the whole representational system of my “Stalingrad”. Still lives composed of torn shells and helmets joined cinematic and photographic impressions to make a kind of a fierce snowstorm never seen in soviet art. As time passed by and I became certain that I was right in my persistence, creating my own “Stalingrad”.


StalingradStalingrad 2


 

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Amontillado (etchings, 1974 - 76)

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Once in my childhood I was astonished by the Edgar Poe’s tale “The cask of Amontillado”. In 1974 I thought of it. From 1974 till 1976 I made 176 etchings without any titles, having only ordinal numbers. These etchings have rather distant likeness to the plot of the tale. It’s just a theater of suppressed feelings, where in my imagination Venetian theater fancifully combines with cemetery sculpture, sketched by me in Donskoy monastery. When these images overwhelmed me and the style of the whole series was born, during these years I managed to create a surprisingly balanced work. Metaphorically speaking “Amontillado” for me is an apple-tree, every fruit of which I picked up


AmontiliadjAmontiliado



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Rome (etchings, 1977-1978 and 1984-1985)

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In 1977-1978 I linked my penetration into Roman history with Plutarch and Marcus Aurelius. At that time the whole “Roman” series of etchings was made. Then, after some interval, I returned to that theme in early 1980-s, when a real flow of drawings began to develop it in a bit different aspect. History vanishes and gives place to the genre of bucolic subjects. It makes a poetic sense of my work. In 1984-1985 I do it again in etching, but this time it’s not a continuation of a previous series. Now it’s populated with centaurs and satires in long waistcoats, and the landscape is full of architectural debris. Here the iron Rome collapsed and his ruins became a dwelling of people, united rather by human passions instead of state ideals.


RomeROme 2


 

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