Archive for the ‘ JOURNAL ’ Category

Paris in December

_DSC1305-21.  Paris in December.  Montmartre is always green…

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_DSC13232.  …and charming.

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_DSC13083.  All roads are going uphill.

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_DSC13124.  The Church of Saint Peter of Montmartre.

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_DSC13115.  The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

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_DSC13176.  The view from the butte.

._DSC1327-27.   Contemporary Montmartre.

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_DSC13308.  The artists can’t afford to live here anymore…

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_DSC13229.  …but music is still alive – street accordion…

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_DSC132510.  … and street arfa.

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_DSC133311.  The lights at Place Pigalle are still red…

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_DSC136512. …as well as still bright lights are at night of Champs-Elysees.

._DSC135313.  The Avenue des Champs-Élysées from Citroën building.

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_DSC134314.  The Citroën showroom.

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_DSC136215.  Champs-Élysées at night.

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_DSC138316. A street cafe.

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_DSC138517.  Paris at night.

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_DSC138718.  Night lights.

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_DSC138819. French national flag at the spire of the Grand Palace.

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_DSC139720.  The Grand Palace –  time for “Art en Capital” 2013.

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FIAC 2013, (Paris)

FOIRE INTERNATIONALE D’ART CONTEMPORAIN (FIAC) 2013,  OCTOBER 24-27

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For its 40th edition, the International Contemporary Art Fair – FIAC, a major showcase for artistic creation, continues to develop, and confirms its status as a leading international art fair. FIAC 2013 at the Grand Palais features over 180 galleries from 25 countries, presenting modern art, contemporary art and emerging trends. At the same time, with its external cultural programme, FIAC demonstrates its desire to strengthen its identity over the long term by presenting an ensemble of outdoor works, series of lectures, performances and screenings of artists’ films in the most prestigious settings in the heart of Paris.

FIAC is distinguished, among the major international fairs, by its strong national contingent and its distinctive European flavour: 30% of the exhibitors are French compared to Frieze London which presents 25% of galleries from Great Britain; FIAC is made up by 73% of European galleries compared to 54% at Art Basel in Switzerland. France is represented by 55 galleries, followed by the United States with 33 galleries, Germany with 22 galleries, Italy with 13 galleries, the United Kingdom with 12 galleries, Belgium with 11 galleries and Switzerland and Brazil with 5 galleries respectively. New countries represented this year include Canada, Ireland and the Czech Republic. 35 galleries are participating for the first time or are returning to FIAC after a period of absence.

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Sitting with a glass of a refreshing beverage in hand (rhymes with Brouilly) at my favorite Paris cafe, my thoughts turned to my visit to FIAC, the great Paris art fair, now celebrating its 40th year. Finally, on Saturday, I went to FIAC, paid my 35 Euro (yikes!) entry fee, which did include a ride on the Seine Batobus, (note, no waiting for cash) and decided to see what ”normal people” thought of the fair. First of all, Jennifer Flay did a wonderful job, FIAC looked wonderful, and the Grand Palais is, as always, an inspiring place to see art.  Of course it was hot, with all of the lights, and the sun shining so I was fortunate there was plenty of my favorite refreshing beverage (rhymes with champagne) on hand. Lots of young folks there (always a good sign, because where would we all be without the next generation of collectors). Not so many red dots… although as we all know, that doesn’t always mean so much.
•  This year, I didn’t see so many things that made me think “I have to have that”. But there were a number of stand-outs. Internationalism? Not so much. There were a couple of galleries from China, none from Africa, Canada, few from South America, Russia. Lots from Europe and some from America.
•  The FIAC crowds were happy, buzzing, taking photos… but there wasn’t much for them to buy – a problem always at art fairs. Basel in past years solved this problem with a small group of “editions” and a photography section. Your average young (or not so young) collector is not going home with a large (expensive) installation or a 40,000€ sculpture. Sitting at the cafe in the fair, talking with people who had seen much – or all – of the fair, the demand is there – clearly. Most people were happy to talk about work they had and work they liked…and I got the clear feeling that if there had been more affordable work, there would have been more – a lot more – red dots. But art fairs now have become so expensive to exhibit in, that galleries now bring their best (read expensive) work. ”Young” fairs, like Slick, next door on the Seine, have tried to show ”young galleries” with more affordable work. But nobody I spoke to had been there, or was planning to… lack of time, additional fee (10€), and I admit, I didn’t go myself for the same reason. FIAC can’t really expand – lack of space in the Grand Palais – so it will be interesting to see what solution they find.  And I can’t wait to see what they come up with… with a refreshing beverage in hand.

by Maura Haverly, AAD

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Jennifer Flay, leading the FIAC for the past ten years, does not like the word “crisis”, yet this unsaid word is present in the vast and rich exhibition beneath the glass arches of the Grand Palais. Despite the price of € 525 per square meter there is barely any free space, however compared to last year the fair seems much more predictable, if not boring. Gallery owners do not come to you with discoveries, but prefer to bet on proven names. Nearly every exhibition booth contains artworks that would make any provincial museum of contemporary art quite happy, but they are priced like St. Petersburg State Hermitage masterpieces.

by Maria Sidelnikova and Aleksey Tarhanov, “Kommersant”.

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1.  Grand Palais.

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2.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13

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3.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13

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4.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13

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5.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13

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6.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Ai Weiwei.

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7.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist David Altmejd.

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8.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Jaume Plensa.

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9.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Yeesookyung.

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10.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13

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11.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist James Lee Byars.

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12.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Thomas Schütte.

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13.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist John De Andrea.

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14.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Yoshitomo Nara.

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15.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13

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16.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Loris Gréaud.

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17.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Alain Bublex.

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18.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13

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19.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest.

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20.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Markus Schinwald.

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21.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13

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22.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Katharina Grosse.

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23.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Renos Xippas.

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24.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Albert Oehlen.

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25.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13. Artist Georg Baselitz.

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26.  Grand Palais. FIAC ’13

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Apart from the major exhibition at the Grand Palais, there are several exhibitions of arts and performances at Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin des Plantes, Place Vendome, Banks of Seine – FIAC 2013.

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Paris at the beginning of Fine Art Season ’13

Paris is never boring… Unlock the poetic charm of autumn in Paris at the beginning of major art salons through the lens of photographer Vladimir Bazan.

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Centre Georges Pompidou  989

From the Centre Georges Pompidou.

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Montmartre 1187

Montmartre (1)

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Montmartre (2)

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Chopin au Jardin du Luxembourg

Chopin in the Luxembourg Gardens.

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Musee du Louvre.Kiss

Louvre (1)

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LOUVRE

Louvre (2)

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Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall. Centre Georges Pompidou.

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Musee D`Orsay. Dega

Edgar Dega. Museum D’Orsay.

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Place Blanche 1070-1 Place Blanche

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Cafe.Montmartre

Montmartre.  Cafe.

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Boulevard Haussmann  2623-2

Boulevard Haussmann.

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La Maison Rose  732

La Maison Rose.

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Photo essay by photographer Vladimir Bazan.

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Artist Vitaly Gubarev, (Protvino)

HONORED ARTIST OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
THE EXHIBITOR OF THE SALON “ART CAPITAL” 2013 – 2015
THE BRONZE MEDAL OF THE SALON “ART CAPITAL” 2015

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Our earthly life is a very short episode, and in eternity it is a fleeting moment only. To embody graphically an amazing flow of life which cannot be expressed in words – it is both joy and anguish. To depict an enormous space on a small sheet of paper, it takes a lot of energy. But this artistic energy returns graciously to the art viewer. In this, I see the meaning of creativity of any artist working in contemporary visual art.

Vitaly Gubarev for the readers of the ”Russian Art & Paris”.

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VG-Port-2The art of Vitaly Gubarev is expressive and emotional. It mirrors the development of Russian graphic arts at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. The poetic paintings created by Vitaly Gubarev reflect the worldview of the best part of a generation to which he belongs. Up to now this generation is socially oriented. It took shape in the recent decades of the past century in the atmosphere of enthusiasm of the national gravures and great popularity of this art form in Russia. The expertise, skill, art and moral consistency of works are number one amongst the priorities in the Vitaly Gubarev oeuvre. The artist created a variety of epic and large-scale image of Russia together with the lyrical and poetical paintings. He sang of his homeland in them and pinpointed the topical issues of the public morals at all times. One of the priority themes in his oeuvre is the idea of a linkage between humanity and the world, and humanity’s moral responsibility. In such paintings, there is a warning to a spectator, the modern time, an epoch of moral conglomerate combining idealism, on one hand, and cynicism, on the other. The romantic ideals of his youth compel the already experienced and has-been artist take in hand this theme once again, search and resonate with the hearts of spectators. Vitaly Gubarev is a man of apparent value in the Russian graphic arts. He is a brilliant master devoted to the arts and he is independent and principled.
•  The narration of Vitaly Gubarev’s creative career could result in a real novel about the fate of an artist who devoted himself to the service of the arts. The activity of a master of such skill level and world outlook is worth a separate big talk and study of his methods of work.
•  The origins of the worldview of each and every human being are in his biography, in the events of years of his childhood in any way influencing shaping his views, the concept of good and evil, as well as upon the eternal mystery of interaction of a human being and the nature. Such an event for Vitaly Gubarev was his experience during the war and after war time in Uzbekistan as a child, his early self-reliance and independent thinking. All this has become the strongest motivation for studying and achieving professionalism and has developed his diligence, and strengthened his will.
•  The epic images of Russia formed in the Vitaly Gubarev’s work gradually through dozens of remarkable drawings of the Russian meadows, the newly ploughed fields and the vastness of the native Grater Moscow Area. These drawings arose asПоловодье. Протва. 30х37см-2a result of the long years and painstaking work over the series of urban and rural sceneries. To create them it took Vitaly Gubarev long years of his work. The understanding of a historical fate of Russia was lined up from one painting to another. His tours around the provincial towns, villages and rural areas of the Russian North, the Volga region and the Greater Moscow Area helped him a lot to understand it. At home, in his workshop, he understood how to achieve the maximum expression of his painting in the absent of the subject and additional details. The author’s life experience and wisdom came to him with the years entirely comply with the word picture in such drawings as «A Storm is Brewing» (1994), «The Wheats are Being Sown», -Before the Storm» (1996), «The Beginning of the Storm», «The Cloudy Day» (2001), «The First Snow» (2002), «A Field Under Wheat», «Night Field» (2003). A calm stateliness of the following drawings translates to a spectator the artist’s reflection of eternity and permanency of all in «Above theVanity» (1976), «A Field is Being Come into Ear», «The Holy Lake. The Solovetsky Islands» and «The Zayatsky Island. The Solovetsky Islands» (1998). Second place, a motive of love to the bleak Northern soil and to homeland is being evolved in these drawings. One can talk in different languages about the beauty and grandeur of the Зимний путь 21х26 смhomeland and about the love to the homeland. Here, Vitaly Gubarev found its own language that is heartfelt and very expressive. It is no mere chance, his work was repeatedly awarded with the blue ribbons by the Russian Academy of Arts, Artist’s Union of Russia and a variety of other governmental and social structures.
•  There are many drawings pencil amongst the Vitaly Gubarev’s best paintings. The drawing artist’s handicraft came to him as early as in his young years and yet he has been honing his skill throughout his life. Vitaliy draws at all times and in all places. He created a big collection of the easel drawings in coloured pencil that deserve attention of the museum staff as per their quality and art expressiveness. In these drawings, both the talent and high level of skill, and experience are expressed as well.
•  The graphic signature of Vitaly Gubarev is recognized as per his soft narrative intonation, as per his attentive attitude to the line, as per black and white stain, as per original rhythm that has something in common with the rhythms of the ancient Russian towns. The graphic structure of his paintings is narrative. In etching, he assigns a respectful part to the picturesque properties of aquatint giving various texture effects and helping to transfer the atmospheric colour in which the picture has been sunk. Vitaly Gubarev does like a classic etched stroke, the velvety touch of the line that is engraved in the dry-point techniques. The realistic manner in which he works all his life allowed him to achieve a high expression and brilliant skill. These qualifications put Vitaly Gubarev forward into the staff of the most interesting Russian graphic artists who are independent and picturesque in their progress.
•  Vitaly Gubarev’s engravings reveal his gift as a painter. He perceives the black and white colour graphically and in tonal shades. Apparently, a frequent address to the coloured etching and to the complicated process of gravure production with the help of several plates is connected with his perception. All his life Vitaly Gubarev does painting as well. He paints in acryl, tempera and water colour. He focuses on this art form extensively over the last years.
•  All his life Vitaly Gubarev is seeking to get an idea of the harmony of the relationship between a human being and the nature across all his contemporaries. Yury Baturin, the pilot cosmonaut of Russia, wrote from Zvezdnyi Gorodok as follows: «After a cosmonaut returning from his flight his feelings and sensations are flared up. He begins to see and notice all objects that he habitually passed by before without turning his head, especially in the nature. I saw from a new angle the beauty of common trees, rivulets and clouds on the sky after my returning from the outer space on Earth in 1998.1 saw all that objects just so how Vitaly Gubarev painted them in his pictures as «The Summer. The Protva Rivulet», «The Autumn», and etc… I have travelled around the small Russian provincial towns and common villages for several years where my antecedents lived in starting from XVIII to XX centuries. Certainly, I’m taking photograph… However, I have felt «the aura of that life» viewing only the Gubarev’s works such as «The Wintry Evening», «The Peal of Bells», «Winter», «The White Snow» and «The Rest in the Village» . These works helped me to my best understanding and feeling of those people and that life that I want to describe in my book». Really, it is rather high appraisal and one can be proud of it.

by Tatyana Boitsova,
Honored Artist of the Russian Federation,
member of the Union of Artists of the Russian Federation, art critic.

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Pictures in the text (from above):
“High water. Protva” Etching. (30 x 37 cm); “Winter way” Etching. (21 x 26 cm).

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На протве 14х18 см

“At Protva”  Etching. (14 x 18 cm)

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The artist Vitaly Gubarev has long been known. A great graphic artist, a master of etching, a fine lyricist – epithets which no one disputes,  and yet, speaking about the art of this master is not so easy. The thematic range of this artist is reserved and even austere. The number of plots in his works is not too large. Add to that the natural asceticism of the techniques in etching, and it begs the question – what is the focus of the art of V.Gubarev? In what art-field does he lead his creative exploration?  Let’s try to understand.
•  We have before us two landscapes – “Blooming meadow” and “Cornfield”. The most close-up view and a wide panorama. cornfield-2Space on these sheets is strictly structured and is emphasized with several apparent tonal accents. This space, decorative and almost flat in the first case, and expanded to maximum depth in the second case, is the main character in the works. However, space can never be empty, it is always filled with something. Here we come to the most important – to the fringe beyond which art begins. A description of the space in etchings of Vitaly Gubarev is not difficult to give at first sight of these sheets – living. Living space filled with the breath of wind and the smell of grass, is vibrant and changeable. How, by what means, does the artist create this effect?
•  Pay attention to the filigree tone design, clearly visible in the composition “Cornfield”. In addition to the major tonal accents, the development of light spots of the second row literally leads the gaze of viewers through the waves of the shifting field. This is not just a tonal richness, but also an extremely difficult tonal arrangement illustrating the meaning of the work – the endless movement of living eared fields. No less interesting is the compositional solution of the foreground in etching “Blooming meadow”. The vibration of the warm afternoon air, the movement of grass, the nearly palpable smell of summer – all of this is in the construction of complex, sibling tonal rhythms of this magnificent sheet.
•  The stylistic horizon of V. Gubareva is quite wide – from the classical form of “Memories” or “Winter way” to the emotionally explosive “Above the vanity”. Today, the artist is clearly on top of his skill and actively working, so we should not rush with generalizing characteristics of works by this master. Viewers first and foremost need works of art, and not grades, of the fine artist Vitaly Gubarev. ©

by Russian Art & Paris

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Pictures in the text: “Comfield” Etching. (29 x 42 cm)

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Висячий мост 25х27см

“Suspension bridge”  Etching. (25 x 27 cm)

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Vitaly Gubarev, a graphic artist and painter, was born in 1936 in Samarkand (Uzbekistan). After graduating from the Tashkent Republican Art College (1958) he continued his art education in Moscow. He graduated from the Moscow Higher School of Industrial Art (former Stroganovskoye) in 1964. Graphic-artist Vitaly Gubarev is a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR (1971). Honored Artist of the Russian Federation (1994). Diploma of the Russian Academy of Arts (2005). Chairman of the section of graphic-artists of the Moscow regional branch of the Union of Artists of Russia (2008). Decree of the President of the Russian Federation, Vitaly Gubarev awarded the Medal of the Order “For Services to the Fatherland, II degree” (2011). Personal art exhibition in the Palace of Nations (UN) in Geneva (2012).

The works of Vitaly Gubarev – etching and graphic art are in the collections of museums: The State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow); the Penza State Art Gallery named after K.A.Savitskiy; the Perm State Museum; the Pavlodar State Art Museum; the Serpukhov History and Art Museum; the Art Gallery of the Smolensk State Museum.

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EXHIBITIONS

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Etchings by Vitaly Gubarev in the exhibition of the Salon “Art Capital” 2015, (Paris). The BRONZE MEDAL 2015

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Etchings by Vitaly Gubarev in the exhibition of the Salon “Art en Capital” 2014, (Paris).

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Etchings by Vitaly Gubarev in the exhibition of the Salon “Art en Capital” 2013, (Paris).

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Russian B-2French B-2Gallery B-2

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Russian spelling: Художник Виталий Губарев, (Протвино)

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Artist Leonid Stroganov, (Saint Petersburg)

THE EXHIBITOR OF THE SALON “ART EN CAPITAL” 2013

LS-Port-BIG-5Thoughts about the visual arts lead me to memories of how I, as a teenager, loved to watch work in the port. It was in Vyborg, a small town by the Baltic Sea. I especially liked the evening. The mysterious darkness, breathing in the heavy moist sea breeze, the unintelligible subdued sounds, whistles, rattles and subtle clops, fascinated me. Wisps of the fairway, winking in the dark, created a music of excitement, the way into the abyss of a dark and mysterious Baltic night. During the day, the mystery would disappear, everything would fall back into place. Similarly the visual arts, in my view, must contain a secret within it, like a certain quality of understatement. This is what fills the work of fine art with an internal content, and transforms an everyday image into a mature and meaningful artistic statement. That is precisely what determines the value and meaning of the dialogue of the artist with the viewer.

Leonid Stroganov for the readers of the ”Russian Art & Paris”.

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LS-Port-text-1Leonid Stroganov, a graphic artist, works in a currently rare technique of etching. The specifics of printmaking are historically closely associated with the art of making books, with its refined and intellectually rich aesthetic. It is quite natural that Leonid Stroganov, an artist-intellectual, not only has his own outlook, but also a brightly expressive individual style. The etching sheets of the author are filled with symbols, signs, and puzzles that engage the viewer in a dramatic art space: between truth and fiction, life and death, beauty and disorder. Every detail in his prints – is part of a surprisingly musical universe, where everything is interconnected in a complex game of semantic reflections. From this, perhaps, arises a unique rhythm, the nerve of the line of the author’s drawing.
•   The heroes of etchings are fantastic, fictional personas in the image of people. The constant transformation, a rebirth one into another, is most noticeable in the early diptych “Eating” and “Running away” (2002). In later works, traces of recent metamorphosis are seen in the hands of “The Venetian”, in the face of “The Courtesan” (2010), in the feet of the bookplate of Brodovych “Adam and Eve” (2008), in the right hand “of the Magi” (2006) and in other works. These intentionally stylized techniques emphasize the belonging of the characters to a different aesthetic reality unfolded in the field of author’s myth.
•  Series “The Silence” (1999) – is one of the first made by the author in the technique of etching. In this series, which is mysterious and surprisingly melodic in a youthful way, the third sheet is of particular interest. On a gloomy background of deep space there are nude, separately seated figures of a man and a woman with a baby sleeping peacefully in their arms. Immersed, each in their own world, both he and she are alone. Above them, in the upper world, submitting to their own music, unseen creatures fly on a predetermined path, and in the lower world, listening to the melody, wonderful fish swim by. He and she are in an infinite space, where everything is on a predetermined path. The juxtaposition, in which a LS-Port-text-2man and a woman are in the third sheet of the series “Silence,” occurs in the author’s work more than once, for example, in the previously mentioned bookplate Brodovych “Adam and Eve”. The small size and chamber genre of the bookplates do not stop it from being one of the artist’s strongest works – the engraving is beautiful in its artistic idea and deep in meaning. Heroes of a biblical myth are depicted lying on the roots of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they are arranged with their backs to each other. Adam and Eve are close, but not together – they are far from each other. The audience’s glance at the lying down lonely and confused characters creates a special sense of the timeless existence of personas.
•  Leonid Stroganov returned time and again to the first people of the world. Several works were made with the plot of “Expulsion from Paradise”. Two large-sized works were completed by the author in 2009. One of them depicts Adam and Eve in the moment when they leave the gates of heaven. A huge portal is framed by two dark figures, wrapped in donkey skins. They walk side by side; their closed faces and expressive gestures speak of desperation. They wander along the same road, but each has their own skin, every person for themselves. The author reveals through this Biblical story, the theme of human loneliness. The second work on the same LS-Port-text-4subject, in the form of a diptych, is striking by its expression. Adam and Eve appear emaciated by suffering and eternal journeys. In all the works on the theme of the Fall, an important place is devoted to the image of a root turned inside-out from the land, or of roots blanketing the ground. The root is a metaphor for the origin of that which is hidden from the eyes, which gives vitality.
•  A particular perception of time is present in many works of Leonid Stroganov. The author builds his work in such a way that his characters still exist timelessly, even if the text is full of symbols and attributes that refer to a particular historical period or literary composition.
•  Travelers wander timelessly on their way from the cycle “Moving” (1999). On one of the sheets of the series of the same name, under number one, a group of people is depicted under a starry sky. The wagon, a boy with a backpack, people in hoods, a woman holding a baby next to a man, all wandering after a donkey. Who are they? Refugees, pilgrims of the Middle Ages, whose life was on the road? Unwittingly, you pay attention to the last figures: “A donkey, a woman with a baby, and the man nearby”. The combination is perceived as a quote: “Holy Family on the way to Egypt.” But the woman is not sitting on the donkey, but follows him, and the face of “Joseph” is hidden under the mask. A Miracle – in the ordinary flow of life, but it cannot always be noticed and understood. In the artwork there is no emphasis on the faces of characters. Perhaps they have not yet found their persons, have not found their identity. Through the procession, attention is drawn to the figure of a teenager carrying a load on his shoulders, precisely because he has a face. The boy with the backpack is similar to the artist himself. Does this mean that he walks among his characters behind a cart along a road in the flow of people? There is a feeling of not only a myth, but also a parable. There is a special feeling of a mystical-philosophical “Stroganov” aura, which is the hallmark of the work of this young and very talented artist.

by Ksenia Harina, art critic.

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Адам и Ева

“Adam and Eve”   Etching. (40 x 30 cm)

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The modern Saint Petersburg graphic artist Leonid Stroganov debuted in art with an impressive series of etchings “King Lear”. The sophisticated viewer will immediately feel a dissonance because a series of etchings requires quite serious creative experience and of course, maturity is needed for Shakespeare… All right!  And yet… The talent of Leonid Stroganov is bright and obvious. Few artists of this age have an established style and a distinct artistic vision. Even rarer is the wholeness and strong inner conviction of his own truth. These are imperative qualities without which many talents have faded.
•  The bas-relief style of Leonid Stroganov etchings, their intense drama, is realized in full effect in the William Shakespeare series. No less interesting is the dynamism of compositional solutions, the amazing artistic unity of tonal and rhythmic rows. Tonal accents impeccably build the dialogue of gestures in the etching “King Lear – 1″. The complex range of emotions in the sheet of “King Lear – 10″ comes from the black and white rhythm of the composition. The determination and non-triviality of the compositional structures of each sheet is very enticing. Determination, without which it is impossible to create a new artistic image or, by the description of philosopher N.Berdyaev a “creation of the nonexistant”.
•  A series of urban landscapes of St. Petersburg – the city, roadway of which have seen each and every Russian artists, is a difficult task for a master of any rank. For a series, it is insufficient just combination of scenes. It is very essential to have a new quality – the Saint Petersburg of Leonid Stroganov. And on the etching plates of this artist, such a city arises. This is not quite an ordinary St. Petersburg. Dostoevsky is not seen on its bridges, but perhaps Bulgakov may appear just around the corner. This city is still tragic at night, but a little provincial in the light of day. This is a different St. Petersburg. A St. Petersburg through the eyes of an artist from a new generation. This city can be liked by not everyone, but it already exists, because there exists a new and intriguing artist – Leonid Stroganov.  ©

by Russian Art & Paris

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Куртизанка

“The courtesan”   Etching. (42 x 28 cm)

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Leonid Stroganov was born in the city of Saint Petersburg in 1979 year. After graduating from the Saint Petersburg Art College named after Nicholas Roerich (1999), the artist was continued his education at The Institute of design, applied arts and humanities under the guidance of the Honored Artist of the Russian Federation Oleg Yahnin (2002). Since 2002 he is a member of the Artists’ Union of the Russian Federation. The artist-graphic Leonid Stroganov lives and work in Saint Petersburg, Russia. 

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EXHIBITIONS

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Etchings by Leonid Stroganov in the exhibition of the Salon “Art en Capital” 2013, (Paris).

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Russian spelling: Художник Леонид Строганов, (Санкт-Петербург)

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Artist Vladimir Shichkov, (1951 – 2016)

THE EXHIBITOR OF THE SALON “ART EN CAPITAL” 2013 – 2014

VS-port-1-4 bigThe Arts – are fragments of a lost paradise, and the task of the artist, is to try to collect them. The difficulty lies in the fact that art is not life itself, but rather its reflection. Attempts of a literal copying of nature in painting do not reach a result, because the real-life object and its image in the plane have a different nature. In the 20th century, art has significantly transformed: in addition to the indisputable realism with its deep penetration into the essence of being, there is now impressionism, with its elements of pure color, and also the avant-garde with its innovative formal quests. I’m interested in the stylistic achievements of each of these areas: they complement and enrich one other. The main aspect of art – to create works that could “hook” the soul of the viewer, stop it, and make them think. Particularly this event – the pause before any artistic canvases, instantaneous concentration of attention on painting, transforms a participant of a gallery into an audience. The most valuable of all things is our life. Humans are given a unique opportunity to explore the world, to think, to dream, to love, and if they are also given the gift of creativity – it is a huge responsibility, as if every artist comes into this world with a certain mission. Another and very important thing – has he realized it or not, has he understood himself, has he received the necessary proficiency and the ability to clearly express it …  At the end of it all, for his own creative talent, he is personally responsibility before God.

Vladimir Shichkov for the readers of the ”Russian Art & Paris”.

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VS-port-2In the present, there exist many artists, preserving the traditional commitment of art, but being absolutely modern in their worldview. Their artwork in which there is a free transformation of natural forms and a subjective interpretation of the visible, acts in opposition to the naturalistic paintings of the recent past, which imitate the lifelike. The figurative meaning of paintings by such masters is difficult to comprehend. The artist seeks not to as much visually reconstruct objects as to inspire viewers with artistic images, to cause a certain mood. Departing from external naturalism involves the activation of a counter spiritual perception from the viewer. The depiction of expression in these canvases, dominates the goal of portrayal. The drastic emancipation of painting from the tasks of fable narrative requires updating of the language of depiction.
•   Such work is done by artist Vladimir Shichkov. His artistic formation and development, it would seem, did not foreshadow this turn. For years, he repeated the fate a painter quite traditional in subject matter and in style. Apparently, it could hardly be expected from him to have drastic changes in both. But the era of rapid shift of the entire political and cultural life of the country has awakened many. Almost complete cessation of state patronage in the arts freed artists from the persistently imposed criteria. Vladimir Shichkov was sensitive to the challenges of the time.
•   From imitation painting, visibly object-based, he came to the artistic decisions, residing at the boundary of a complete loss of natural object. The reduction of material forms as if not at all hinders the master. On the contrary, it seems to him as a particularly attractive way to strain the viewer, to give him the possibility of different interpretations of what he saw, but within the originally specified emotional range, as is the case with the experience of musical tune. The boundaries of possible interpretations are deliberately vague: the artist emphasizes the emotional beginning, not the figurative meaning. In the internet age, the visual culture of the viewer fundamentally changes. And above all, it concerns the extraordinarily sped up pace of showing. Flickering frames, the surprise and showiness of viewing angles, dissonances of color, blurring of contours – all this has become natural and habitual to the modern man. The view from the window of an express train or a speeding car, significantly changed the way we experience the world, and could not have avoided the visual arts.
•   His paintings sometimes differ from the natural world. These artworks Breakfast-2 Small 40x60PUSHAVKA_60X80ignore the density, weight, and material tangibility of the portrayed objects. Vladimir Shichkov attains an associative resemblance with the object, working largely in favor of his own enacted fantasies, freely transforming the outline, color palette and texture of objects in any motives. Hardly marked outlines, the quaint and moving kaleidoscope glow permeated by vibrating color stains, give birth to a special aesthetic emotional vagueness, a fleeting illusory, “where precision is fused with fluctuation” (P.Verlen), unwittingly awakening our imagination as well. These canvases are viewed as more flattened, they delineated a decisive turn to pure decoration. The unique features of this artist’s creative style are: improvised variations of bright imaginary landscapes; fragile, transparent silhouettes of flowers; demonstrative artistry of writing; cursory informative content of the plot; free emotional response to what is seen; expressive movements towards heightened-color painting; quite flawless artistic intuition.
•  In a recent review of his solo exhibition at the Ivanovo State Art Museum, it was not accidentally said: “The artist balances on the verge of figurative painting and abstraction – a fascinating act of equilibrium.” Note that this is not without reason. The coloristical intensity of the canvas is held by the clashes of the thoughtfully rhythmic decorative spots. This reinforces the intensity of perception of the almost intangible materiality barely showing through the figurative motif. It seems as if the artist paints colored light, creates a luminous painting on glass – a kind of stained-glass feature to his paintings markedly magnifies their decorative-poetic beginning.
•  All of his work, labeled by critics as “artistic equilibrium” seems like a spontaneous outburst of emotions carried onto the canvas at a rapid pace, executed in a live sketch-like manner; but such an impression can be misleading. By his own admission, they were born painstakingly. They were not a freestyle improvisation, but rather a deliberate desire to make the image and its perception by the view more dynamic. While seemingly without structure, these paintings are well made and designed to fulfill their main function – become an emotional dominant of residential or office interiors. Hence the desire for the external showiness, color harmony, and predominately sunny disposition of the emotionally-shaped structure.
•  Honing his individual style, the master creates many paintings varying on the theme of color richness of the visible world. Vladimir Shichkov artistic creativity increases markedly from year to year. A direct appeal to the legacy of Impressionists or the quest for the artistic avant-garde are characteristic of the era of postmodernism: poly-stylistics become the style of our time. Today’s avant-garde artists actively make use of the achievements of predecessors. Already in the 1910s avant-garde started becoming more academical and there originated an avant-garde salon, which in our time decisively wins the sympathy of the audience, contemporary art galleries, and private painting collections. The achievements of Vladimir Shichkov are a visual confirmation of these tendencies. The processes of globalization are truly planetary in nature and necessarily pull into its orbit of influence even the most remote corners of the Earth.

by Efim Vodonos,
Honored Artist of the Russian Federation,
Director of the Russian art department of the Saratov State Art Museum
named after A. Radischev.

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Pictures in the text (from above):
“Breakfast” Oil on canvas. (40 x 60 cm); “Pushavka” Oil on canvas. (60 x 80 cm).

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Paris 2“Paris”  Oil on Canvas. (70 x 70 cm)

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Thinking about the aesthetics of Vladimir Shichkov, noting how precisely the color chords of his works are composed, the term “poetry” involuntarily comes to mind. Concepts, which are used in the theory of poetry seem to be quite adequate for the artistic analysis of the pictorial composition of this master. Rhyme is a measured pace, the rhythm of sound. This definition is most relevant to the creative work of Vladimir Shichkov. The rhyme of color is at the foundation of his amazing and exceptionally attractive artworks.
• Let’s look at a little artistic miracle – “The Indian Summer”. Or at the no less charming – “The Flare” and “The Morning”. What is special about these compositions, which at first glance have quite ordinary plots? Is the innovative character of the artwork? Sure. Excellent color scheme? Absolutely. But apart from these purely artistic aspects, there is another dimension that is absolutely humanitarian – humanity. Peering into the coloring of paintings by artist Vladimir Shichkov, listening to the monologue of his paintings, the conclusion has to do quite unexpected. These bright, juicy, and externally flashy pictures lead their conversation with the audience in a surprisingly calm and warm voice. What gives them such a sound? First of all – the rhythm, the movement of the main color harmonies in the plane of the visual field. In the brilliant landscape “The Indian Summer” this can be seen most clearly. The rhythm of the main color masses with perfect precision builds the theme of the works – the warm calm of a clear autumn day.
• Much more complex in its compositional and rhythmic construction is the landscape “The Coast”. With a high level of color intensity and strong contrasts, it still retains, however, a sense of comfort of human presence. The rhythm within it is set by the mass of blue color, penetrating the whole composition, and effectively ”soothing” the fractional, ringing rhythm of light accents. Rhythm, so to speak, regulates the timbre of the artistic voice – somewhat quiet, somewhat emotional, but never rising to a scream.
• The subtle understanding of plot in the figurative compositions by Vladimir Shichkov (“Paris”, “Premier”, “Nocturne”, “Giselle”) is present despite the artist favoring a close-up view. This is a remarkable quality. A close-up view, the rise of an image of human body to the boundary of a canvas, complicates the plot possibilities of the composition. Of all the active tools, the only one left at the disposal of the artist is, perhaps, the gesture. The gesture is understood as a meaningful movement of the entire human body. Could a gesture become the plot of an artwork? The composition “Paris” answers this question quite vividly.
• The language of artwork by Vladimir Shichkov is a profoundly original phenomenon. This language is not always easy to understand, but the expressiveness of this language, its artistic values and its possibilities are obvious. No less interesting are questions that arise among this. One of them, maybe the most fundamental, concerns the relationship between the planarity of the whole picture and the three-dimensional nature of human images on the canvas. In this special language, being developed by the master, the “conflict of interest” between these two basic categories looks to be inevitable. Or is a compromise still possible? Artist Vladimir Shichkov is actively working, and his answer will probably not keep you waiting too long. ©

by Russian Art & Paris

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Сон 60х70 2011 3“The Dream”  Oil on Canvas. (60 x 70 cm)

Paintings by Vladimir Shichkov – are a kind of visualized dreams of that which is beautiful. Colorful dreams. The unique feature of the realm of dreams – is a wonderful combination of incongruous things, where everything visible is transformed in unexpected ways, shapes flow into one another and change before our eyes. In a stream of bright and saturated colors, the image slips away. In the next second the “frame” changes, and you will no longer recognize the previously seen picture… Looking at the paintings of Vladimir Shichkov, you seem to be immersed in the contemplation of a colorful sleep. But unlike fleeting dreams, you can return to the artistic canvas again and again to look over the features.

Victoria Solnceva, art critic,
Research associate of the Ivanovo State Art Museum.

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Vladimir Shichkov was born in the city of Ivanovo in 1951 year. After graduating from the Ivanovo Art College (1981), the artist was trained at the Moscow Art-Industrial College (the former Stroganoff College) under the guidance of docent Staborovsky (1983). Since 1990 year, artist has participated in art exhibitions and competitions. The paintings of Vladimir Shichkov are in the collection of the Ivanovo State Art Museum.

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EXHIBITIONS

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Painting by Vladimir Shichkov in the exhibition of the Salon “Art en Capital” 2014, (Paris).

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Painting by Vladimir Shichkov in the exhibition of the Salon “Art en Capital” 2013, (Paris).

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Russian spelling: Художник Владимир Шичков, (Пучеж)

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Artist Ksenia Lavrova, (Saint Petersburg)

THE EXHIBITOR OF THE SALON “ART CAPITAL” 2014 – 2015

KL- por-1 bigOur world is beautiful, bright, refined … It just needs to be seen. The history of fashion is the most truthful mirror of human nature and the visual environment of any historical character. A careful study of the history of costume and fashion, the history of the creation of fabrics, stages of formation of the historic appearance of “a dressed up person” at different times in different countries, as well as the understanding and study of ethnic groups in different countries – helps me create a real and live artistic images. Try to see the subtlety of the Egyptian kalaziris, and the severity of the French brokkara, the possession of which, at the time of the Directory, could end in you losing your head. Perhaps that is why my Marie Antoinette looks with such sadness at the viewer. In my portraits there is sadness, contempt, and euphoria. Glamorous charm is not for me. Hundreds and thousands of scientific studies, whole libraries of historical literature, are created in an attempt to understand and explain the nature and purpose of my characters, but words alone are not enough. For complete characterization there also needs to be paint of artist. It would be better to say that I am creating a visual encyclopedia of human images of bygone eras – images of the whimsical, strange, and not always beautiful…

Ksenia Lavrova for the readers of the ”Russian Art & Paris”.

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It is known that the story develops in a spiral. In the early twentieth century Paris was shocked by the exotic beauty of the works of Russian artist Aleksandr Yakovlev, shown at an exhibition in the gallery Charpentier, at the end of a series of expeditions organized by “Citroen” in Africa, Asia and the Far East. On display in front of the astonished audience were leaders and princesses of African tribes, actors of Chinese opera, and peasants, Japanese geishas and kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers and Afghan shepherds.
•  At the beginning of the twenty first century, when it would seem that the world has been studied, and there was not an undiscovered nook, a Saint Petersburg artist Ksenia Lavrova invites viewers into her exciting journey across the countries and continents of the world. A world transformed by her imagination, an amazing world, where imagination echoes with an ethnographic precision of details; a mysterious and frightening world, filled with very strange creatures as if descended from the pages of Lewis Carroll.
•  The creative work of Ksenia Lavrova is characterized by multiple stylistics, KL- por-4 textas is typical of contemporary art. The artist intentionally uses the principles and techniques of different styles and different directions. The easy composition of multiscale pieces on one sheet and a wonderful unusual combination of heroes or patterns of fragments and compositional pauses of empty space, give rise to memories of masters from the European Middle KL- 6 text-smallAges, and the quirky, whimsical, elastic line is as if borrowed from Persian miniature painters. Luxury materials and textures depicted in the works of Ksenia Lavrova, send the viewer to the aesthetics of Art Deco. The mood of a light sadness, smooth flowing silhouettes, the bright combination of gold with purple, lilac hues, the quiet showing of reflections and iridescence, complemented by decorative flatness are reminiscent of Art Nouveau.
•  With this diversity of sources, creative style of K. Lavrova differs by its uniqueness. The subtle combination of quiet disparate methods from different eras and styles is an expression of the feeling of life in modern society, the big city, where ethnic groups and cultures from all ends of the planet coexist together.
•  The contemplation of works by Ksenia Lavrova can be compared with aesthetic pleasure, slowly drinking small sips of strong oriental coffee and re-reading a novel from the nineteenth century, highly rich in elegant epithets, detailed descriptions, and almost devoid of action. Information density of her artworks is unusually high. It is impossible to catch at first glance all of the characters and innumerable details. Each time when viewing the creative work of Ksenia Lavrova, you always discover something new that slipped from view before. This extremely fascinating and endless journey of discovery gives viewers the opportunity to enjoy a fine and generous aesthetic of an amazing artist.
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by Marina Chekmareva,  Ph.D. in Art History,
Research associate of the State Hermitage Museum 
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Probably one of the most impressive St. Petersburg graphic artists today, Ksenia Lavrova is equally gifted with a bright talent and a vibrant personality. An artist’s own style, the unique artistic vision are the features which are so highly valued in the art-world throughout all times. In the art of graphics, which is sophisticated and elitist by its nature, these features become critical . If there is no personal style, there is no artist. In the presented graphic compositions from the series “Historic Identities”, the problem of style does not appear theoretical. What is before us: a poster, an illustration, or an graphic arts? Where is the birthplace of these graphics: in the tradition of Russian Art Nouveau, or in the synthetic omnivorousness of pop-art? With what language does this artist speak to us? Perhaps the last question is the most interesting.
• It is easy to see that the compositional constructions of K. Lavrova include the texture of the material as a separate component of the image. The material world of objects, colliding with live characters, suddenly acquires the right to speak. In this metaphysical space, the justacorps ceases to be a detail of clothing and becomes an independent character of the narrative. Items enter a dialogue: with each other and with the main character of the artwork. The dialogue of objects is the basis of plot for many works of the artist Ksenia Lavrova. Marie Antoinette’s wig clearly mocks its mistress. Queen Boleyn’s cloak is only waiting for an excuse to challenge her right to the throne. The voices of the objects, like the voices of musical instruments, build the melody of the composition. This tune becomes its content.
• The traditional graphics language – the language of the conditioned space and chamber color rows noticeably expands the range of its capabilities in the works of Ksenia Lavrova. The harmony of the two fundamental, and at the same time difficultly compatible, graphic elements of lines and ornament is remarkable. The ornamental arrangement of the image’s plane is thought out and organic. The elegance of the compositional decisions, seemingly simple and obvious, is captivating by the conciseness and expressiveness of the result. Does everything mentioned above allow us to speak about the innovative nature of this artist’s work? Is it possible, within the framework of this artistic style, to create a painting with any, including any modern, theme. In other words, is this style sufficiently universal to be called a style? We will definitely search for the answer to this question in every new painting of the artist Ksenia Lavrova. ©

by Russian Art & Paris

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KL- 7 text“Lius XIV” Acrylic on Paper. (64 x 90 cm)

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Ksenia Lavrova was born in Saint Petersburg in 1967. In 1990 she graduated from the Academy of Stieglitz (formerly LVHPU named after.V. Muhina). In 2005 she graduated from faculty sinology of the Oriental Institute.  Ksenia Lavrova is an artist with a wide range of creative skills. Active in various genres from design to book illustration, and graphic arts. Since 1994 she is a member of the Artists’ Union of Saint Petersburg. The artist Ksenia Lavrova lives and work in Saint Petersburg, Russia. 

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EXHIBITIONS

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Painting by Ksenia Lavrova in the exhibition of the Salon “Art Capital” 2015, (Paris).

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Painting by Ksenia Lavrova in the exhibition of the Salon “Art en Capital” 2014, (Paris).

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Russian spelling: Художник Ксения Лаврова, (Санкт-Петербург)

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