Vernissage: Thursday, 7 June 2012, 18:00–20:30 p.m.
Exhibition: 8 June – 7 July 2012.
Erarta Galleries Zurich is honoured to open the summer season with Alexander Kosenkov's solo exhibition titled "Farewell to the old world". The evident theme running through the exhibition is that of nostalgia towards the simpler, bolder form and character, albeit depicted in an artistically flourished way.
Kosenkov is known for creating a very specific and intimately subjective type of genre painting, in which the presence of characters, as well as the execution of content are physical manifestations of a personal commentary on nature. Above all else, Kosenkov focuses upon traditional Russian cityscape and country views. The images, nonetheless, are done with an exquisite form and line.
In spite of the paintings seen as being traditionally figurative, there is a definite element of abstraction, as Kosenkov's initially perceived purpose is not to easily discernable. Hence, after a careful analysis, it seems as if Kosenkov manages to follow his own understanding and implementation of neo-classicism. Although Kosenkov can be affiliated with the Leningrad neo-expressionists of the 70s and 80s, such as arefevzami, Mitikami and the circles of artisans such as Analtoly Zaslavskim, Alexander Rymanzeviy and Arturom Moevim, he is independent from them.
Specifically in relation to his philosophy, execution, as well as general artistic pursuit, Kosenkov can be differentiated through his interpretation of colour. Hence, whilst the St. Petersburg neo-expressionists mainly focused on incorporating and focusing on ground and soil within their compositions, Kosenkov's works are brighter and vivid. It seems that compared to the Leningrad expressionists he uses his colours in a light manner and through this, an incandescent fictitious reality is created. These artistic effects ensure that great spaces, open air and sky are all encapsulated within the canvases.
Konsenkov, therefore manages to masterfully capture the horizon, as well as appropriating the effect of space and vastness. This horizon line tends to be rounded and almost spherical. Consequently, the viewer becomes part of the space within the canvases, as the non-straight lines seem to extend into infinity. The result is somehow quasi-abstract, yet soothing. This ensures that Kosenkov's works play not just with this duality between figurative and abstract, but with colours and characters also.
It seems that Kosenkov does not follow the continuous tendencies within contemporary Russian art. Nonetheless, he cannot he seen as being disparate, as these tendencies are organic to him as an artist.
When speaking with a representative of Erarta galleries directly, Kosenkov noted that he has a relatively philosophical approach and his considers his intuitive existential position prior to him approaching a new artistic impulse. This existential position is that of non-sense, hence the artistic version of the Hegelian anti-thesis. According to Kosenkov, this antithesis is all-absorbing and although it evidently allows for artistic destruction, it also ensures creativity as a consequence. In a world of cultural non-sense, symbolism is broken with, as well as its proportions and relations. This ensures that individuals affiliated with this non-sensical culture are thrown back into a world of chaos. Nonetheless, this chaos allows for the creating and building of a new world, which is liberated, original and allows for the fulfilment of personal desire and free thinking. Essentially, this non-sensical culture is a type of theatre for oneself. This process also has to do with the freeing oneself from the heaviness of the depressive every day life. Artistic antithesis, in this way helps one break free and become creative again.
All in all the title of the exhibition "Farewell to the new world" has an underlying double sense: firstly for the viewer to distance themselves from this conventional and culturally nonsensical world and secondly, the consequent result of one having to create another world, from the inevitable self-destructive chaos. The search for the better world is ever approaching and this eventual progress and cyclical nature of self-destruction is depicted in a convincing and humorous way by Kosenkov.
On a biographical note, Alexander Kosenkov was born in Ekichan in the Far East of the former Soviet Union in 1959. He graduated from the Institute of Technology in Novosibirsk in 1981 and attended classes at the art studio taught by the Leningrad artist Natalia Chizhik from 1984 until 1998. From 1995 onwards Kosenkov started exhibiting his work, both as part of themed group exhibitions, as well as solo shows also. These exhibitions were conducted in Russia, as well as abroad. Kosenkov's works can be found in private and public collections in Belgium, Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain and the USA.
Erarta Galleries Zurich contact:
T. +41 (0) 43 344 6040
UK and English-Speaking Countries
Lisa Baker Ltd Associates
T. +44 (0) 7768 310038
Switserland and German-Speaking Countries:
Siro Barino & Stefan Mathys
Seestrasse 18, 8702 Zollikon
T. + 41 (0) 44 390 42 42
F. + 41 (0) 44 390 42 43
M. + 41 (0) 79 335 24 24
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