Vernissage: Thursday, 19 April 2012, 18:00–20:30.
Exhibition: 20 April–26 May 2012.
Erarta Galerie Zurich is delighted to introduce the magical abstracted imagery of Russian painter Valery Valran in his new exhibition Valery Valran – Weniger ist viel mehr - Less is much more! Valran is one of the most fascinating contemporary artists whose archetypical still life and city landscapes are free from all superfluous kinds of excess.
The artist first began painting still life in 1975. Starting with bottles, the painter embarked on a 30-year search of perfecting his style of purifying his works of superfluous architectural details, of every day life and of people. In the end, he was even fighting shade, making it increasingly transparent until it disappeared. Almost unnoticed to the observer the image's presentation becomes somehow unbalanced, with Valran's intention to achieve a diversity of the space rather than its depth.
In his archetypical still life painting, Valran uses objects that have symbolic, mythological or religious meanings in different traditional cultures: bottles, glasses, apples, eggs, bread and of course fish. The fish possesses posess all the conventional and mythological meanings – from the symbol of Christ to the phallic connotation, (?) but also one of the national symbols of Russian culture – transforming an every day object to a spiritual allegory.
Valran's still life cannot be limited to one style as metaphysics, surrealism, primitivism and minimalism are all mixed together. Unlike Giorgio Morandi (1890-1963), who creates an atmosphere around his objects, Valran does precisely the opposite by isolating them from it. Whereas the great Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin (1878-1939) thrives to achieve a virtuosic depth effect, Valran avoids this consciously and forcefully. Franzisco de Zurbaran (1598-1664) is the only artist whose style and art works Valran can really identify himself with.
The exhibited city landscapes will furthermore appeal to the viewer in a strange hypnotic way (Alexander Skadin), which is all the more mysterious when we realise that these paintings are not so much about historic and well-known 'architectural monuments' but about the dematerialisation of this seemingly material world with the absence of any life. These absolutely phantom like views - without any shade and thus demarcating de Kiriko's works - have the effect of a distorted reality that could be presented as virtual theatrical backdrop offering to his audience his fantasy world.
'If we close our eyes – there is nothing. But with Valran when we open our eyes we notice everything and even what is missing. How convincing his language is! It is worthwhile looking closely to Valran's works as he opens up his doors to his fantasy and mythology'. (Alexander Sekatsky).
In Valran's works it is a matter of analysing the essential and the important. The way to find the answer is through omission – what a wonderful lesson of life. Modern, quiet, strange but always attractive and classical in the sense of knowledge of life, these art works give the viewer much more room for his inner need for in-depth exploration, reflection and self- discovery.
It is a special pleasure for Erarta to present the work of this extraordinary artist, whose impressive works have gained considerable acknowledgement in the international art scene.
Notes for editors
Valery Valran was born on 27.8.1949 in Izhma near to the city Pechora in the region of Komi in the West-Urals in the former Soviet Union. He studied Mathematics at the Leningrad Pedagogical Institute, which he then changed to study Psychology, which lead him to receive a Ph.D. in Psychology.
Valran has been taking part in exhibitions since 1976 onwards, and overall has contributed towards more than 100 exhibitions in Russia, Germany, Switzerland, USA and England. He organised and curated more than 70 national and international exhibitions and art events since 1979. His works can be found in museums in Russia, Germany and the USA as well as in numerous private collections.
Erarta Galleries Zurich contact:
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UK and English-Speaking Countries
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