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Сто художников Сибири.

Выпуск II

Галерея «Сибирское искусство» и БФ «Современное искусство Сибири» в настоящее время ведет подготовку издания Профессионального справочника современного искусства «100 художников Сибири». Выпуск II».   Презентация Справочника намечена на начало 2016г в Музее им. Врубеля (Омск). Будет представлена  выставка произведений сибирских художников «100 художников Сибири»  и фотографический проект «В мастерской художника».  

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"TRACE" Project 

The “TRACE” exhibition project united the artists whose interest in the ancient culture of the aboriginal peoples of Siberia formed a fundament for their art. The process of analyzing the knowledge in the spheres of ethnography, archeology and culture gave birth to unique artistic phenomena, defined by art critics as “Siberian Neo-Archaic”. According to A.V. Suslov, one of the authors of the project, its message lies in returning the art to its roots, to primary and original forms.  

The first group exhibition of the participants of the project took place in Novokuznetsk Museum of Fine Arts in 2000. The exhibition displayed the works of artists who became laureates of all Siberian and all-Russian exhibitions and contests held during the last decade. The participants included Sergei Lazarev, a co-author of the project from Tomsk, Nikolai Rybakov, Valery Sysoev and Sergei Anufriev from Krasnoyarsk, Danila Menshikov from Novosibirsk, Eugeny Dorokhov and Tatiana Koltochikhina from Omsk, Larissa Pastushkova from Barnaul, and Natalia Spesivtseva and Alexander Suslov from Novokuznetsk. All 10 participants are well known in the region, being significant representatives of contemporary artistic medium. Their art is not in the least destructive, being thoughtful and true to life.

The “Siberian Art” Gallery joined the project right after its first exhibition when it became clear that “TRACE” is not just a single artistic act, but a new trend in contemporary art, requiring a serious scientific approach. Mrs. Olga Galygina, the arts expert and the manager of the Gallery became an adviser to the project. Joining the project the Gallery shared with the participants the financial and organizational burden and helped to broaden the geography of exhibitions significantly.

 Only during the 2007 year the “TRACE” project was exhibited in six cities of Siberia, including Novosibirsk, Novokuznetsk, Tomsk, Omsk and Krasnoyarsk and participated in the “Big Water” International Festival in Khanty-Mansyisk. A tour like that was an event difficult to accomplish earlier. Exhibitions in each city displayed original versions and new works arranged in new expositions. Other artists who showed an interest to the sources of the Siberian civilizations were invited to join the project.

When exhibited in Tomsk, the TRACE exposition was complemented by a personal exhibition of the works by Sergei Lazarev, as well by some exhibits from the fund of the Tomsk Museum of Local Lore. Ethnographic items including anthropomorphic and zoomorphic ceramic and metal figures from the famous Kulai treasure dated on VI-V centuries B.C. threw more light onto the artistic allegories of painters. The musical score of the exhibition was composed by Natalia Nelyubova, a jazz singer from Tomsk with her “Somana Kukun” – a musical program inspired by the Kulai culture... Ancient and modern traditions merged to help to better understand the conception and content of the works.

In the course of the development of the project the Gallery invited a number of experts specializing in the fields close to the research of the archaic. Each city receiving the project exhibition organized round tables, seminars or discussions attended not only by painters and art experts interested in the development of the trend, but by scientists as well, including philosophers, historians, ethnographers and archeologists.

The last action accomplished within the frameworks of the project was a culturological plein air held in Mountain Shoria, organized by the Gallery. The action served to sum up the results of creative and scientific activities of the “TRACE” project and to determine the vectors for the next stages of creative activity.

An attempt to think the artistic experience of the project over leads to the conclusion that all ideas of time sequence are no longer true. Feeling the experience of ancient cultures directly and resonating in unison with painters’ works give the impression that ancient cultures are not gone forever, but stay here and now in the form of tradition, reborn in the new forms of “neo-archaic”. The category of time as a linear sequence disappears, revealing a new level of cultural interrelations – a life in harmonious resonance with cosmic natural rhythms.

The “neo-archaic” artists being artistically individual and possessing their own personal style are exhibited in the common exhibition space, thus creating a universal context of poetic realities of the spiritual heritage of ancestors. Special psychologic nuances of their artistic works and mythologically inspired medium have magnetic influence on the spectator. An impression of living mystery is born, opening an entrance to the Universe, thus giving a possibility to perceive the spectator’s own universals.

One of the main tasks of an artist is to facilitate a dialogue between a work of art and its spectator. The art of neo-archaic artists opens new possibilities for co-creation of an artist and a spectator – a possibility for multi-layered readings of a work of art, as created by its author and viewed by the spectator, each of them finding its own individual meanings, resonant with one’s own inner feelings.

Positioning themselves as heirs to the spiritual bases of the past, the TRACE artists strive to wash out the boundaries of local ethnic and cultural differences and to create an integral cultural space.

The demand for the TRACE exhibitions in different cities participating in the project is a convincing evidence of current interest for the theme as demonstrated by professionals and connoisseurs alike. Many young people came to these exhibitions which fact is very important, as it gave the next generation a possibility to get in touch with culture and art which is as modern as it is old.

It is to saturate the everyday life of people with culture and art of very high quality that the “Siberian Art” Gallery makes certain and considerable efforts, as thank God there are many talented artists and their fans in Siberia.

The talent of each of the TRACE project artists rests on strong artistic and professional skills. They are not just smart personalities, extraordinary in their artistic search, but thoughtful researchers as well. Each of them has its own approach to the archaic.  

Nikolai Rybakov (Krasnoyarks), the author of the “Oecumene” series perceives ancient culture in the expressive-picturesque-sensual manner. The state of cosmic processes is born through color, texture and the creation of freely flowing fusions and transformations. All of a sudden, an abstraction reveals many meanings contained in it. With his mind’s eye one can see the instability of borders of the cognizable world, the world of illusion before the images of eternity and spirituality born by the artist.

The creative search of Eugene Dorokhov (Omsk) is stimulated by an item, a sign which preserves the genetic memory of the past. His works composed of foam plastic and handmade paper underline the heavy fullness of construction, here showing a closeness to earth and clay, the material spiritualized by the Creator, and there creating a palpable breakthrough cosmic element, carrying the vibrations of cosmic alphas.  

The works of Sergei Lazarev from Tomsk is saturated with immersions and direct feelings of images created. The artistic texture of his paintings contains subtle, yet palpable myths and legends. He manages to capture the state of eternity that opens the sacred silence of a special mythological space. His art mirrors the concepts of our ancestors about the mechanics of the Universe and reproduces man’s life in coded manner. “Sounding the Tambourine” is a heartfelt story of life of an instrument that leads the shaman’s soul during the ritual, guiding his nerves, his pulse and his breath.

Alexander Suslov’s perception of the archaic is quite different. This painter from Novokuznetsk treats the archaic philosophically. In his series called “Letters from Central Asia about Myself” the artist uses special means, a language capable of expressing the condition of man’s inner cosmos. Creating his own universals, the artist comes to the symbolic generalization of the archaic, the astrological sign, conferring to it a special meaning.

Apart from painting and graphic art, the TRACE artists use many other techniques and materials, including wooden sculptures by Valery Sysoev, works of glass, metal and ceramics by Sergei Anufriev, and Tatiana Koltochikhina’s batik. Larissa Pastushkova works with leather and textiles, while Danila Menshikov performs shaman rituals using the symbols of the ancient world.

We must state that unfortunately a lack of true art is characteristic for today’s artistic life. A search for higher truths and real beauty attracts only few, while the majority of contemporary artists focus themselves on commercial profit or speculative interest oriented mainly on traditional realism.

The artistry of painters united by the TRACE project is a spontaneous and quite natural phenomenon, not obsessed with commercial implications. This is not “mass art”, for it is highly intellectual and artistic. Being a unique artistic initiative the TRACE project was highly acclaimed by the professionals.