ARTSTORY Gallery has prepared an exhibition-reflection on places that are important for contemporary artists: cities, villages and villages, courtyards, streets and houses. The exhibition "Terra cognita" – the name can be translated from Latin as "known, familiar land" – will be held from February 16 to April 9, 2023. The geography of the project is quite wide: "windows" will open from one art space to different parts of Russia (in addition to the two capitals, these are Perm, Severodvinsk, Vologda, Tara of the Omsk region, etc.) - through them the viewer can look into important, sacred for the authors, and at the same time representative places.
17 artists are taking part in the project. In their works – and paintings, graphics, sculptures and objects will be presented – they first of all talk about the very essence, about the soul of the place, and not just demonstrate specific locations. So, Alexander Dedushev addresses the creation of the image of the "Genius of the Place" in the very first and literal sense – the exhibition presents graphic and sculptural portraits of the patron spirits of the city. The author notes: "The whole essence of the place lies in its patrons, Geniuses – they are spirits, they are the rulers of the places where they exist."
One of the impulses to solve the exposition was Joseph Brodsky's poem "From the outskirts to the center". The viewer's attention is focused on fragments and parts that make up a whole and harmonious impression.
Alexander Kabin talks about the details. Depicting the "eternal" attributes of life, the artist builds a timeless space in which he creates a very special sound of seemingly familiar objects. Semyon Agroskin is attentive to the "trace in the life of things" – in his sketches he embodies the versatility and depth of space, speaks about the importance of the everyday component of life.
Most of the authors talk about the topics set in the project abstractly: they take as a basis the explored, studied places and reflect on the most important elements for them. So, Kirill Stryukov pays close attention to the coloristic features of the space. He builds images on an impeccable combination of shades and semitones, which give the viewer a feeling of absolute recognition not so much of the place as of the atmosphere. Anton Kupriyanov focuses on light – as a rule, on its point source, which works as a symbolic landmark.
Valery Grikovsky, trying to reflect the passage of time, turns to a landscape that is not static, but dynamic. He explains it this way: "I do not see the end of this journey and leave in the graphic face of the landscape a certain possibility, a hidden extension in different directions, a certain space-time gap. It's like an elusive gap where a part of life that could have been mine is placed and blossoms...". His works are a kind of attempts to reassemble reality, to take it beyond the simple, understandable and explicable. He dissects the landscape, thereby taking it to a new level.
Alexander Dashevsky in his work increasingly departs from the canonical, understandable, obvious. He repeatedly rethinks his work, destroying the original image to the ground in order to assemble something new, alternative-sounding. At the Terra Cognita exhibition, the viewer will get acquainted with his early works, which have been reinterpreted in recent years.
Evgeny Kravtsov, on the contrary, presents works that are based on creation. He works out the details of his paintings incredibly subtly, as if weaving lace from the smallest details, thereby creating a "veil" that carefully covers the viewer.
At the exhibition, however, there are not only landscapes, but also portraits of different places and even times. Evgeny Rodionov presents his series "The City on plywood" 2019-2021, in which he tried to capture a portrait of his native Vologda. And Elena Utenkova-Tikhonova thinks about time, which cannot be stopped, but can be drawn. "... There remains only what you will see. How often busy thinking about what has been and worrying about what will be, I don't see what is. And then the present time itself calls out to me, flashing for a moment – and I suddenly see a tree by the road, a turn of a familiar street, a house ahead."
The variety of artists' approaches allows not only to present to the audience different variations on the theme of the Central Russian landscape, but to fold a patchwork quilt from the authors' memories, to fill the spaces inside the works with supersense. In other words, not only to reveal the theme of the memory of the author, the viewer and the place, but to show the very essence of terra cognita.
The exhibition includes selected comments by artists that will help the viewer get closer to understanding their creative method, to unraveling the secret meanings.
A. Dedushev. From the series "The Genius of the place". 2023
E. Kravtsov. Leaves. 2021
E. Rodionov. From the series "City on plywood". 2019
E. Utenkova-Tikhonova. Rodina Cinema. 2022
S. Agroskin. Without a name. 2022
S. Agroskin. Void 9. 2020
S. Kazakov-Podkin. Hero of the roads. 2022
S. Kazakov-Podkin. Dead end. 2021
S. Miroshnikov. The white way. 2017