The Symphony of Colour
13 March – 7 April 2019
St. Petersburg public know Ashot Khachatryan as a participant of numerous exhibitions including his personal ones. His works are portraits, landscapes and still-lifes, plus experiments with abstractions. The present exhibition, a jubilee one, has a specific conceptual and artistic perspective. The exhibition is devoted mainly to genre and landscape painting, mostly Armenian motifs which is the core of Khachatryan’s art. Skillfully done are mountains, trees, houses, mud huts and Early Christian churches, all of these representing the uniqueness of the artist’s home country during the blossoming spring, red-leaf autumn and hot summer-time. Normally. Khachatryan’s motifs do not have references to any definite localities; the world he creates, or recreates, both real and imaginative, is animated by the presence human characters, e.g. women appearing in doorways, walking along buildings, talking or enwrapped in thoughts. At times, it seems that their existence does not have a time dimension, like that of the mountains and dwellings as ancient. Such is Ashot Khachatryan’s perception of Armenia, which he recreates in his own poetic way, cf. From Century to Century (1993), Twilight. Armenian Village (1993), Geghard Monastery (1993), Two on he Roof (1997) and Khachkared House. Memory (2002). The recurrence of motifs (flowers, trees and mountains, or spring, summer, autumn and winter), does not result in monotony, expressing different aspects of human experience, rather than fixation of facts. Khachatyan’s most important expressive medium is color; it is the basis of all his compositions and their expressiveness, as well as part and parcel of their meaning. Each of the artist’s solutions is characterized by congruity, as well as dynamics and freedom of execution; in each of these, he is able to convey, without compulsion and coercion, the multidimensionality of the space placed on the plane of the canvas. The pastosity peculiar to the artist style manifests itself in the handling of figures and objects; in combination with the color it produces the effect of time compressed, as it were, and mixed with philosophical musing.
The exhibition representing both the paintings produced in the past five years and the older works discloses the various aspects of Ashot Khahcatyan’s talent, at the same time showing him to be a pure souled person, always ready to appreciate the beauty of the world around him and the memories of the past it preserves.
The Song of Songs
Painting and graphic works
13 March — 7 April 2019
Boris Zinkevich belongs to the generation of artists who came into sight in the 1980s. The new style manifested itself, first and foremost, in the specific vision of the world and the bold handling of the themes depicted. Zinkevich’s art is characterized by picturesque lambency combined with naive sincerity. Typical of his works are romantic impetuousness and lyricism. His love of allegories imbue his works with touching reverie.
Zinkevich’s works include paintings, drawings and mosaics. The subjects of his compositions are invariably a ‘He’ and a ‘She’. These are stories of men and women, and the history of their relationship since the time of Adam and Eve, their coming together and breaking, as well as their desires, both overt and secret. Zinkevich’s characters are exceptionally charismatic; they know no grief and disappointment, only the joy of meetings and being together. They are the embodiment of dreams, visions, mirages and striving for love, cf. Taming of Shrews (1996), Small Fishermen and a Big Mermaid (1996), The Night of St. John (1996), Adam and Eve (1998), Woman’s Pleasantry (1999), Embrace (2007) and Bohemians (2010). Mermaids, in the sea or air, luring sailors into their nets, Amazons taming strong men, sirens singing in the garden of the Paradise, ladies and cavaliers in their sensible world –all are immersed in joyful reality of color and light. Their playful jocosity add to Zinkevich’s works natural harmony alien to unreserved eroticism.
The exhibition, both intimate and emotional in nature, includes works preserved in the Museum and the author’s collection.
Paintings and drawings
15 March — 7 April 2019
The work of Yuri Mevedev (born, 1939), the artist of St. Petersburg ‘Underground’, participant of the famous exhibition of non-official art at the ‘Nevsky’ House of Culture (1975), is imbued with civic motifs, reflecting to-day’s life of a big city.
The works from the 1990s to the present day, shown at the exhibition continue and develop the themes that had formed themselves by 1980s. In some form of other, they all demonstrate an individual reduced to an anecdotal character who has to exist under the inhuman conditions of collective life imposed upon him or her, in communal apartments, hospital wards and subways. Medvedev sympathizes with those who are doomed to struggle for living space, with his characters who, in spite of this, retain their vitality, which make them endure pain, fear, joy and suffering. Unlike the inhabitants of ‘communal apartments’, the characters of Medvedev’s Asiatic works are absolutely organic, so is their everyday life with its melodious oriental commotion regulated by ancient rituals.
The technique the artist uses to covey his vision of the world is grotesque, bright contrastive colors permeating the intricate compositions.
The exhibition includes over 100 works created during fifty-years’ period.
Medvedev’s works are in the collections of the State Russian Museum, The Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21st Century Art, Fedor Dostoyevsky Literary and Memorial Museum. and the State Museum of City Sculpture (St. Petersburg), Vyborg Museum-Reserve, the Museums of Local Lore of the Province of Tver and the Province of Tula, Stepan Erzya Museum of Arts of the Republic of Mordovia (Saransk) and Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, USA), and in private collection in and outside Russia.