Latif Kazbekov 

The Texture Of Life

26 July — 11 August 2019

Latif Kazbekov is a well-known figure in the cultural space of St. Petersburg. Born in Kazakhstan 65 years ago, he studied at an art school in Almaty and continued his education in Leningrad to become an extremely productive artist. He took part in very many exhibitions, both personal and group one, in Russia and abroad. His works are in the State Russian Museum, the Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21-century Art, the Erarta Museum of Modern Art, etc. His achievements in the realm of book illustration have brought him a number of contest awards.

The present exhibition coincides with the artist’s 65th birthday. Here, Latif Kazbekov appears before us with his stylistically recognizable large-scale graphic works of handmade paper. White sheets with figurative compositions are beyond the limits of graphic art. Rather, they tend to be perceived as low-relief frieze compositions, where compressed paper with layers of volumes form textural matter conveying the contour and details that imbue the forms with movement.

The organic composition of the materials (linen, cotton, algae or cellulose) of which the paper is made affects the structure, colour and plasticity of the material. In Kazbekov’s hands, it turns into a pliable mass, which is masterly lined up on a plane into the images of people, animals or simple geometric figures. The shapes and space acquire tenseness and architectural depth, while the scene unfolding before our eyes become transformed into a magical action frozen in the eternity.

As skillfully, Kazbekov expresses himself in watercolors, also on hand-moulded paper. Here, instead of three-dimensional masses, he creates ‘deepenings’ that destroy, as it were, the surface tissue. The hard brush become embedded, literally, in the structure of the paper; as a result, color acquires density and saturation not typical of watercolor. The paint penetrates into the fibers and becomes absorbed by the material, accentuating the finest details of granular planes and generating amazing artistic effects, as well as unusual transitions of textures, from velvety pulsations to roughly porous.

The exhibition will feature about ninety works, including drawings, watercolors, and illustrations.

Alexey Talashchuk

The Age of the Sixth Sun 

26 July — 11 August 2019

Museum of St. Petersburg 20th- and 21st-Century Art presents an exhibition of works by the well-known St. Petersburg artist Alexey Talashchuk.

Drawing inspiration from old icons and frescoes, he created an unreal world, sometimes more convincing and profound than the visible reality, with the images meaningful and significant. The desire to reveal the hidden truth resulted in the associative and allegorical reinterpretation of biblical motifs, as well as oriental ones and those related to the cultural heritage India, Europe and South America. Hence the name of the exhibition, The Age of the Sixth Sun. This is how the artist perceives the flow of time and this is how he sees it in his works, in which the prophetic theme of the road emerges as a symbol of eternal search. It is for this reason that his works invariably leave a feeling of some mysterious joy.

Talashchuk’s artistic language, whatever technique he employs, is characterized by clarity of form, harmony of color and musicality of lines. In drawing, he prefers large sheets of paper, abundantly wetted, with colored lining; he combines pastels and watercolor, gradually compacting the surface, increasing the color intensity. The same color saturation is typical of his paintings, based on accurate and expressive drawing and extreme generalization of forms creating the impression of three-dimensionality. In his enamels, drawing is even more pronounced than in canvases. The artist always achieves a solution that can accentuate the quality of enamel as a precious material, reveal its inherent qualities, brilliance, colorful depth and tonal variability.  To do this, he uses such techniques as punching, etching, forging, welding and patination.

The works by Alexey Talashchuk, regardless of the particular art form in each of these, are characterized by subtle visual aesthetics based on a harmonious combination of exquisite ornamentation and associative imagery.

The exhibition, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the artist, includes more than fifty watercolors, enamels and paintings, created in different years and giving an exhaustive picture of his creative manner.

Vladimir Sokolov

Portrait Suites

26 July — 11 August 2019

The Portrait Suites is an exhibition of Vladimir Sokolov dedicated to his 110th birthday. Painter, graphic artist, and poster artist, Vladimir Sokolov worked all his life in Leningrad, traveling around the country and the world and creating works based on his observations. He devoted his work, once and for all, to the struggle for peace and humanity. Being in Leningrad during the Siege, he created portraits of the defenders of the city, the heroes of the Great Patriotic War and home front workers, and devoted much time to propaganda posters. It was at that time that Sokolov created his first large thematic series They Need Peace. The ten post-War years the artist dedicated to the Youth of the Planet cycle. The heroes of his works were representatives of peoples from all over the world, the USSR, the USA, India, South Africa, Iran, Germany, Canada, Great Britain. Throughout his career, Vladimir Sokolov sought to draw people’s attention to the inadmissibility of violence and war, and to the struggle for human rights and peace in the world. These appeals, dictated by sincere feelings, he expressed in emotionally rich images of world-famous personalities, such as Pablo Neruda, Che Guevara, Anna Seghers and many others. Combining the professional skills of a poster artist and a painter, and showing human sensitivity to the characters and moods of the heroes, the artist created his own portrait gallery, which turned into a kind of traveling exhibition and became his trademark.

Vladimir Sokolov’s works use the unusual technique of lithomonotype (lithography and monotype). The master made lithographic prints on wood and painted them with tempera, coal or felt-tip pens; this adds to the works a special flavor and the feeling of ‘living presence’.

In addition to lithomonotypes, the exhibition features a video installation that makes the viewer feel him or herself in the atmosphere of the time in which Vladimir Sokolov lived and worked. The viewer sees rallies, processions, demonstrations and festivals of the 1960s and 1970s that, besides being illustration of the entire epoch in question, reflect the active civic position of people all over the world and their adherence existence with a peaceful sky above their heads,

Vladimir Sokolov’s works are in the collections of the State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg, the Library of the Russian Academy of Arts and the State Russian Museum. The exhibition will feature over thirty outstanding works of the master from the collection of the author’s friend, Alexander Ivanovich Yevseev.