Articles
Annotation to personal
exposition of 1981
Of Completion and
Incompleteness
Short annotation to personal
exposition of 1992
Two spaces
On sacrifice
Ethics of beautiful
Contest design for Rekolle
International Workshop, 2005
  1. Avant-garde today
  2. Humanized space
Ability To Bring Light
Movement of the Diagonal
Artistic Credo
Articles by Other Authors
Fragments of article by O. Kostina
Fragments of article by S. Serova
Commentary to Model Monument to
Russian Philosopher V. S. Solovyov
Fragments of article by V. Perfilyev
Thinking about time. I. Svetlov
Spiritual Anxiety
Mystery of Art. S. Orlov
Master. V. Maloletkov
Academy of Arts Is Presenting
Ksenia Karpova
Mystery of Art. L. Yevdokimova
 
Eternal Path. 1980. Bronze, granite, h 80 m.
 
MYSTERY. 1997 1998.
Hunnebostrand, Sweden. Granite, height 320 cm
ANNOTATION FOR PERSONAL EXPOSITION OF 1981

Every art has its own tasks in the spiritual life of man. If we should understand sculpture as one of the manifestations of human activity, the sense of which consists in active spiritualization of cosmos by the creation of moral values, then we may understand the task of sculpture as revelation of the truth from the side of its plastic, spatial manifestation, as the experience of creation and self-creation of life penetrated with intellect.

In the plastic this experience has its historic development in the form of gradual spiritual enrichment of image and of our idea of space and weight proportions.

The idea may seem paradoxical if we remember the lofty predestination and the irresistible fascination of the art of the antiquity. However, if we compare the beauty of the ancient Greek sculpture, not laden with doubts, against the lucid readiness for self-sacrifice in the images of Andrey Rublev, then, I should think, the latter will prove closer to us.

Likewise, a more attentive look at the forms of the spatial existence of the plastic of the past cultures reveals to us a picture of gradual departure from the exclusively planar two-dimensional depiction in the direction of a more active reclaiming of the physical space by our ability to imagine. One can illustrate this process with a certain degree of approximation by the following graph: cave drawing relief the round sculpture.

We must make a provision at the very beginning the enrichment of our idea of space should be understood as appearance of new forms of depiction. It would not be right to consider the modern realistic drawing as formally more highly artistic by comparison to the cave drawings, nor to give preference to the architectonics and the modeling of figure in the modern sculpture before the sculpture of the antiquity.

When a form of art is born, it comes to fruition fast, and subsequently inside it there may only be more or less fortunate repetitions. We cannot rival the ancient people in the forms that were born by their times. The experience of the past schools forms a school, a tradition, which allows an artist to repeat the path of the art in his personal development, necessary to provide for organic character of his self-contained creative activity.

When speaking about the development of our spatial conceptions, I mean in the first place the development of the spatial compositional thinking. Thus, it was not at once that relief acquired its developed third dimension, and the round sculpture remained for a long time frontally oriented (the Archaic type). The rich compositional thinking of the Greeks was two-dimensional as a matter of principle. The Roman art and the Gothic art, while developing the notion of spiritual space, were formally closer to the Archaic art than to the art of the antiquity during the time of its efflorescence.

The Renaissance in the person of Michelangelo made the next step along the road of the enrichment of our spatial thinking. Nevertheless, Delacroix already thought it possible to describe Michelangelo as a painter rather than a sculptor, because the majority of his compositions are calculated for the frontal viewpoint only.

The first protuberant attempt of realizing a developed compositional action in the three-dimensional space was made by Au. Rodin in his composition The Citizens of Calais. However, the plastic unity of that sculptural group has remained unrealized, nevertheless.

It was only in the art of the early- and mid-20-th century that it became possible to make a decisive step in the direction of developing the three-dimensional compositional thinking, albeit at the price of certain dehumanization of art. Such experience must have been necessary.

The penetration of the problem of time as the forth dimension into the compositional thinking of the artist, who takes the process of becoming as something wholesome, is taking place before our very eyes. It is precisely the nature of the space in which occurs the compositional action, that determines the type of the spatial compositional thinking of the artist, as realized by him in any particular piece of art. I think that one of the main tasks of the present-day plastic consists in returning the humanistic content to the composition holding firm all the achievements of the spatial thinking of the contemporary art.

Adequate artistic expression of the image, of the idea in the contemporary art, is impossible without mastering the spiritual and plastic culture which has been accumulated by humanity by the moment at which the particular piece of art is being created. I feel the desire to express in my compositions spatially the themes and the plastic principles which we find in the old Russian painting. I am stricken in it by the combination of the depth of the image and the absolute feeling of composition. It seems to me that this combination is anything but incidental. It finds its strongest expression in the icon of the 14-th 15-th centuries. I consider the contemporary expression of the classical theme precisely as the theme about the modern times. Close to my heart also is the plastic of the sculpture by A. Matveyev. In its mood, It goes with its roots into the art of the Old Rus.

The acquisition of humanity by the contemporary sculptural composition, on the Russian ground, implies, it seems to me, an organic fusion of the plastic, close in its spirit to the art of the early Matveyev, with the experience of the spatial compositional thinking of the latest times.

Valery Yevdokimov
1981