with him who, in addition to professional mastery
and skill drill, has a plasticity idea.
It is actually
presence of this idea that allows one to speak
about sculptor’s individuality, his ability
to create works that are remembered.
It is not a
narrowly understood preconceived topical idea,
but a plasticity idea which may be interpreted
in figurative or abstract forms, may be embodied
in anthropomorphous objects, may find realization
in thematic compositions or may tend toward
Sculptor Valery Yevdokimov belongs to those
in possession of such an idea of plasticity.
I do not wish
to sound profane with regard to the artist,
but the theme of his work it is not of great
importance to V. Yevdokimov, be it «A Family»(
1977), «A Concert of S. Richter» (1979), «Landscape.
Therapontovo» (1979), or «Ascension», «Dream»
(1985), or «Contemplation» (1988).
For the foundation
of his creative method is determined, as he
says, ‘by the premonition of the inevitability
of occurrence. This premonition comes around
…during the making of the piece…this is a feeling
of purification, transition into the world of
free development of form and of mysteriously
attractive space.’ And this is underlain, sometimes
at the level of subconsciousness, by a plasticity
It is noteworthy
that the sculptor deems it necessary to add:
«The absolute dimensions of plasticity are of
no significance here.
And the subject matter is good in as much as
it helps to perform the association with this
quality of being becomes the real content of
a piece of sculpture or of a drawing.
It is this
that renders the real depth to the theme and
determines artist’s place both in the artistic
and in the spiritual hierarchy.
For the depth
of the image is unattainable without penetration
into the liberating and healing world of form,
without the feeling of transcendentality of
space in composition and its details.
Hence connection between ethical and esthetical».
of forms in his «A Family» with the planimetric
section of figures, as if being thrown away
from the center by a shock wave and falling
down from the horizontally shifted supporting
platform – represents a demonstrative allegory
of human division, a symbol of the tragedy of
decomposition of the generalized formula of
dynamics of masses in this work, and Yevdokomov's
favored play on the diagonal in the composition,
suffice it to recall his «Ascension» (1980),
«Soul and Body» (1975), «In Memoriam of A. Rublev»
(1982), «Metamorphosis» (1987), and other works
with their active dynamics of diagonal structure,
serve as fine demonstration of the essential
properties of the sculptor’s idea of plasticity.
meaning of the titles of a number V. Yevdokimov’s
works represents not only a due to time, artist’s
internal spiritual searching and emotionally
experienced moments of human existence, but
also an attempt to co-relate the ‘internal sense
of form and space’ with the search for ‘the
same state of the image that is close to your
…in his best
works, like «Music Concert by S. Richter», the
subtraction of mass from space is not only justified,
but carries also a powerful load of meaning.
It is worthwhile
to pay attention to one particular aspect. In
compositions where masses overwhelm space –
«A Date» (1982), «Cathedral» (1979), «Boys»
(1983), «Dream» (1985) - V. Yevdokimov succeeds
in subduing space and making it «speaking» and
elastic. The same goal is also achieved through
the rhythmic of volumes, the intricately balanced
masses, and the dynamic composition of the work,
verging on the edge of what is permissible in
It seems that
in this case the effect is reached due to the
genetically typical feature of Russian sculptural
traditions where the primacy of volume, mass
and their architectonics have reigned supreme
for many decades, were inculcated by the school
and were proven with individual examples.
This must be
the reason due to which V. Yevdokimov’s works
which gravitate to more traditional plasticity
– nude sketches and «Contemplation» (1988),
«Latona» (1979), «Sleep» (1988), «Joan» (1989)
– look as more accomplished, plastically wholesome
and emotionally penetrating.
We see in them
less of the rational beginning, less of intellectual
preconception. They are more direct in senses,
in the feeling of life. So space that envelopes
form, ductile and elastic, enters the composition
naturally, is felt unobtrusively, and interacts
with mass and volume naturally too.
compositions by V. Yevdokimov -- «Memory» (1988,
granite), «Pieta» (1991, chamotte), «Eternal
Path» (1995, marble) - represent yet another
line in this sculptor’s creative work.
styling, his characteristic diagonal composition,
the certain decorative nature of the generalized
forms, offset by folds-cuttings in some cases
and by the rigid rhythm of geometrical forms
in other cases, create capacious and internally
expressive images where potential complexity
of form combinations finds its logical resolution
in the semantic context of the works.
Among V. Yevdokimov’s
portraits we must point out to the concentrated
ecstasy of the portrait of «Lyuba» (1989) where
the density of the plastic modeling of the head
is offset by the impressionist strokes of the
dress, and the portrait of «D. Galkovskiy» (1985)
with its characteristic contour of the well
modeled head, the rarely expressive cut of the
bust and the precisely rendered psychological
V. Yevdokimov’s drawings
(sanguine, sepia) make a separate page in his
creative biography. Going beyond the frameworks
of preparatory studies as sculptor’s auxiliary
material, they become valuable in themselves
as accomplished pieces of art. The artist continues
in his drawings to follow the principle of combining
figure fragments in their dynamic juxtaposing
and creates the visual image of beauty of female
body, captured in time phases, finding in the
elaborate twists and contours the perfection
of forms and lines, the eternal alterability
which can only become frozen in a stroke drawn
on a sheet of paper.