A Pack of Malingerers

26 April - 13 July 2019

For Alexander Dashevskiy, this project is not only an opportunity to tell about the vicissitudes of the work of a modern painter, but also an attempt to correlate restrained, serious, anti-narrative works from his own past with the incidents that cause his new heroes and painting

A Pack of Malingerers exhibition is a personal project of the artist Alexander Dashevsky, who has been working with Anna Nova gallery for over ten years.

 

The exposition appears to be an ironical biopic about Alexander’s artistic practice. New project A Pack of Malingerers follows the previous series Partial Losses (2013) The Fallen and the Dropped Out (2016) and becomes the third episode of the thrilling story about painting genre mutations emerged during the artists’s working process.

 

Easel figurative painting on the territory of contemporary art is always under suspicion. Is it not broadcasting a politically conservative agenda? Doesn't its mimetic nature help to discourage the viewer, accustoming him to passive contemplation, enjoyment of mesmerizing resemblance? Doesn't it fit too easily into the interior, indulging the tastes of collectors? Filed in poster form, such questions can be grinning or annoying. However, anyone who cares about this way of doing art uses them to crystallize their understanding of painting. In recent years Dashevskiy has been trying to solve them through the invention of new formats of the picture itself: he makes stretchers of irregular shapes, setting the figures free from the background, breaks the image into fragments, implying that they, like living beings, can grow, change their configuration, or add to the painted work a shadow, so that the principles of mimesis argue with the laws of physics.

 

In A Pack of Malingerers  project, he populates the exhibition space with numerous characters: cowboys, art critics, zombies, spectators. Each of them is a separate picture-figure, reminiscent of a hard poster from a movie theater. Dashevskiy's malingerers are pictorial copies of heroes invented by him. From the interaction with them the story of his glorious, defiantly cheerful, obviously doomed to failure, absurdly utopian campaign for the liberation of painting is formed. The artist includes several works from past projects in the exhibition so that new paintings can evaluate the old ones, or at least depict it.