New paintings: Petr Shvetsov

22 February - 15 March 2014

Contemporary painting is usually characterized by dysgraphia. There must be something that prevents us from apprehension, the picture shouldn’t be self-identical. It is important for the artist to knock together the hand-made part of his work with an impersonal, often mechanical kind of power. Only after this does the sculptural become adequate. The painting is a remembrance of the painting and an anticipation of it. In Shvetsov’s case it is a prototype, a proto-picture. Forest, river, lake, clouds, mountains, animals, family portraits, children, a girl are the components of a sacred and well-used list. Mass culture has usurped and destroyed these images. However Shvetsov knows how to reanimate them — little boats on the river, a deer in the forest, thick-lipped beauties and boisterous children with something primeval and infernal about them. The paintings are covered with thick layers of yellowish varnish, the facial features appear to trickle down and eerie characters sink in a shoe polish background. The painting looks like a thing, a ritual objector a voodoo doll. Lumps, strata and splashes draw it back into a pre-aesthetic cult state. It is alright if an expressive blot covers three-quarters of a personage, he is still there, inside. Here it seems quite logical to stuff a painted bear with real fur. The insects stuck in varnish add material accuracy and magical properties to the scenery. Painting is a way of familiarization and appropriation.

Alexander Dashevsky