Twilight state

18 November - 12 December 2011

Biology, the shameful flip side of a spiritual being, fascinates Shvetsov with its inescapable unsightliness and inevitability; and there may be some parallels with necro-romantic thanatology and the ‘screwyou’ contemptuous curiosity of the Necrorealists to the same theme. However, they were more fascinated by death, by its stupidity and simultaneous sophistication. Shvetsov also stiffens at the harsh irreversibility and sophistication of life, that is ready to take any form and therefore is formless, or perhaps easier to say without form because the variety of forms here is incalculable. Visible forms, commonly understood notions of beauty and the rest are only a pitiful cover for something real or authentic; like Akunin’s Decorator, Petr in his latest exhibition for Anna Nova is engaged in evisceration. He has staged a slaughter to match those of Snyders or Feit. It seems he was blowing off steam.

Constantine Agunovich, "Afisha", December 5, 2011


In his new project Petr Shvetsov researches the phenomena of the twilight zone through presenting himself as the main character of his creative works, which represent neurotic states of his mind, while avoiding it becoming a pure medical record. Material and texture are the key words for understanding this project. The surface of the canvases is a battle field; the hacked up flesh recalls Snyders and Konchalovsky and in the shuddering texture of meat there’s a similarity with Chaim Soutine, Francis Bacon and Anselm Kiefer. The canvas is literally covered with blood and its abundance seems to be excessive. The dead come alive by virtue of the precious substance of paint. ‘I live in constant fear — says the artist — life is passing me by, you have to do something every second’ Activity is our only salvation. ‘We live in the world of death — death makes my blood boil’ (Velimir Khlebnikov). The thick, moving texture creates an effect of constant excitation and anxiety.

Gleb Ershov, exhibition curato