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статьиExpressionism: The aesthetics of marginal art in 20th century Russia

Artists of the avant-garde era recognized action as an idiom. This idiom cannot be created or invented, though the world of new art forms has seen quite a few inventors. The idiom of action is the very emergence of the artist. It is the only way to know the world and to be present in it. That is why this idiom produces perplexity, dismay, disconnectedness and screaming. Edward Munch’s best known painting (1893) is, in fact, entitled “The Scream”. This word became the symbol of the era. A scream arises from the fear of non-existence. Stemming from this fear are feelings of powerlessness and inadequacy, a realization of the insufficiency of one’s language, and a quest for new methods of recognizing art, inquiring about it and engaging it in dialogue using a new language. The artist does not know what forms will arise out of this dialogue. He does not even know what will become of himself.

Зозуля Г.С. "Два грузчика" 1924

Art is never content to possess itself alone. This is why each artist develops through his personal experience and attains a state of consciousness in which he realizes that the limitation of his idiom is, in fact, identical with his own limitation and mortality. The same realization occurs in historic schools and styles of art. This mortality, however, does not imply the cessation of existence. The practice of art constantly aspires to a more perfect realization, and thereby becomes more and more open. The language of producing art opens itself up to the entire corpus of this language and strives to gather its building blocks from there. That is, the composition of a certain piece of art is impacted by all the blocks, units, and elements of the vast art apparatus, and thus is keenly aware of the instability of its identity. As Arnold Scho.nberg said, “One needs to treat a work of art just like one treats any organism that is a whole. It is so uniform in its interrelationships that any one of its components contains the true inner meaning of the whole. Just like in the human body, whatever place you pierce, you get the same result – blood flow.” [7]

Expressionism has to do with the limits of preserving an individual together with his consciousness of self and his ability to comprehend and feel. It is the artist’s practice of telling his personal experience via his materials and assembling the pieces of his identity in order to draw near to its boundaries, to death itself.

The artist discovers the insecurity of an existence in which there is very little assurance of the value of the existence of the present “ego”.

Expressionism is the attempt to become aware of the boundaries of the current state of art, which have become the artist’s personal concern.

Expressionism is the attempt to become aware of the marginal state of art style, history, the artist, and far more importantly, the language which people use to speak about art today.

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