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статьиVasily Koroteyev

Vasily Koroteev. Landscape, 1926

Koroteev’s art comes close to the state about which Berdyaev said: “… I always understand art to be not the creation of cultural products but rather a shaking and upheaval of the entirety of human existence that is aimed at another, higher life, a new state of being. The creative experience reveals that the “I”, the subject, comes before and is higher than the “not-I,” the object. And yet, at the same time, art is opposed to egocentrism; it involves a forgetfulness of oneself, a striving towards that which is higher than me. The creative experience isn’t a reflection on one’s own imperfection, it is attentiveness to the transformation of the world, to the new sky and new earth that a person must prepare.” [5]

The second Way of Painting exhibit took place in Paris in late May and early June, 1928. The exhibition was put on at the Billiet gallery and included a complementary pamphlet. The opening article for the pamphlet was written by the French critic Waldemar George. In one of his letters, Robert Falk, who came to Paris in July of that same year, refers to him as a “very famous critic” (in 1929 Waldemar George also wrote an article in the pamphlet for Robert Falk’s first Parisian exhibition. His text, which was about Way of Painting, contains very interesting and accurate observations:

“The artists presented here, superficially at least, stand side by side with Monet and Sisley. True, their painting is not the precise fixation of a changeable aspect of nature, an effect of lighting, a distribution of color and form, an atmosphere that gives rise to a feeling of space. But by taking a step towards the realm of the tangible they turn to visual elements. Their dimensions are reduced to planes of color. The observable world as they perceive and interpret it is a world of interrelationships from halftones, a world that is not bound by anything and is not demarcated. These Russians want to disregard the constraints of the linear manner of painting, which requires that the artist limit the field of vision to given parameters. Their worldview is a pantheistic one where they believe in a confluence of all the elements. What is their end goal? They seek to return reality to this mental fabrication. Nature’s motifs provide the fundamental ideas for their artwork. Does this mean that they blindly copy nature? Of course not. The internal structure of their paintings is subject to its own laws. The world that they give us to enjoy is deeply, independently connected to perceptible reality. Outside phenomena cause these artists to experience various shades of emotion which make up the internal foundation of each painting.  But once a work is begun, the artist thinks only of the composition and structure of the painting in question. He plans out and arranges its depths. He organizes the registers in all keys. He presents us with the nature that was the primal source of his inspiration in an image that is its sculpted, poetic equivalent.” [6]


[5] — Berdyaev 11. L. Samoposnanie: opyt filosofskoy avtobiografii (Self-knowledge: An Experiment in Philosophical Autobiography) St. Petersburg: Azbuka-klassika Publishing House, 2007. Pg. 248

[6] — Exposition du Groupe de Moscou La Voie de La Peinture. Paris, 1928. Not paginated.

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