Frolov Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by a Ukrainian artist Anatoly Gankevich, whose oeuvre is well-known among Russian art connoisseurs. His artworks have been exposed at various exhibitions and art fairs in Moscow, participated in the contemporary art auctions. This time the exposition will showcase 10 works from the recent artist’s project “Inflorescence”. The paintings in this project, as Anatoly Gankevich puts it, are an attempt to combine fine light Japanese engraving on snow white paper with Western European heavy, brutal mosaic panels - ink and smalt, delicate paper and rough cement. However, Inflorescence does not refer directly to Japanese engraving. The only Japanese element here is the attitude towards art. “In Japanese art the supreme beauty is something that makes a person retire in to the background and disappear.”
The basis of the exposition is ten large-format paintings created in an original technique which the artist has been using since the early 1990s. Applying the traditional painting methods and impasto, Anatoly Gankevich is able to imitate the effect of mosaic on canvas. The complex play of the surface texture of the works together with the delicate monochrome, the compositional completeness of the canvases and the lyrical unexpectedness of the subjects allow the artist to bring together several cultural and aesthetic paradigms. Ancient mosaic, Japanese engraving and the typical irony of contemporary art not only do not come into a conflict on Gankevich’s canvases but organically complement each other.
FORGETTABLE NOVELTY by Anatoly Gankevich
“Initially, I did not plan any annotation for this project.
I wanted to leave instrumental reflections behind and immerse myself into the observed. I willed to see and feel simple things that exist only for themselves, like the objects of inner value. Any expression of this idea in words is insufficient for me, therefore I will try to convey as modestly as possible only the fundamental thoughts.
At the beginning an innocent childish simplicity was the fundamental feature of the project. Later on I wished to use something evident that is on the surface. I was looking for an ordinary, pure and at the same time genuine, deep image. I saw an everyday view from the window, a street view, without people or surroundings. Anyone who has a camera can capture this angle. Ordinariness is nothing. But this Nothing, as we know, can become whatever you mean. For instance, a living mystery, a fractal system (every large pattern repeats the small patterns that compose the first one) which takes the form of a chaotic drawing and a composition of branches and flowers.
I guess everyone is familiar with the emotional effect of seeing the first spring flowers on the trees. One sunny spring morning you go out and see everything blossoming. It seems that spring and the “flowers wedding” are painfully familiar to you. However, you experience this feeling anew, like a joy out of a new blank sheet of paper. You know this happens once a year but you rejoice at the blissful feeling of novelty that occurs every time and which we constantly forget about.
In blossoming trees, first of all, I see an imitation (one of the human instincts), a copying, a birth of the new. Flowering is a spring, sexual time that excites us on a relic level. It is an amorous feeling, an explosion of desires that all creatures undergo year after year, though the effect is identically-new every next time.
So, at that moment, I decided, “Let the flowers bloom!”. This way the feeling of novelty appeared on these canvases.”
The curators of the exhibition: Lev Nesterov-Rappoport, Zarina Taytz.
Anatoly Gankevich was born in Odessa on the 24th of August, 1965. His artworks are displayed in the collections of the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; the National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kiev; in private and corporate collections.