Art Gallery «N-Prospect»

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Personal exhibition of Sergey Sovkov

Personal exhibition of Sergey Sovkov

Personal exhibition of Sergey Sovkov

16.05.2009 - 16.06.2009
Gallery «N-Prospect»
St. Petersburg

Sergey Sovkov managed to create a whole world of his talent in painting. The artist closely observes the circle of events and facts of our life. Sovkov interprets reality as the unity of plurality: the surface of his canvas is «built» of separate outlined strokes. This manner, close to the technique of «cloisonne», allows the artist to show all the richness of tones of visible spectrum and emphasize uniqueness of every touch of a brush. Thus, the most delicate transformations of color and shade are highlighted among the mixture of colors. Uncovering design composed, the painter coats a canvas with strokes of a palette knife. With the help of these artistic means, the author can depict not only Savior-on-Blood (for example, his «Temple»), but anything visible or imaginary. For better understanding of the method of creating a painting «piece-by-piece» it is enough to look at the «Self-portrait» — a picture inside the picture.

Any subject or situation, refracted in the eyes of S. Sovkov, becomes an original event, or even some kind of micro world. In his time, Michael Vrubel had also taken interest in such retrospection in subjects, facts and dreams, but in the art work of S. Sovkov it reached its heights. Similarity of his method to the art of stained glass helped some Italian artist to suggest a name for this style — «di vetro».

S. Sovkov is a brilliant graphic artist, who works with soft material and pastel. But still, his paintings are definitely worth saying. The painter pays great attention to a preliminary drawing. One can observe that his paintings, regardless of a divisionary manner, are always well balanced: inner structure and though out composition lines always form the basis of the work. Social theme — is one of the most important in the world-view of S. Sovkov, as well as in his art work. Thoughtful observer and philosopher of an everyday life, he finds his stories on the streets and in a cramped little flat, in a yard and on a staircase landing. Sketches of life of a modern society vividly illustrate the values of the 21st century. It is notable that the author brings the particle «not» in the names of his paintings. It serves a direct indication of denial of the former ideals of humanity, down to controversy with the Holy Scripture. Figurative titles of the works do not need additional commentaries: «Not the Holy Trinity», «Not the Last Supper», «Not a Penitent Maria», «Not the Mighty Handful», «Angels do not live here anymore».

For the artist, young generation became the main representative of «now and today». But his attitude is rather controversial: extremely unpleasant sides of life in such paintings as «Drug Addict» (or «Tomorrow doesn't come»), «Seagull», «Return of a Prodigal Son», are compensated with life-asserting power of other canvases — «Guys and Stars», «Day of the City», «On a Race». Range of colors as the best representative of an ideologic side of the works, varies from obscure and gloomy to vivid and optimistic. But if in «Girls» and «Smarty Pants» one can trace an irony or even sarcasm in the position of the author, in «Ето-girl» reflective and sad look of the model makes it difficult to judge her strictly. The painting «April» presents itself as a hymn of a modern youth: young man, who never parts with his earphones, holds a bouquet of roses in his hand — a sign that feelings and the ways of their expression stay the same at all the times. So, what can we judge this guy for? Thus, S. Sovkov becomes an objective illustrator of the «book of life». Indeed, young generation welcomes outrageous behavior and freethinking, denies rules and publicly neglects «fathers' holdovers», just like at times of Turgenev. Of course, their permissiveness goes too far sometimes, but it is their mistakes and experience. Still, this generation is not hopeless: it did not reject traditions, but reconsidered it, having brought its own values, giving society a new course of development. Why would we a priori criticize this proposed pathway? As a romantic soul, Sovkov renders the beauty that inspired all artists at all the times: perfection of natural forms and aesthetics of human body. It is amazing, how oppositely can one manner be aimed! Not less amazing is an expressiveness of the works of different genres. Flower compositions and landscapes of S. Sovkov are especially charming. Lots of separate brush strokes add velvetiness and volume to the flowers, and enrich with whispering tenderness every petal in such masterpieces as «White Peonies», «Blooming Mellow», «Three Sword Lilies», etc.

Another popular genre for the painter is nude, where the play of colors and light-and-shade reaches its peak. The technique of separate stroke accentuates the richness of the spectrum, accessible only for the eye of an artist («By the Sea», «Paul»).

As a poet and a creator, S. Sovkov brings into life paintings-allegories. Their images do not lose connection with figurative painting, but at the same time, possess some romantic hopefulness. The author reveals himself as an incomparable colorist in such works as «Love and Passion», «Secret Date», «Ruby Friday», «Dream Catcher».

For every creation Sovkov chooses its own degree of incommensurability with natural tones: from realistic smoothness to absolute ornamentality. Aside from its direst aesthetic function, the color is always a representative of a particular mood of the author. Diversity of genres in the creative work of S. Sovkov is the best evidence of the omnitude of his artistic manner.

Ekaterina Goudze

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