Boris Golovachyov
The Union of Earth and Water

17 November 2023 — 21 January 2024
  • Boris Golovachyov. The Union of Earth and Water

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art presented an exhibition by Boris Golovachyov exploring the clash between the forces of nature and science

  • Analytical study of classical masterpieces that evolved into an independent and unconventional art practice

  • A gripping expression of the artist’s concerns about our civilisation

  • More than 20 timeless and instantly recognisable scenes


The union of earth and water is perhaps the definitive factor in sustaining the rich diversity of life forms that sets our planet apart from the vast array of other cosmic bodies.

Human activity, however, has turned this union of elements into something more of a bitter rivalry. Many scientists believe that all life on the planet will inevitably vanish, for all the awareness of humans – from the zealous Swedish schoolgirl to Nobel laureates and other luminaries – of the disastrous consequences that the current ‘development’ trajectory of our civilisation may lead to. Like some giant monster, civilisation is complex and full of inertia. While scholars have long since been warning us of the perils of blind worship of science, society at large treats this problem rather calmly, or, to be more accurate, indifferently.

What, then, can the artist do? By voicing his stance on the matter, he, even if unconsciously, urges us to ‘give peace a chance,’ to put it in John Lennon’s words. Some might say that an exhibition of this scale is not significant enough to trigger such reflections. Keep in mind, however, Kozma Prutkov’s immortal wisdom: ‘Throwing pebbles into the water, look at the ripples they form on the surface. Otherwise this activity will be an empty amusement.’

about the artist

Boris Golovachyov was born in Leningrad in 1939. After graduating from the Leningrad Vera Mukhina Higher School of Art and Design with a degree in Monumental and Decorative Painting in 1970, he worked for the Arts and Crafts Centre of the Art Foundation of the RSFSR, creating a series of architectural murals in various media, while simultaneously teaching at a number of art schools. In the 1960s–70s, Golovachyov was associated with Grigory Dlugach’s artistic collective known as the Hermitage group.

Boris Golovachyov is a member of the Artists’ Union of Russia and the St. Petersburg Creative Union of Artists (IFA).

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