The group exhibition “GouacH2O” will run at Erarta from 20 May
Aleksandr Kosenkov. On the Spit. 2015. Gouache on paper
Aron Zinshtein. Walk in Nice. 2015. Gouache on paper
Evgenia Golant. At the bay. 2006. Gouache on paper
Inna Sklyarevskaya. Kryukov Channel. White night. 2006. Gouache on paper
Gouache, just like watercolors, is a fast-drying water-based paint which requires high skills, courage and virtuosity. In Russia, it is considered to be an original graphic art, and abroad it’s classified as painting.
Gouache technique has been known since the times of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mediterranean World. It was also widely used in the Middle Ages. The treasury of the world cultural heritage contains ancient Arab and Persian miniatures, the art of Mughal Empire and a lot more. The technique of gouache was appreciated by such great artists of the twentieth century as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and many others.
Nowadays, when the art market has notedly seized a large part of artistic life, gouache on paper becomes a sort of non-commercial art. Preference is usually given to oil paintings, tempera, and acrylic; at the same time the world of traditional pictorial techniques is being invaded by digital art and relative practices. Thus, gouache due to its democratic and low-budget nature has become a sphere of “pure” art, untouched by the market laws. And that is important. When artist is free from economical pragmatism, when he works with such inexpensive materials as gouache and paper, when he sincerely searches for expressiveness or naturally attains it, when the arm movement advances the thought and spontaneous creative energy “charges” the paper sheet, when the coloured water (H2O) naturally flows along the painting surface driven by gravitation, and the whole process is full of unpredictability — then there is a space for possibilities, discoveries, and the light breathing of art, which we tent to convey.
The exhibition selection primarily features the expressionistic and romanticist line, typical for St. Petersburg art of XX—XXI centuries. Eugenia Golant shows her worth a bright and impulsive gouache master. Light nostalgia shines through the timeless landscapes by Inna Sklyarevskaya. The main intonation here is declaration of love to the world. The philosophy and practice of joy, perception of life as a holiday, which is always around, “which is always with you”, are distinctively traced in works by Aron Zinshtein and Alexander Kosenkov. The festive, colourful and vigorously made paintings carry that vital power and brightness of impressions that sometimes are missing in the gray northern light of our 60th parallel.