The Cultural Greenhouse. Exhibition by Mikhail Kazakovtsev
16 September 2017 — 30 October 2017
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Erarta Museum is proud to present an exhibition of art installations by Mikhail Kazakovtsev, one of the most prominent figures in Novosibirsk art scene

  • Three-dimensional “paintings”
  • Expressive abstraction in motion
  • The artist who comprehends the world through movement

“The more horrible this world, the more abstract our art, whereas a happy world brings forth an art of the here and now”, wrote Paul Klee in 1915. One hundred years later, Mikhail Kazakovtsev comes back to abstract painting. He puts the abstraction that over the century has become so familiar and understandable into a kind of cultural greenhouse. In the same way a child keeps his most precious treasures in a tin box, wishing to preserve them for good.

Basic geometric forms such as circles, rectangles and squares are given dimensions by the hand of Mikhail Kazakovtsev so that a modern viewer, long accustomed to movies and video games, could get a profound experience. Thus, the artist attempts to modernize the traditional flat picture, turning it into art installation.

Gaining the insight through movement is a recurring theme throughout Kazakovtsev’s work. From the very beginning, the artist was fascinated by the traffic flow of the city, and later the travel became another major subject of his paintings (“The other side of the sea” project is displayed on the floor 3 of Erarta Museum). Subsequently, the artist devoted himself to the expressive abstraction, which, in turn, gained even more motion in the spinning drums from the “Watch out for pauses” installation. 

The author continues to experiment with the conventional “picture” by combining the painting and the object in one cohesive piece of art. Arrival of cinema and animation breathed life into traditional European “oil painting”. It acquired three-dimensionality and was set in motion. The human eye, and therefore the brain, accustomed to the moving images in films, commercials and other media of such kind, gets bored looking at a static picture. That means that nowadays a painting is perceived differently, a person needs to invest more time and effort to comprehend it.  Reflecting on the phenomenon, Mikhail Kazakovtsev combined the format of a painting with volume and movement. The rotation of the drums akin to the shifting narration of a movie mesmerizes and entrances the viewer.

According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, spinning the prayer wheel (drum) embodies the very mechanism of reciting mantras written on the outside of the wheel. When rolling the wheel, a person goes into a trance-like state and thereby is able to talk it all out and clear subconscious.

In his exhibition, Mikhail Kazakovtsev unites magic and contemporary art, drawing a viewer in and making him a co-creator. The levitation of circles and squares and spinning of the drums create the new picture that reflects our collective unconscious. 

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