The artwork of Andrey Uvarov attempts to unravel the mystery of the city under the grey sky. He draws and paints the cityscapes familiar to him from his earliest childhood. These are objects that one may call typical for Petersburg. They are dirty, closed courtyards surrounded on every side by high buildings, blind walls without windows and fire ladders. Leningrad is his native city, where he was born in 1964. Uvarov’s artistic biography is typical for a Leningrad child fond of drawing. He studied in an art school, and after that worked as a restorer, attending lectures on history of the arts in the Academy of Arts simultaneously. Since 1985 he has taken part in exhibitions and become a member of the art group Stariy Gorod (meaning Old City) which includes artists of various styles, such as those who explore the city’s myths or details of the Petersburg landscapes in their works.
Uninhabited, dark cityscapes by Uvarov bring the viewer back to the Leningrad of perestroika or to the gloomy Petersburg of Dostoyevsky. The artist himself reminds one of a literary character — a permanent student who is always in a hurry, one who appears all of a sudden from around a corner, dressed in black, with persistent eyes looking from under a mop of coal-black hair.
In his cityscapes, the artist follows the established tradition that celebrates the remarkable Nordic light, scarce plants of cavernous courtyards and the dirty colours of walls. Uvarov’s works reveal his inclination towards the graphics by the society known as Mir Iskusstva and painting by the artists from the circle of Arefyev.
Uvarov’s painting Full Moon (the Neva) demonstrates a romantic interpretation of a city legend that is not characteristic for the artist. The author doesn’t use his usual colour palette in order to paint a metaphysical scene. He paints in monochrome, with smooth brushstrokes of oil paint.
We see the Neva embodied in the image of a beautiful nymph. The calm and majestic Neva carries its heavy lead-like waters to the Gulf of Finland and they reflect the houses and churches of the city. The Neva excited by the full moon is likely to descend the pedestal of a Rostral Column, because the sculptures at their bases are allegorical of rivers.show