From the 24th to the 28th of August
Exhibition-sale of Ernst Neizvestny masterpieces Hall of the Congress Palace.
OF HALF ROBOT
w/ RAISED HAND (1960’s)
WITH DYING CENTAUR
OF LIFE: 20TH CENTURY
BULL (B III)
OF REVOLUTION (B VIII)
AND SLAVE (B IX)
Ernst Neizvestny calls himself a Gulliver meaning a person attracted by the extremes of the scale. It explains such number of fantastic creatures, giants, centaurs, hermaphrodites…
His first sculpture cycles were dedicated to the war. An officer paratrooper during the Second World war he fought in the Ukraine and saw himself lots of deaths; he saw men, women and children suffering, mourning their brothers and sisters, mutilated by modern means of war. By the end of the war his sub-unit freed convicts from fascist concentration camps. Badly wounded he escaped death by a miracle and was invalided out.
Early and latest works of Neizvestny are not the same: although he kept the leading themes, he enlarged them and the technical perfection offered by the West, lots of technical innovations and highly professional foundries in the United States opened new ways to this master, brought his creation to the peak, gave him opportunities to create the most elegant sculptures. When in the Soviet Union the artist’s mouldings were usually handmade, he often forming them on the inside; so that the work possessed rough and tough force, some kind of spontaneity which is absent in new works of Neizvestny.
His paintings and engravings produce deep and strong impression, the cornerstone of his world wide fame is still in is his stunning sculpture works.
The works of Neizvestny should be considered in their connotations with Russian culture and philosophy, forming a context owing to which they could be interpreted. Neizvestny both continues the traditions of Russian revolutionary avant-garde movement of the 20s and creates a new visual language with the means of his monumental art and a new type of synthesis. The core of this synthesis is a powerful alloy of different forms of nature – such as a human body – with various tools and technologies developing our feelings in what Ernst Neizvestny calls “the second nature” of the Man. And the brightest among these hybrids are the astonishing modern centaurs created by Neizvestny, half men half machines, walking with ease across his pictures and drawings, behaving as though the place belong to them in his vigorous sculptures.
The Centaur of Neizvestny incarnate the union of the past, of the present and of the future and is in itself a striking metaphor and a symbol of the modern civilization.
The Centaur of Neizvestny reminds us the antic culture, kingdom of myths and archetypes. A definition by Youri Tynianov fits quite well: Neizvestny is both an archaist and an innovator. He draws his inspiration in Egypt, India, China, Greece, Mexico old metaphysic cultures, giving to a creator an opportunity to be a part of a transcendental conception of the world. He uses hi-fi topics and tools, elaborating at the same time his own art. The aesthetics and the poetics of Ernst Neizvestny are dominated by “deformation”, “reception”, “junction” reveal his direct connection with the formal art movement of the 20s.
Producer Igor Beliaev, Honoured Art Worker of Russia