Friday, 13 August 2010

Enlightenment

ENLIGHTENMENT
Exhibition by Abhay Kumar at Selskaya Zhizhn Gallery
17th Jan-8thFeb 2010 

Paintings and drawings of Abhay Kumar return us to the avant-garde art of the early twentieth century. The artist plays with the themes and motifs of works by Kazimir Malevich and Mikhail Matiushin with home-made ingenuity. And, despite the fact that over the past decade, the legacy of the avant-garde has not inspired new experiments of even one generation of artists, works of Abhay Kumar make no repetitions. Without the tension and pathos he makes the simple open art, playing the odds, which is given to the followers of Henri Rousseau. Images of the classical avant-garde are included here in the hieroglyphic language that is not talking about artistic utopias of 1910-20 years, but the new project for the future. Abhay Kumar creates an allegory of planetary consciousness - emblems of the unity of the peoples. This is not propaganda agitation, but the characters suggested by the political reality of India – the Republic uniting dozens of different cultures. Petersburg tradition knows other artist, writer and diplomat, who dreamed of universal harmony - the Banner of Peace. In his landscapes, Nicholas Roerich synthesized elements of Buddhist and Hindu icons. Abhay Kumar draws images of spiritual unity, a futuristic reworking of figurative and suprematic motives. In St. Petersburg and Moscow, he blend in with the culture of high dilettantism that traces its origins in the work of Velimir Khlebnikov, OBERIU, Arefievsky circle and Lianozovo school.

A native of eastern India, a diplomat, writer and artist, he brings themes and subjects from different national and political traditions to independent art. His poetry and autobiography was published in English and in Russian translation. On the art scene Abhay Kumar debuts in role of the educator developing the characters of utopia. Without a doubt in the gallery "Rural Life" the ideas of planetary consciousness must be dreamed freely. The hospitable and cozy house, holding a fort in the center of promptly built Kolomyagy district - one of the most Russian places of the modern art of St. Petersburg. Around the bulky new buildings and uninhabited penthouses, post-Soviet skepticism and pragmatism of the new bourgeoisie reigns. With regard to the ideals of the Enlightenment, far from being realized, except universal literacy. And yet, outside of Russia they are still in force: a bright future, which is inspired by the artist, is India's true democratic socialism.
-Stanislav Savitsky

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