Art collector Irina Stolyarova presented in London new book about Russian art of XX and XXI centuries
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Art collector Irina Stolyarova presented in London new book about Russian art of XX and XXI centuries

25/01/2017
The book is focused on the work of Russian artists of several generations living both in Russia and in the West. Jules Pascin, Léon Zak, Serge Charchoune, Pierre Dmitrienko, André Lanskoy, Vladimir Yankilevsky, Francisco Infante-Arana, Oleg Tselkov, Semyon Faibisovich and Natasha Arendt are amoung these artists. Art News Portal published an article about the presentation. Art expret Irina Stolyarova represented in London new book about her collection – Flying in the Wake of Light . The collection is focused on the work of Russian artists of several generations living both in Russia and in the West. Jules Pascin, Léon Zak, Serge Charchoune, Pierre Dmitrienko, André Lanskoy, Vladimir Yankilevsky, Francisco Infante-Arana, Oleg Tselkov, Semyon Faibisovich and Natasha Arendt are amoung these artists. Book tells us about these artists and about historical periods of Russian art of XX and XXI centuries. John E. Bowlt wrote in his essay that the artists in the collection, disparate in aesthetic solutions, are united in their resistance to conformity, and in choosing different vocabularies to voice their responces offer commentaries on the universal questions of political infliction, cultural identity, and existential loneliness. Their paintings, spanning many decades, many styles and many subjects, now constitute a noble monument, not only to the supreme power of individual creative expression but also to the victory of artistic eternity over ideological transience”. Alexander Borovsky remarked that the émigré artists in the collection include those who worked in the early post-war decades, when many of them were expressing their individuality in an any entirely different way”. Alexander Rappaport published in his article: “Abstract paintings in the collection are admiringly self-contained, and even though one can talk of them ad infinitum, there's not really and need to. The works, nevertheless, provoke a conversation, a conversation that is very different from a museum guide's explanation or a philosophicaltreatise; it's a conversation where a painting is seen not in the context of a historic era, but in the context of the individual life of the artist as well as viewer”. John E. Bowlt added: “The painters represented in the collection of Irina Stoliarova document that alternative tradition, reminding us of the forthright vision, moral courage and artistic integrity of that counter-movement – and of the fact that, in order for any culture to withstand and survive the verdict of ages, it must retain intrinsic values which transcend the immediate social and political perimeters of its particular time and place. The spontaneity, artistry and mystery of this pictorial polyphony demonstrate that its creators possessed these constant values and that they did, indeed, move beyond their Soviet roots to become an organic part of the contemporary global process. In this respect, the Stoliarova collection is not merely a casual assemblage of various artifacts, but a single celebration of private initiative and the total freedom of aesthetic expression — “Freedom is freedom”, as the poet Vsevolod Nekrasov wrote. In other words, if, at first glance, the Stoliarova collection produces the impression of diversity and versatility, closer scrutiny reveals a common denominator of purpose, mission and message”. Art ctitic Andrei Navzorov visited the presentation and wrote: “I am fascinated with Stolyarova’s collection because, in this day and age, it takes immense intellectual courage to initiate anything at all with the intention of keeping it private. Today, individuals whose lives are truly private, who do things for their family and friends rather than for publicized charity and Instagram fame, are not only rare, they are socially suspect. Like the early Christians, they risk ostracism, if not persecution, as they pass their lives in virtual caves, hiding from the social media, the newspapers, and all other virulent agents of influence. This is something more than a figure of speech, come to think of it. The early Christians were also lifelong collectors, painstakingly collecting symbols expressive of their creed and exchanging them privately among themselves. A Russian émigré art critic says something similar in his introduction to Flying in the Wake of Light. Stolyarova’s collection, writes Alexander Rappaport, is a painting community that demonstrates a new way of life for works of art. If the twentieth century was a time for imperial and state museum collections, this century may be the time for private collections. That is not to say that large collections will lose their significance and their value. No, they have nothing to fear. But having acquired a dominant monopoly role in the art world and the art market, they necessarily enter the domain of mass culture and inevitably become trivialized. Their fate is akin to the fate of other large institutions – huge supermarkets, famous hotels, fashionable resorts and the like. Universal fame and accessibility of major museums make them by definition commonplace and banal in spite of all the unrivalled masterpieces within their walls. And, on the contrary, small provincial museums, private collections, little known artists become the new heroes, a new environment for sudden discoveries at a remove from media and advertising. To a critic unbound by the Western ideology of political correctness, elitism is not a baleful social tendency; it is a resurgent cultural trend, auguring manumission from the bondage of institutionalized art appreciation with its implied message of “culture for the people.” Who but a Russian of the Soviet epoch, forced since childhood to accept that slogan at face value, is free enough nowadays to draw such conclusions from the mere existence of a private art collection like Stolyarova’s?” READ MORE
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