“Atlantism in Armageddon”,
Personal exhibition “Atlantisn in Armageddon”, Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus. Objects and instalations
Vasiliy Vasiliev is a bright representative of the artistic Vitebsk, a city that to this day is influenced by the revolutionary avant-garde of 1920s (In 1919, Marc Chagall established Vitebsk People’s Art School, on the basis of which, in 1921, Kazimir Malevich, created UNOVIS that was joined by El Lissitzky, Nikolai Suetin, Ilya Chashnik, Lazar Markovic, and others). Since the 1960s, and till our time, many Vitebsk artists have been experimenting with an abstract form, and one of the most prominent of them is Vasiliy Vasiliev. Most of his pictorial and graphic artworks are dedicated to the examination of the phenomenon of “objectlessness”, and the main medium is sculpture and large-scale metallic installations. In his sculptures, one can trace the influence not only of Vitebsk avant-garde, but also of the conceptual art and arte-povera movement of 1960s. The artist often uses found objects and “poor” materials for his works: wood, metal, plastic, stone, earth, wax, etc. At the same time, he doesn’t use materials and objects with explicit meaning, superfluous symbolism, and worked out specifics as a matter of principle.
Many of his works show a strong influence of land art. The artist embeds his artworks into the natural landscapes, and, on the contrary, transfers the materials he found in nature into exhibition spaces. His artworks differ in form: from strictly minimalistic ones, on the border of “nothingness,” to complex and constructive geometric structure. Many critics think he belongs to Vitebsk school of abstract art, but his artworks stay apart and differ a lot from the other representatives of the “Vitebsk school” (for example, creative union “Kvadrat”). It largely has to do with the fact that Vasiliy Vasiliev overcomes a dogmatic dictate of clean compositions, forms and constructs, typical for purist abstractionism.
The artist has an active role in the artistic life of Vitebsk, working as a curator and a teacher, provoking discussions about modern art.
Vasiliy Vasiliev (born 1954, Orsha, Viciebsk region, Belarus) – painter, sculptor, curator, teacher. Organiser of the Vitebsk festival In-Formation, author and curator of the yearly project ABSTRACT.
Lives and works in Vitebsk, Belarus.
Text: Sergey Shabohin, KALEKTAR ©
This is a shortened version of the text. Full article is under construction.