"Petersburg. Romance with the city". Exhibition of works by Boris Messerer Automatic translate
с 13 Октября
по 28 Ноября
Галерея искусств Зураба Церетели
ул. Пречистенка, 19
The Russian Academy of Arts presents an exhibition of works by People’s Artist of Russia and Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts Boris Asafovich Messerer. The master of large form, set designer and author of installations, could not help but create his own Petersburg mythology, which does not need the presence of a person, but retains his passionate and persistent soul. The landscapes created by the Moscow author are distinguished by their pictorial density, color saturation and strong drawing. The exposition will feature about fifty graphic and painting works made by the author in the period from the middle of the 20th century to the present.
For the first time, Leningrad landscapes appeared in Messerer’s watercolors in 1955, alive, spontaneous, dripped with rain, and even then they helped the young artist to highlight the motifs closest to him, to catch his own intonation, which did not allow repeating numerous famous works. In poetry, as well as in painting and graphics, the St. Petersburg theme remains inexhaustible and allows authors with different temperaments and different “warmth” of blood to open up. Messerer in his work, as a rule, is distinguished by correctness, polished plastic expression, therefore his sheets are like chased rhymes that are recalled while walking along the granite slabs of his favorite embankments.
The main heroine of the artist is the Moika River. Its embankments, bridges and buildings embody St. Petersburg, its special rhythm, its mood swings, its unexpected angles. The series dedicated to the Moika area has been developing for more than a decade, many sheets were born from fluent sketches with a pen and felt-tip pen made during frequent visits to Leningrad. It so happened that the artist did not show it in full, choosing only a few works for exhibitions. But taken together, they give the impression of integrity and thoughtfulness and give an opportunity to look differently at the most famous quarters of the city.
Part of the Moika from Malo-Konyushenny bridge across Bolshoy Konyushenny to Pevcheskiy bridge can be walked in a quarter of an hour. But what amazing architectural, picturesque, historical and literary discoveries an attentive observer makes here. Rhythmic accents, corresponding to the bends of a narrow river, have been successfully used by city planners for two centuries. The compositions of Messerer, who knows how to flawlessly build panoramic perspectives, are subordinated to the same rhythms.
The works presented at the exhibition are performed in different techniques, however, they are a repetition of the same subjects. That should not cause bewilderment, because they allow you to see familiar places with different eyes, and in a variety of state of mind. Deserted, cleared of hustle and bustle, devoid of pedestrians and cars, curved embankments, houses, bridges froze in a pre-dawn half-sleep, and at this moment they belong only to the past tense. This wonderful state of detachment, the eternity of being, in which the city is immersed for a short moment, helps to admire its infinitely strange, "deliberate" and unique beauty again and again.
Drawings with pressed charcoal, in contrast to works made in oil on canvas, have their own energy inherent in the author’s effort, which gives rise to a line on paper. The alternation of short quick strokes and tinted water planes and in the gentle foreground allows Messerer to emphasize the necessary contrast between standing buildings and movement along their line. Especially picturesque in black and white, you look at the gaps of the white sheet, which accentuate the changing light and shadow lighting and enhance the general state of dramatic tension. The artist has remarkably accurately solved the transitions to the distant and near-side views, the look from one bank to the other, the run-up of the embankment, as if descending from the bridge ("Moyka. View from the Bolshoi Konyushenny bridge", "View of the Moika from the Pevchesky bridge").
Picturesque works add new intonation to the pictorial narration of the Moika. The color-plastic solution is based not on the hidden drama, which can be felt in the charcoal drawings, but on a different idea of the city - the magnificent, resplendent St. Petersburg. It is no coincidence that the Moika area is adjacent to Palace Square, Millionnaya Street and Bolshaya Neva. The same landscape panoramas in painting appear as majestic and solemn, supported by the color of dull gold water, gloomily shining in the gaps of the embankments ("View of the house of Arakcheev", "View from the Pevcheskiy Bridge", "Bolshoi Konyushenny Bridge").
The exhibition of works dedicated to Leningrad-Petersburg reopens unexpected perspectives of perception of one of the greatest cities in the world, gives rise to new feelings and reflections associated with it.
The material is based on an article by art critic Natalia Kozyreva.
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