Alyona Kirtsova

KirtsovaHas been participating in exhibitions since 1977, with solo exhibitions in Moscow, S t. Petersburgand Frankfurt. Works included in the collections of the Tretyakov, the Russian Museum and the Guggenheim Museum ( New York), as well as private collections in Russia and abroad.

Kirtsova’s series Color Guide. borrows its name from a 1932 manual published by avant-garde artist and musician Mikhail Matyushin and his pupils entitled The Pattern of Changeability of Color Combinations: A Color Guide. Admittedly, that old handbook was strictly functional, whereas Kirtsova’s works are absolutely self-contained; the only thing that links the former with the latter is their simultaneously meditative and enthusiastic attitude toward color in its various combinations. Kirtosva calls each painting in the series a landscape and provides it with a serial number. Each painting is a set of horizontal strips carefully matched by color and size. And this rigidly minimalist juxtaposition reveals — each time unexpectedly but quite distinctly — a skyline, while the sum of horizontal elements splits into two sets: the celestial space and the surface of the earth (or is it water?). The artist balances on the brink of pure abstraction and pictorial illusion. Never abandoning her obsession with color’s structural properties, she performs an intricate set of exercises in aerial perspective, the play of background and foreground and the mutability of representation. It should be noted that for all its obvious formalism, Kirtsova’s artistic method is essentially intellectual in nature. What makes it effective is the psychological effect of naming: once a rectangle is called a “landscape,” the viewer is given a spatial and symbolic frame of reference and, along with that, an opportunity to feel a cumulative pleasure that is both sensual and conceptual.
Vladimir Levashov

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