Sergei Shablavin

shablavinBorn in 1944 in Kirsanov, Tambov region. Graduated from the Moscow Engineering and Physical Institute (faculty of cybernetics) and the People’s Correspondence University of Arts (painting class, 1981). Works held by the State Tretyakov Gallery, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (collection of G. Kostaki), Museum Bochum and others.

The Formula of Landscape 2 project

Since the 1970s, Sergei Shablavin has been preoccupied with one very important theme in Moscow conceptualism: The relationship between landscape and the structure and anarchy of nature on one hand and the precise ways that people comprehend reality on the other. The works in his latest se­ries, “The Formula of Landscape 2” elaborate on the themes addressed five years ago in “The For­mula of Landscape.” The very term “formula” suggests a discovery on the basis of which further work can proceed. Shab­lavin has indeed discovered a set of rigid correspondences between constructivist shapes and the landscapes portrayed on them, often the sea or plains. His centrifugal works bring the two elements together, creating an impression of tranquility and of the inviolability of the visible world. The ingre­dients employed by Shablavin are simple: panoramic views of urban landscapes, usually depicting Moscow, with the circle as a graphic form and the format of the painting. He often depicts the world as if reflected in a convex lens or a surveillance mirror (of the kind found in supermarkets). Many of Shablavin’s works evoke yin and yang, the symbol of the balance of energies. There are few human figures in Shablavin’s work, but those that can be seen exist in peaceful soli­tude, often portrayed against the background of a sea. For him, a human being is not a mover and shaker but a spectator, an onlooker, profoundly aware of the futility and pretense of rigid structures, the absurdity of struggling against nature.

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