Sometimes researches of art critic become akin to the work of psychologist. Trying to understand artist’s creativity the art critic looks into a deep well called “soul”. And sometimes at the height of sunny noon one can see the stars there.
If painting is a way of minding and feeling, the colorful pictures are reflection of artist’s soul. These ideas came to my mind when I was looking at the works of the artist from Tashkent, Alexander Tyurin. The point is that my thirty – year experience in the art criticism allows me to say that often in analysis of a creative way of some artist the words “sincerity” and “soul” become basic. Alexander has made his soul to work long since. His intellect, intuition, consciousness and subconscious are involved and combined in this process.
Tyurin obtained his art education in Tashkent. During his young years he permanently strove to new knowledge, emotions and extraordinary impressions studying the treasure of Central Asian culture, its history and archeology. In his archive there is a book of poems “The Monologue of My Soul”. When A. Tyurin studied in the art college, he took part in archeological expeditions; his trips over Central Asia and Russia number many kilometers.
The contacts with archeologists found reflection in “Landscape #2″ where he expressed feelings of modern person about excavation of ancient settlement. … Many centuries ago here, at this place, boiled the active life, but the time has passed and just ruins of walls narrate us about ancient city…
When he was a student he passed through the influence of academism – he began his education in the Institute for I. Repin in Leningrad, graduated from the Tashkent Institute of Theatre and Art in the speciality of monumental painting. Valentin Zhmakin, a famous representative of realistic school, supervised his diploma work. In those years Alexander perfected his skills in drawing, explored the problems of fine arts and mastered the culture of colour. The creativity of Vandyke, working out the concept of “picturesque”, was a subject of his special interest. In search of expressiveness in the painting he works much. And this is a basic school for the artist.
Taking his own way in art, Tyurin was getting close to Yury Taldikin who became his spiritual teacher and played important role in his coming into being as an artist and a person. Study and thinking over the eternal book – the Bible had some influence on the formation of A. Tyurin – artist. And it was no casual thing. Stormy time of perestroika, instability and collapse of basic structures made people to look for something eternal and stable. Then many people turned to religion as a saving straw. But Tyurin didn’t become a believer. In the biblic myths he has found a core that gave to his soul the ability to survive and to loose nothing.
So a series of canvas “The Sign of Misfortune” occurred where the artist expressed his ideas and feelings about the life and about himself. This series has formed a basis of his personal exhibition in Tashkent in 1993. Since then Tyurin has had about twenty exhibitions in Moscow, Washington, London, Vena and Frankfurt-on-Maine. The works of Tyurin attract the attention of spectators and experts both by original manner of self-expression and by ideas incarnated in them. The choice of stylistic directions determines originality of artist’s painting style and heterogeneity of his stylistic leaning.
Some canvas could be related to symbolism as the artist expressed his philosophical meditations about time, life and place an artist occupies within time. By the style they belong to linear-plastic expressionism and suprematism. The other pictures demonstrate expressionistic searches where emotions take a prime place, and A. Tyurin, by paints, expresses his heart feelings in dynamic change. His creativity combines two sources – analytic mentality and emotional splash. And intellect dominates over intuition. All these features have found reflection in his pictures.
In the series “The Sign of Misfortune” there is a picture “New Babylon”. A theme of Babylonian Tower is among eternal ones in the history of world painting art, but each artist has his own Babylon, his own vision of human isolation. Alexander connected this theme with a subject of locust that he often uses. Locust, voracious and ineradicable, covered fully the earth when the people, not understanding each other, terminated the construction of common Home.
Five years Alexander spent in Moscow became years of self-determination and self-realization, the years of active big-city life. At the same time, he did not set close contacts with any Moscow artists, didn’t try to join any art or political group, though he had opportunities to do that. And the reason for it was in his soul, which can not tolerate a lie and violence but strives to be free and independent. It is appropriate here to note, that a great place in the soul of Alexander belongs to his wife Milena who has saved peace in his soul and has done everything possible to make their home a peaceful harbour where the artist can find rest from life troubles and problems.
The picture “Silentina” became a symbol of this harbour, a place where the soul, tormented and charred, has found a rest. Tattered sailing vessels arrived at the port after long and violent storms. Though their sails have decayed but blue azure of sea lagoon and mild shore will cure all wounds. The picture with very complicated title “Brahistohrona” is devoted to marine theme. At the first look, it is marine landscape with stormy sea and high waves carrying refuse – logs, wood fragments and chips. But looking carefully, you notice this is a symbol of modern life when fortune, like whole gale, suddenly throws a person up as a chip, and then drops him down, into the deep sea. May be it is not casual that the picture has such complicated title taken from the physics of particle dynamics.
Saying about genre leaning of Tyurin, I would point out picture, landscape and still life. But he doesn’t set a contrast among them. Sometimes landscape is combined with still life, and “The Casaba” occurs where evening mountain landscape getting rose adds the picture of a cut casaba laying on the window-sill, what causes a feeling of oppressive sadness.
Last years Tyurin has turned to use lapidary means avoiding details. Triptych “The Tree” is expressive not only by its idea but by its original solution. Methods of drawing of the trunk and crown casting a shadow remind child’s drawing. The professionalism is proved by interpretation of the shadow that creates a depth of space and forms a basic subject of the triptych. Vertical canvas of the middle part is twice less in comparison with its central section and has the same subject – a tree and its shadow. And, finally, the last canvas of the triptych is square and presents one third part of a central section. It exposes just the shadow without tree. All three parts can be combined in different ways, composing in dependence with exposition. In “The Tree” Tyurin brought landscape up to the plasticity of a picture.
A. Tyurin often uses a clear deep shadow creating a depth of space and cubistic volumes, skillfully working out the contrasting of colour compositions. Heat of Asiatic summer with its sizzling sun that burns out colours and transforms everything into heat haze is embodied in the canvas “The Shadow” where aksakal is slowly trudging to the tree to escape in its cool shadow. The landscape of A. Tyurin “The Pink Day” could be specified as cubistic-suprematic. Geometrically shaped blocks of houses, which are located according to the principals of oriental miniatures – “what is farther is upper”, have warm ochre-pink color thanks to reflected light of sunset, and the sky with small clouds getting pink throws patches of greenish light.
There is an interesting interpretation of a theme of woman in the canvas “Lady in the Yellow”. The picture is painted with “yellow above yellow”, pointing out a perfect skill of the artist and demonstrating brilliant potential of a colourist. In graceful plastics of female body and smooth turns of golden silhouette the artist creates image of the lady who combines Gaugin’s passion and stylish Russian modern.
The influence of French post-impressionists is notable in two-figured composition “The Day of Love”. Cruciform location of characters reminds Gaugin’s compositions but by means orthogonal location of the carpet and specks of yellow-blue shadows Tyurin demonstrates “oriental” focus of his mentality. The same words could be related to the interpretation of a vase at the forefront. Combination of two projections, orthogonal and frontal, came after the artist had paid attention to still life in the oriental miniatures. He continues to enrich his experience even when he paints together with his little daughters. Last years the still life became his favourite genre. He works, mainly, with expressive line creating geometrical silhouettes of subjects, and then colorfully works out the painting plane and space. Space and colour the artist transforms in “sign-formula” form a basis of artist’s composition ideas. And this sign can turn into “Anticipation” and “Banana Rhapsody” as well as into “Night Cocktail”.
In spite of long thirty-year experience of Alexander, I think, new tops and new discoveries are waiting for him ahead. The work of his soul penetrates all his pictures. At the first look, the spiritual work, as a deep heart process, is invisible but this is a real creativity of the artist who affirms a beauty of life.
Author: Gulsara Babadjanova