article by Lyubov Berchanskaya
Paint pictures and clear your brains
These distant islands have always attracted people with the opportunity to be alone with nature, to move a little aside from civilization, to communicate with those who are as far as possible from bohemia and parties - in a word, romance.
And in Soviet times, landing of artists on the Kuril Islands, for example, was almost commonplace. But in the 90s of the last century, when the islands themselves, dividing the Sea of ??Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, became almost a "burden on the budget" of the country, and artists were not in favor of the authorities, trips to the islands almost stopped. And about 10 years ago, little by little they began to come to life - both the Kurils themselves, and interest in them.
These distant islands have always attracted creative people with the opportunity to find themselves alone with nature, move a little aside from civilization, communicate with those who are as far as possible from bohemia and hangouts - in a word, romance. And in Soviet times in the Kuril Islands, landing of artists, for example, was almost commonplace. But in the 90s of the last century, when the islands themselves, dividing the Sea of ??Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, became almost a "burden on the budget" of the country, and the artists were not honored by the authorities, trips to the islands almost stopped. And about 10 years ago, little by little they began to come to life - both the Kurils themselves, and interest in them.
The exhibition "Other Kuriles", which works in the Primorsky Art Gallery, shows how artists of different times looked at the islands and how they were reflected in their work.
- The idea was originally somewhat different, - shares Anna Kopytina, artist, organizer of the exhibition. - As you remember, a few years ago Alexander Gorodny and I made an exhibition “Artists of Vladivostok Kurilam” and showed the works of the best painters of Primorye on Iturup, Shikotan, Kunashir (“V” wrote about this in 2016).
And since then, when I come to the Kuril Islands (and I go there almost every year, only this summer I didn’t go), the locals always ask me: “Will you bring an exhibition yet?”
So I had the idea to make an exhibition to the residents of the Kuril Islands about the Kuriles, show it first in Vladivostok, and then take it to the islands, but then, when it became clear that this would not work out, I just wanted to make an exhibition about the Kuriles.
Which one? When art critic Natalya Levdanskaya and I began to reflect on this topic, we realized that in addition to the famous Shikotan group, which included Vladimir Rachev, Vladimir Serov, Yuri Volkov, Yevgeny Korzh and other masters, write on the Kuril Islands both in Soviet times and after many seaside artists, and there are at least a dozen of them. So we decided to present a different view of the islands, a different cut, or something ...
In several rooms of the "Other Kuriles" next to the works of the Shikotan masters with their characteristic color in their paintings - blue-green, slightly gloomy, conveying the severity and special atmosphere of the islands, there are many other works. Here is Vladimir Pogrebnyak's "End of the World", who, without changing his manner of writing, clearly teases the creative business trips of Shikotans (on every island at the end of the world, an artist sits), here are the light works of Anna herself, filled with air and some tenderness Kopytina, here is a sculpture by Oleg Batukhtin ...
- Shikotans, artists of the Shikotan group, worked together and latently, involuntarily influenced each other, - Anna Kopytina believes. - In their works there is this feeling of a certain similarity, a unified approach, for example, the same “typical Shikotan colors”, darker, harsh, or something. And we showed the works of artists of different schools and styles, a completely different view of the Kuril Islands. Different! And the islands are different.
- How was the exhibition going?
- The main exposition was collected from the funds of artists, we contacted them, and we were given works. The Kuriles, I note, just don't let go of themselves. If an artist has a Kuril sketch in his studio, sooner or later he will return to this topic and paint a picture. Because the Kurils penetrate the bloodstream and call ...
- What is the main message of "Other Kuriles", in your opinion?
- When in 2016 I took the exhibition to the Kuril Islands, many art critics said: it would be nice that after the exhibition, young artists would go to the islands in an organized way. But it didn't happen. So I keep the hope that perhaps this exhibition will push some of my colleagues, especially younger ones, to go there.
So the main message of the exhibition, from my point of view, is simple. He says to the artists: they have to go to the Kuril Islands. With my work and for work.
You won't believe how inspiring a trip to the islands is. Firstly, very open and sincere people live there who miss any cultural events. In 2016, the exhibition, which I brought, was visited, by and large, by the entire population of the islands, from small to large. Do you know how the islands remember - still remember - the Shikotan group? They constantly tell me in whose houses the artists lived, show the paintings they donated, remember the circumstances under which this happened ... And how much attention they pay to any person with an easel, you just
Vladivostok newspaper from November 29, 2018