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Valery Koshlyakov

September 25 - October 30, 2011

Dostoevsky. 2011. Acrylic on canvas, markers, 250х200 cm

Dostoevsky. 2011. Acrylic on canvas, markers, 250х200 cm
Mayakovsky. 2011. Acrylic on canvas, markers, 250х200 сm

Mayakovsky. 2011. Acrylic on canvas, markers, 250х200 сm
Lev Tolstoy. 2011. Acrylic on canvas, markers, 227x174 cm

Lev Tolstoy. 2011. Acrylic on canvas, markers, 227x174 cm
The entire exposition
As part of the 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, the Guelman Gallery presents a new project of the well-known contemporary Russian artist Valery Koshlyakov.

Valery Koshlyakov was born in 1962 in Salsk, the Rostov Region. In 1985 he graduated from the Grekov Art College in Rostov-on-Don. He is a member of the "Art or Death" Group that was formed in the late 1980s. In 1989 he moved with a group of Rostov artists to Moscow, where he worked from 1991 to 1993 in the studios in Trekhprudny Pereulok.

Koshlyakov represented Russia at the 50th Venice Biennale, his works have been exhibited in the major museums of the world (the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, the Louvre, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Bilbao, the Pompidou Centre etc.) and are kept in their collections.

Valery Koshlyakov became well-known by his large format painting on cardboard.

He works with the symbols of the world classical culture Ц the theme which new art has discredited and rejected as an obsolete phenomenon. The artist has been brave enough to rehabilitate beauty, freeing it from the dungeons of kitsch. The Hellenic spirit Ц a single world of the ideas of beauty Ц has been revealed anew by the artist, as if he were looking at this world through the eyes of a Renaissance man.

"Atlantis" Ц is a continuation of the Russian theme initiated in 2005. The projects "Relics. Made in the USSR" (2005) and "Sarcophagus" (2006 and 2008) Ц are about the artist's feelings regarding the Empire which has disappeared without a trace. The project "Atlantis" is a new development of this theme.

"I work with utopian mythologies, and in the project "Atlantis" I was inspired by the mysterious phenomenon of Russian history. There are drawings on canvas, in which famous historical figures are hardly recognisable. Here painting is not for the sake of painting, rather it manifests itself through the graphic techniques of sketches or drawings, made with highlighter pens on canvas. This is an attempt to see, let's say, Kandinsky or others in the familiar face of Repin, or visa versa Ц here a portrait likeness is not important, what matters is the place which they now occupy. History has passed, leaving just their faces in school textbooks and in the familiar black and white newsreels, only enlivened by adding colour, as is done with an old movie".
V. Koshlyakov

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