Alyona Kirtsova. Colour Guide

Алёна Кирцова. Справочник по цвету
Dates 23 November 2006 — 14 January 2007
Address Stella Art Foundation
Mytnaya street, 62

Stella Art Foundation exhibits a new cyclus of works by one of the most profound and sophisticated Moscow abstract artists. Alyona Kirtsova, a disciple of a renowned artist Vassily Sitnikov, carved out her career within artistic underground community of the mid 70s. Though she skipped from figurative manner to abstraction in the short run, the artist has maintained the inner integrity of her oeuvre over the past thirty years. Her works are presented in the collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), etc.

The title of a new project by Alyona Kirtsova refers to the work “Rules of colour combination transmutability. Colour guide” (1932) by Michael Matushin, an avant-garde artist and musician, and his disciples. Though Kirtsova pays a tribute to coloristic science of Russian avant-garde, her art is still tightly bound to definite life impressions and a search for colour equivalents to express them. At first sight a dozen and a half of her oil paintings remind a set of colour horizontal bars. In fact, they turn to be a product of complicated landscape meditation on a general topic of earth, sky and their encounter at an ephemeral horizon line. The line surges now and then, pulsates, lives, though it always remains just the borderline between sky and earth, high and low, celestial and terrestrial, and finally between the two colour fields.

Even if the view is clear and open to the mergence of sea-earth and air-sky, it has difficulty in finding its pictorial expression. It is impossible to transfer natural gradation to a picture automatically, just as well as it is impossible to translate oral speech into written text mechanically. Complicated colour and texture qualities of the paint take their turns, endless correction and harmonization of seemingly simple “bars” are required. The artist employs painting techniques of colour and tone perspective by decomposing the spaces of top and bottom into component scheme from a warm front to a cold distant and vice versa. It is not till everything merges together and a necessary balance of diverse tensions is created, that a picture, which may differ greatly from the initial impulse, finds its possible logical completion. As a result the colour schemes created by Alena Kirtsova may have nothing abstract or eternal, except for universally personal.

Kirtsova’s works may be as well considered landscapes as psychological auto(portraits) — nobody can make out what prevails at this final stage. There is just a level of individual proficiency, which is verified whenever it encounters nature, space, time, an object, a living being.

Vladimir Levashov