Boris Bernstein Michael Petrenko

Серая Серия: Белая скатерть A well known Russian artist, Alexander Yanushkevich was born on June 5th, 1949 in Moscow, Russia, into a family of an artist. He was educated in Moscow College of Arts, one of the top art schools in the former Soviet Union. Parallel to his education, he worked in his fathers studio thus learning in practice the secrets and techniques of the old masters. Yanishkevich's atristic evolution appears from the outside as clear and almost simplistic - this impression is created by an exact choice of details, strihgently planned composition and the finished appearance of each work.

It is within the difficult and often contradictory atmosphere of old intellectual Moscow, seeping with nostalgia, that Yanushkevich's artistic abilities were formulated. It is in the same surrounding circumstances that the movies of Tarkovky, the novels of Trifonov, the works of artist Vesburg and of many other members of the official and underground Russian artistic world were born. Observing the creative roots of Yanushkevich's art one cannot help but note the subsequent influence of Frensh purists Ozenfant and Juan Gris, Italian metaphysicians Morandi, De Chirico and Carra and that of Russian suprematists Malevich, Pougny and Popova.

This complicated path has resulted in the development of a profounfly individualistic style of artistic expression. Taking into account the fact that Yanushkevich has devoted his talents to a single genre, the nature mort which in itself is remarkable, we encounter a profoundly sagacious and valuable figure in contemporary Russian art. Despite such selectiveness in his chosen field, the artist has succeeded in developing several forms of still life.

One of these forms - vanitas - is an allegory of mediocrity and mundaneness. A deserted dimension of space, littered with a motley collection of incompatible objects arises in front of the observer's eye. This is a type of comedia absurda creating a superconscious space. Soap bubbles can be found alongside metallic, non-childish toys; shells, rock-harsh, jagged and aggressive with dry, brittle remnants of plants. We observe the effects of the activities of mankind, the end of the evolution.

Here is depicted the helpessness of man in the face of superior forces.

Other type of still life compositions by Alexander yanushkevich is "Trompe l'Oeil" This is a literal portrayal of objects, executed with unparalleled mastery. These canvases reveal the intimate life of objects in the world of fake reality. The objects are so real and so tempting for a touch. An inspiration for this type of compositions comes from the late 18th and early 19th centiry European, mostly French art. The artist is faschinated by wordplay on similarity of a human hand and a hand of a clock. A Chinese dragon kite or a toy horse may point to the Chinese calendar year in which painting was completed. The use of exact geometric forms such as rulers, sheets of paper, tapes, cards etc., helps to unveil the harmony of simple things. As an alternative, the artist introduces the objects from animal or plant kingdoms along with sharp cutting objects, tools of destruction. And finally a balance is created between the acts of creation and destruction, a symbol of of eternal harmony and order in this material world. The artist is fascinated by the Russian poetry and sometimes a line of the verse makes its way to a refined canvas.For instnce, the "Landscape of a Fool" was inspired by a poem of O. Mandelstam.

The art of Alexander Yanushkevich is full of harmony and philosophical solutude. Based on exotic avant-garde and classical European styles in finds appreciation and support of art connoisseurs all over the world. His works are displayed at Bordiga Gallery in Milan, the Rosart Amorium Gallery in Lisbon and in the private collection in Barcelona, Paris, Tel-Aviv, Haifa, New York, San Francisco and Moscow.