skip to Main Content

Petr Kirusha. Entangled in a velvet curtain

28.10.2023 – 07.12.2023

Curator: Eugenia Kikodze

Participants: Petr Kirusha

Petr Kirusha is an artist who first made a name for himself in 2008 at the Youth Biennale of Contemporary Art. His artistic painting, free from any influence, came as a surprise even to the most sophisticated metropolitan audience: Petr was one of the first to paint in a relaxed, semi-abstract manner, without any rigid attachment to socio-political realities, which was new and unexpected on the Russian art scene at the time. The heyday of large-format painting would come in the next decade, and we may say that the stellar young Russian expressionist artists of today are following in the footsteps of Petr Kirusha's work.

At that time, he worked mainly on paper, with a complex technique for thickening gouache by adding paste to the paint, which allowed him to achieve an unusually intense corporeality, one might say tangibility, in his almost abstract subjects. Over time, however, through tireless experimentation with formats, materials and subjects, Petr came to a new understanding of form and color, linking them with digital optics. The pandemic played a major role in this: the artist says that social networks became a kind of plein air, and he drew views from the monitor every day – the first subjects he came across to begin with, while later he took a more selective approach.

In one way or another, the figurative nature of the works became more obvious, and the nature of the brushstroke changed: mobile and plastic before, now it become more amorphous, deliberately weak – so that unpainted gaps, strips of white paper or primed canvas remain in the silhouettes of objects and figures. By retelling – or rather re-showing – the digital image, the author emphasizes its filmic, incomplete character, its fragility and corporeality. Social networks are portrayed as a world of desires, whims and mirages, the arbitrariness of which gave the exhibition its title.

The exhibition is divided into arbitrary themes, arranged in different rooms:

Mushrooms - unknowable corporeality,

The city and the public space and

The cosmos or on the other side of the curtain.

These themes are, of course, rather arbitrary, and the names are even more approximate. Still, we may notice that the themes tend to increase in scale – from near to distant. The space is thus divided according to the classicist tri-color landscape scheme, in which the near view was brown, the medium view green, and the distant view blue. The artist shows us how present-day civilizational perversions not only ruin this color idyll, but also the order of themes.

The near view – corporeal and tangible – is represented here as an unfamiliar ghostly growth, a crazy spawning ground for mushrooms, whose individual offshoots are both actual mushrooms (in a tondo) and strange characters such as a banana on legs and a toilet monster.

The middle view of the classical landscape – green (the biosphere) – is represented in the second room in the theme of the city and its inhabitants. Clearly, today this environment is the closest and most familiar – for our contemporaries, social ties are closer and more understandable than nature and the body. Kiryusha's city resembles a closed space, like an enormous shopping mall that is always brightly lit, with trolleybuses driving through it. And for all their expressiveness and exoticism, the characters here are the most recognizable.

Finally, color inversion also takes place in the most spatially distant subject of the third room - the cosmos or what is on the other side of the curtain (by analogy with the famous cartoon). It seems that our world is no longer covered in a layer of air, and the sun's rays turn into golden prisms which fly to strike or burn those standing below.

The last room is filled with military portraits, also from social network photos. The images of the classical landscape often included shepherds with goats, horsemen or peasant women with a bundle of firewood – staffage, the secondary elements of the composition that create an environment for the main figures. It seems that the author decided to show them all together, in a heap, as a sort of postscript. After all, our viewers have a rich imagination and wide experience, and will be able to place the portraits in the halls in their own imaginations.


Eugenia Kikodze

Photo: Lyudmila Byrchenkova

Back To Top

Для просмотра данной страницы, пожалуйста, укажите свой email.

I am interested in purchasing
Please send me further details about this artwork.
Ваш запрос успешно отправлен!