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Art Diary International 2013/2014
is now out, packed with contact information for galleries, museums, artists, curators, critics, and other professional arts services around the world.


Valery Koshlyakov
Yulia Tikhonova

MARAT GUELMAN GALLERY - MOSCOW

 

Russian conceptual artist Valery Koshlyakov is an artisan of monuments to the golden age. In his exhibition “Unreachable,” the artist presents a scene of instability displaying five contorted metal giants that lean as if under the winds of the revolutionary storms that fed Russian art from the 1920s onwards. Drawing on the avant-garde monuments of Tatlin and Melnikov, these bent sculptures thrust some ten feet up into the gallery space and evince the rise and fall of utopias. The artist used thin steel wire to weld anthropoids, skeletal forms that free-stand on wideopen

feet, with bodies and heads culminating in either points or cylindrical forms.

 

VALERY KOSHLYAKOV, Installation view at Marat Guelman Gallery, Moscow. Courtesy Marat Guelman Gallery, Moscow.

 

When looking through the netted silhouettes, four vertical screens become apparent,

which are five-feet tall and covered by translucent plastic, painted by Koshlyakov in

chaotic brush strokes and acrylic drips, and devised as an integral part of the installation. Tossed tones of brown, blue and gray simulate the natural collisions that bring to mind either a cyclonic seascape or a scene of urban collapse.

By setting up deliberate tensions between the mediums of painting and sculpture, the artist takes his ongoing patronage of avantgarde ideals to another level. Koshlyakov works in a similar vein to the Soviet artists Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin. But unlike these so-called “paper” architects, who suffered the fate of Tatlin’s discarded or unrealized structures, Koshlyakov was able to build every design he ever dreamed of. The artist’s dreams about classical ideals during the ruthless ’90s brought him recognition: he made architectural objects, temples and bridges, out of cardboard and masking tape. These were the monuments for a limp but grand experiment. Now, living in Paris, Koshlyakov sources his themes from an old grandeur of Europe. The artist abandoned the fugitive materials for the sophisticated

metal nettings of “Unreachable.” His vision of true beauty remains unreachable when obstructed by the historical storms.

 
 
 

Flash Art 269  NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2009


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