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Graduated St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after IE Repin, Department History and theory of arts.
Since 2002, an employee of the State Russian Museum.
Composition of 'The Harbour' complies completely with the author's idea. The canvas' panoramic format excludes any movement into the deep – it looks like the ship has just moored to the shore and doesn't intend to continue her journey. The vertical rhythm of the masts at the left concentrates spectator's attention at this part of the canvas where contours of boats and seashore houses are sketched by means of dynamic color spots. The right side of the canvas is plotless, yet the painter fills the space with pictorial content, rendering by broad multidirectional brush strokes color nuances in his portrayal of the ship shades and the patches of sunlight on the water surface. The water itself is utterly unrealistic, but the artist here doesn't aspire to create a classic landscape – this is not a portrayal of what he's seen but an impression he’s got from it. The painting's aesthetics lays in emotionally saturated color relations, which are able to evoke a vivid response in spectators’ souls.
The paintings of Mikhail Gabunia are definitely close to the style established in the second half of the 19th century by French school of Impressionism, with its pastel tones, textured brush strokes and romantic female images. All this is true for the portrait 'A Girl and the Window'. Soft sunbeams illuminate the figure of a girl in a spectacular way, dispersing highlights on her dress and playing with her earrings. Changeable environment filled with light and air entangles the model, while soft and dynamic strokes vibrate at the enlightened parts of the canvas and remain dense in the shades. The face is painted by more accurate strokes than the background, emphasizing the model’s pouty lips, the color of her cheeks and big brown eyes. The painting attracts not only by the richness of its color nuances and the highest skill of performance. In the girl’s posture, in hypnotic gaze of her eyes, in the curve of her lips one can feel an ambivalent character, where tenderness is combined with inwardness and strength, and reverie – with attentiveness and confidence. This romantic and profound image created by the artist demonstrates his ability to see behind the external beauty of his model her inward intellectual wealth
Two bohemian girls with stylish pipes, a vintage teapot on the table, and a huge, panoramic attic window – the plot for this painting, ‘Tea Party’ might have been picked up by the artist in one of St. Petersburg’s artistic workrooms. Classic ‘frame in frame’ composition is used by Chigina in a quite dazzling way: the artist concentrates the spectator’s attention on her heroines not by lightening them up but immersing them into the shade of the room. Geometry of window framing creates a leisurely dynamics which is supported by the verticals of female figures, furniture legs, and city buildings. This dynamics counterbalances the dramatic tension created by the expressive contrast between ochre-yellow and light blue tones in the background with rich tinges of dark blue of the room in the foreground, as well as with the bloody-red lamp resonating with reflections on the furniture and the garments. The spirit of the evening St. Petersburg, captured with great precision, makes one watch this painting over and aver again.