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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.
Member of the Russian union of artists (department History and theory of arts).
Senior researcher at the State Russian Museum.
The painting seems to come into being by the artist’s subconsciousness, as a presentiment of spring’s refreshing arrival. Though simple in forms, it evokes many associations. The painter uses local colors of cold shades, mostly without elaboration. And only in five elements at the upper part of composition we can see the evident color movement. Firstly, we may consider it as a glance from above on the evoking ground, bound by snow-ice winter cover just fragmentally, which is defined by bluish-white masses of color. Besides, these five elements at the upper part of the painting bring associations with track - like footprints of the parting winter. Slanting cross, a pagan sign for fire in this context could be considered as a symbol of flying bird, the herald of Spring. But this would be just a simple, literary interpretation of the painting. Its substance seems much more profound. Blue space with compound green and red ones, encircled with black, tells us about implacability and inevitability of conflict and fight on the border of old and new.
Alexander Fedoseyev’s painting A Plant-filled Pond conveys certain mystic state of nature. Grand mass of blue, which is a group of trees at the foreground, occupies almost half of the canvas. But this doesn’t make the composition any heavier. That’s where the main pictorial event happens, which is a compound development of blue colors being picked up by openwork of falling shadows and continuing in the trees in the background as well as on the mirror-like surface of the pond and, finally, in the sky. The color develops not only technically, but emotionally. The artist creates a magic image that might have occurred in reality one bright sunny day.
The plant-filled pond is mysterious, it conceals something innermost. The author aims his artistic technique for creation of such an image. He doesn’t go to the skillfulness of diffuse brush or to the fine meticulous “done-ness”, though he’s able to do both perfectly well judging by his other works. As if reluctant to frighten off this state, he creates his textures carefully, sometimes working by pastose, sometimes by liquid transparent paint. Touching the canvas with soft brush he achieves the impression of velvety layer. This feeling of stirring, ineffable mystery reminds of the images of the Russian symbolists of the beginning of XX century, Pavel Kuznetsov and Victor Borisov-Musatov.
The source of inspiration for this realistic painting, rather unusual for Igor Panov’s style in general, is undoubtedly taken from life - glimpse of a summer evening at the river. And yet this simple and refined composition seems not just being “copied” form nature, but thoroughly thought over. The verticals of reflected lights contrast with horizontals of sky’s refracted reflections, adding a rhythmical pattern to the geometry of canvas. Compound colour combinations prove the colour craftsmanship of the artist. So this is the state of early evening. The hills towering in the background mount as a strong, powerful bulk. There are some dwellings at the other side of the river, at the foot of the hills - the lights can tell us they’re inhabited. Without lights, the houses would be swallowed up by space, time and night… Subjective sense of evening grows into something more significant. The lights look as signals for the sky, a cosmic dot-and-dash.
In this piece of still life the painter’s aim is not a literal reproduction. Only horizontal surface line is defined, yet the surface itself lacks particular materiality. Dark background is perceived as some hollow in space separated by something light from the main object. In spite of all the vagueness (in terms of correlation with reality) of colour masses that compose the painting the still life looks quite persuasive.
One can’t help comparing this picture with Sunflowers by Van Gogh. Here though they lack the decorative plasticity that seemed urgent for the French painter in his portrayal of lush blossom. Eldar Esaliev’s Sunflowers are different. The painter wouldn’t depict the stems, and even leaves are barely seen - just flowers. Falling sunny flowers remind of a constellation, a galaxy dying away.
This horizontal composition with parallel planes portraying the panorama of St-Petersburg’s embankment is drawn in the best traditions of the Russian school of Realism. Specific signs of St-Petersburg’s winter - wet asphalt, thawing snow, lowering sky - are conveyed wonderfully with the help of subtle colour nuances. In spite of the painting’s small format the artist is capable to capture and show the character and mood of each figure. Not only can we discern their ages, we can also catch the pace and even distinguish the dogs’ breed. A warm winter day, when your feet sink in the slush and the sun bestows its light just briefly and sparingly upon the city, is captured by the artist so tangibly that you seem to breathe in this moist odor which is the first herald of inevitable spring.