apples, autumn, sunflower
Tristan Corbière once wrote: “One should only depict what nobody has never seen and never will see”. This quote from the French symbolist poet can be a good illustration to Valentin Korotkov’s Autumn. Stylistically this canvas sends us off to the best samples of symbolist art. We can see all the typical indications of the style – monumental planar ornamentality of composition as well as musicality and light plasticity of the artistic manner. This canvas of the young painter represents a sample of fine balancing on the edge of the two worlds, the real one and the mystical, invisible. The latter world is oozing through the former. The square canvas lacks the remote horizon and represents rather flat surface, woven into a mosaic of moods and states of human soul. All the participants of this autumn mystery play are drawn in a sliding, nervous manner – a refined female image in a streamy golden dress as an embodiment of eternal feminine, the apple-tree as one of the ancient token symbols of fertility and abundance, sunflower heads bending down by their heavy burden, a richly depicted gourd. On an unconscious level this set of details and accents immerses a spectator in the circle of ancient archetypes. The artist uses recognizable sign models of the objective sphere, and among them one of the primordial – the First Woman holding an apple. The artist enciphers in the tokens of autumn landscape the heroine’s spiritual state – all her dreams, contemplations and reminiscences remain unknown to spectators, making her seem an inhabitant of a mysterious Dreamland, and her self-absorption is mesmerizing. The wind, vague, anxious, and unsteady, stays an invisible participant of this symbolist idyll. Anticipation, pre-expectation of birth, the mystery of liberation and continuation of life, the inscrutable and eternal circulation of Nature – these are the key-notes of the artist’s subtle and magnetic work.