GUM-Red-Line Gallery is hosting the solo exhibition of Nikolay Filatov in September–October 2020. The artist creates monumental painting in the neoexpressionist style. His works are distinguished by expressivity and constructivism elements – symbols of the monumental archetype of avant-garde ideas in Russian culture. Russian cosmism, futurism, communism are presented as a single holistic image where the whole is valued more than the sum of its parts.
By thus titling the exhibition, the artist allows us to engage with a whole range of aesthetic and historical allusions that offer solutions for understanding both his newer works and his style in general.
Nikolay Filatov notes that his art is as wild, ancient, and fierce as Polovtsian Dances. We affirm: Nikolay Filatov is a Russian master, an artist speaking in the language of avant-garde. (the role of classics)
Nikolay Filatov notes that he always wanted to be “white and fluffy” as an artist, and yet he was always unable to do so. What he can do is to be as grandiose, noisy, and frightening as Polovtsian Dances. We affirm: Nikolay Filatov as an artist is a person who can personify the great spirit of many people, epochs, and territories associated with Eurasian culture. This is amply proven by the beating pulse of his paintings. (the role of the avant-garde)
Nikolay Filatov notes that the energy for his paintings comes from childhood fears of the limitless, aesthetically strange reality into which a new little human has to incorporate himself. We affirm: rarely can we experience a master whose abstract language is as thoroughly felt and motivated as the artistic choices of the first wave of Russian avant-garde. (the role of Russia)
Nikolay Filatov notes that being an artist requires one to hold great responsibility. One has to be sincere in the face of one’s talent and sufficiently courageous to use one’s artistic language to express everything that an artist, as a member of society who is able to do and see more than the people around him, must express. We affirm: the art and objects by Nikolay Filatov are the benchmarks of freedom, naturalness, and happiness for Russian and international art. (the role of people)
Basic elements of avant-garde and a contemporary artistic language are the defining features of Nikolay Filatov’s art. His pieces are effectively large-scale in the Michelangelo mold, forcefully and stridently entering humanity’s existence and evidently ill-suited to the limitations of what is considered the norm.
The bright and distinct selection of paintings by Nikolay Filatov plays around with numerous colors and naturally combines profound culture and a lively expressive temperament. Tonal intensity is very much dependent on the creative period from which the works hail. Pieces range from contrasting combinations of oversaturated basic colors to more reserved and complex ruminations on the hues of the European rainbow. In his current creative period, Nikolay Filatov has enhanced the color palette by engaging in a dialogue between the subtle pastel backgrounds and the more assured colors of objects and subjects from the main composition. His color range is genuinely one of the richest among all contemporary artists. Dancing figures appear in all periods of Nikolay Filatov’s creative work: they can be cubic and futuristic, expressively break apart into emotional brushstrokes, or, as is evident from contemporary pieces, paradoxically reveal depictions of human bodies presented in the style of antiquity while still reminding us of the subdued avant-garde dimensionality of the familiar Nikolay Filatov aesthetic.