Kyiv. Ya Gallery Art Center
Abstract Vision Test
09.06.2010 – 13.06.2010
The name of this exhibition is a transformation of a color perception test title - "Color Vision Test" - in other words, a color blindness test based on Rabkin's polychromatic charts. Each chart consists of many identically bright, yet slightly different in color, circles and dots. A color blind person sees an abstract drawing; and one with normal eyesight sees a number or a geometry figure - a "figurative" image. The project is an opposite test. "Abstract Vision Test" examines artist's ability to find abstraction in the objective surrounding.
Photography is capable of revealing this kind of vision in the most obvious way. It looks like an accident find or an insight - was passing by, saw it and took a picture. That's the way a battered bumper of a crashed car (Ksenia Gnylytska) or streams of white acryl flowing on the ground of a construction site turn into spectacular abstract imagery.
Abstraction is not dematerialization of reality. It is a silent world of esthetics indifferent to any kind of specifics. "Pure" art of abstraction is a refrain from making statements, but the information silence predicated by abstraction is violated at this exhibition. Every work balances on the verge of abstract and real, demonstrating features of а figurative and an object-less picture. The artists propose a double game: the spectator can perceive a prototype and its image, and the connection between them as a personal author's strategy.
In painting and in graphic this vision is expressed through a refusal of materialistic representation of reality. For some artists it is an abstention of illusionism as a creation of reality deceit in the form of a recognizable object by means of perspective, light and shade or other professional tools of realism. Maksym Mamsykov's forest looks like a dark stripe on a white background, Alexander Babak's windows remind of Rotko's works, Oleg Gryshenko's nature sketch and Volodymyr Kuznetsov's figure possess neither depth nor volume. All these authors work their way in the direction of flatness, which puts them on the verge of abstract&real.
Mykola Matsenko creates a piece from Ukrainian ornaments, and Alexander Gnylytskiy - from neatly folded men shirts. Others present metro maps: Yuriy Solomko on canvas and Janna Kadyrova on tiles. Valeria Trubina paints farm fields - view from a plane. All of them use flat pictures as primary ready made imagery: ornaments, maps or plots that can be perceived as abstract visual images.
In photography, as in painting, irrecognition can be caused by the loss of acutance of a picture as an incomplete dissolution of an image, like, for example, in Anatoliy Belov's bright room in thick fog. Lesia Homenko "befogs" a fresco, and Valeria Trubina paints trees as seen from a car window on a fast drive.
Synthetic images, created on a computer, are presented by Oleksiy Say, who builds a geometric structure of a building façade in Microsoft Excel. Vasyl Riabchenko "develops" invisible computer viruses that turn out to be a fantastic mass of electronic substance.
Works where image exists on this verge can be found in many authors' portfolios - not necessarily abstractionists. For them, it is a result of a quest for new forms, experiments with artistic language, and not philosophy like for the abstractionists of the beginning of the XX century, who found flatness and non-objectivity the only true realistic art, and called everything but the pure form a deceit.
Modernists-abstractionists invented complex techniques to avoid the possibility of a spectator even with focused attention finding any kind of a figurative image, so that they wouldn't be accused of anything that looks like a cloud, a face or a figure. What used to be incriminated as a flaw in their work is the main theme of this exhibition. Game of objectivity vs. non-objectivity today, after all the artistic movements of the XX century, looks different, but is no less interesting.
Natalia Filonenko, 2010