‘2014’ by Alexander Zhyvotkov

A new project ‘2014’ by Alexander Zhyvotkov has been introduced in the White Space of the Stedley Art Foundation. The exposition is comprised of four works: two diptychs and two independent works created by the artist in January – April 2014. In these works Zhyvotkov is his usual self: he does not shock, does not strive for commercial success, does not try to please the public. He does and creates what he feels, what he empathises with.

The exhibition is dedicated to recent events in Ukraine. The picture ‘22 January’ refers us to the Unity Day that also became the day Sergiy Nigoyan was murdered. ‘18 February’ was created when dozens of innocent people were atrociously killed in Maidan. Next to this work one can see ‘The Transfiguration of Jesus’ and the whole exposition is concluded by ‘Mary, Mother of Jesus’ – the piece that reinforces our belief that peace, justice, and truth will eventually win.

‘Of Sasha I can speak much. There are painters that strive for a show and entertainment, that sniff out their way to a viewer, but there are also painters of fate. They possess unique honesty and consistency. I have known Sasha’s works since his childhood. It enabled me to witness the journey of purification, disposal of the outside, unnecessary, and even aesthetic. And then the talk entered the visual world of Sasha Zhyvotkov… The talk that requires neither a viewer nor a listener. His works are actually texts in their essence. They speak nothing about the colour, things, specific events. However, one needs to reread them again and again to rediscover one’s own essence, one’s own wisdom. All these things are felt at an exceptionally deep level, they seem to be genetic. It is the unique and hardly achievable purity.’

Alexander Dubovyk, painter

‘Alexander Zhyvotkov seems to be drifting away from painting, however, at the same time it is painting and modifications of black that he presents to a viewer. The works of a famous painter Korin, who worked excessively with black, are said to contain about three hundred shades of this colour. But I think that Zhyvotkov’s black is closer to the one of Goya – and this is his great victory. Because, indeed, nobody has managed to overcome the tragedy of Goya’s works. The fact that Zhyvotkov does not impose open dramas, does not dump crying expressive pain grants unique strength to his works. The pain is actually already there, somewhere very deep inside – due to the natural delicacy of the painter.’

Olga Petrova, art historian

View pictures from event