'9 Gouaches' by Alexander Dubovyk

New exhibition of the works by Alexander Dubovyk took place in the White Space of Stedley Art Foundation on 8 November. Curator Valeriy Sakharuk has selected nine gouaches on paper by Dubovyk executed during between 1987 and 1991.

* the photographs of original paints of Alexander Dubovyk were used for the design of the poster.

 

Art is unique because it belongs to both historical and metaphysical dimensions. Only an artist, in the widest understanding of the term, can overcome any obstacles of his or her historical time and even transform them into opportunities. Alexander Dubovyk is exactly such an artist. The one that knows no boundaries and never tries to fit into somebody’s expectations.

Dubovyk, as any Soviet artist with academic artistic background, started his path as a realist. Alexander was second to none when it came to doubling the reality already in the late 50s, when he studied at Kyiv Institute of Fine Arts. Had Dubovyk followed the social realist path, nobody knows what place he could have taken at the Olympus of Soviet art and what consequences it might have brought about. However, Alexander preferred the luxury of freedom – the only thing that the followers of a socialist cult could not have – to monetary advantages and recognition.

The freedom of creativity implied a radical change of the method of work. The artist, thus, invented symbolic abstraction that he started to develop from the mid-60s.

Dubovyk is not the only artist of his generation who chose such path. However, he is probably one of the most uncompromising and the one of principle. The imaginative language of the Sixtiers was based on abstraction that, nevertheless, contained something very concrete and specific for each artist. As regards such unique concrete things for Alexander, he works with universal symbols and phenomena. They existed before him, but Dubovyk is the one who constantly reconsiders them.

Alexander’s works have always been the means to philosophise and have a dialogue. Not with a viewer, but with any author that interests him at the time – with a philosopher, artist, writer – and shares his values and opinions. This is not vanity as one might think. The freedom simply has its price: the artist had to work reclusively for almost 20 years, without any hope to interact with a viewer. It was only in the mid-80s that the public could see his forbidden art for the first time.

The nine gouaches selected by Valeriy Sakharuk for the exhibition originate from the mentioned period when hopes came true. A meticulous eye of the curator has unmistakably identified that unspent force that makes the artworks so true and so precisely striking the nerve of the time when they were created.

In these several artworks painted on the edge of epochs, on the edge of the last two decades of the turbulent XX century the metaphysical and historic spaces coincide.

These nine gouaches have a secret. In a while the abstract symbols reveal the epic drama of history with its actors and plot. However, the metaphors go further. It will be long when each of nine paintings will require silence for itself and will turn into a perfect object for contemplation – an absolute work of art.

Olga Balashova

 

View pictures from event

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