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Michael Franke. 'Cosmogony'

23 January - 23 February 2003
The Marble Palace

Michael Franke was born in 1957 in Bonn. He has been educated in a field of arts: in 1976 he took bachelor's degree at the Ecole Europeenne in Brussels; in 1976-1983 he studied national economy and history of arts in Bonn. He worked in Italy and France. Since 1996 he has constantly lived in the Netherlands and has worked in the workshop at a coast of the Northern sea. In 1972 Franke organized the first show of the early picturesque works in Brussels. Since 1984 the artist has held a lot of successful personal exhibitions in Western Europe, among them were monographic expositions in Gallerie San Carlo, Milan (1987, 1997), Gallerie Ca' d'Oro, Rome (1987), Gallerie Forum Lindenthal, Cologne (1991, 2002), Centre Culturel de Bruxelles, Brussels (2000), Pinakoteca di Lovere, Muzeo d'Arte Contemporanea, Brescia (2000), the Museum of Ludvig, Saarland (2001). Franke's 70 picturesque works of a period 1998-2002 were represented at the exhibition "Cosmogony" in the State Russian Museum. There were two monumental cycles among them: "Apeiron" (1999) and "Periplomenon" (2002). Both cycles represent the closed integrity. In a basis of their artistic and philosophical conception lies the idea of infinite space, eternal, constrained from above regularity of all occurring in the Universe. The artist chose four basic elements as symbols of this universal infinity: water and air in the cycle "Apeiron"; fire and earth in the cycle "Periplomenon". Twelve pictures of a cycle "Apeiron" describe the sunlight's trajectory based on passage by the Sun of a zodiac circle. Each work is correlated with one of the Zodiac's signs. Formation and disappearance of a year symbolizing the formation and disappearance of the Earth and Space are reproduced by the artist through the consecutive colour and light transformations. The cold colour of the pictures of the cycle, which starts its movement with a sign of Aries, reaches the culmination in a sign of Cancer and fades away in autumn signs, is enriched by the complicated reflections and vibrations of light. The cycle "Periplomenon" (Greek "The Annual Circulation") is devoted to annual and daily circulation. Its content was defined by Franke's thoughts about birth and death, Genesis and Revelation. Named by the names of antique deities or concepts borrowed from Ancient Greek, Greek and Latin languages, the works of the cycle symbolize rise from the Chaos and submergence in the emptiness of the Earth. A picturesque development of the cycle goes from dark to light and back to dark. The artist's meditative perception of the world has also found the reflection in his other works represented at the exhibition "Cosmogony". Among them are "Triptych I" (2002); "Triptych II" (2002), "Hesperion" (Greek "Evening") (2002) and "Aurion" (Greek "Morning", "The Next Day") (2002). The exhibition is being held with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany and with the assistance of General Consulate of Germany in St.-Petersburg. The exhibition "Cosmogony" will be open till February 23, 2003. In a day of the exhibition's closing there will be à performance of the Orchestra of the State Hermitage under conduction of the German conductor Jan-Moritz Onken in the White Hall of the Marble Palace. There will be works by A. Pert and À. Shenberg in the programme of the concert. A catalogue for the exhibition has been published.