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Mikhail Shvartsman Graphic art

29 October - 01 December 2008
Benois Wing

For the first time the exhibition of artworks by Mikhail Shvartsman from the collection of the artist’s family presents his graphic heritage as an organic, unique, marked by special virtuosic “making” branch of his creative oeuvre.

Mikhail Shvartsman was the muralist, mystic and philosopher, teacher and founder of the well-known Moscow graphic design school. He belongs to masters of the XX century, whose creative oeuvre was the landmark on a way to a new art language. The artist’s creative oeuvre turns to complex philosophic and religious aspects of reality. His style and plastic language was formed at the end of the 1950s – in the 1960s. He gave the name to his artworks as “hieraturas”. His conception was called as “hieratism”. He created this term from the ancient Greek hieros that means “sacred”, “signed”.

After the avant-garde artists of the 1920s Shvartsman developed the mystical and religious tradition of Russian art, combined in his artworks the methods of cubism, surrealism and archaic and religious meanings. Combination of representative and abstract art corresponded with his inner vision and interpretation of reality.

The anthropoid “Faces” were in the basis of the artist’s composition of the 1960s. They are the relative and laconic portraits of mystic “messengers”, that “remember” about a Byzantine icon.

In the beginning of the 1970s the abstract “Hieraturas” were originated. Mainly the geometrical forms were in the basis of the “Hieraturas”. The artist’s works with hermetically sealed compositions reminded of the ancient totems or magical altars. At times they are supplied with mysterious characters. The artist was extremely exacting to their handicraft quality. His hieraturas are emphatically artificial.

Shvartsman displayed certain the first archeological forms that were the basis of his idea on a harmonious structure of the world. According to the ideas of Shvartsman, non-objective structures of the artworks, within of that there is their own hidden life of forms, exposed metamorphoses of the Universe life.