The famous Russian artist Vladimir Zagorov, who is also a senior lecturer at SPbU, has organised his personal exhibition in South Africa. The “Yellow movement” is exhibited at the Graham’s Fine Art Gallery in Johannesburg in September.
Vladimir I. Zagorov is the first artist from St Petersburg who was invited to hold the personal exhibition in South Africa. He received a warm welcome from the journalists and art critics in the RSA. Also, Vladimir Zagotov took part in the FNB Joburg Art Fair, the first international art fair in Africa and one of the most significant world’s art-projects on modern arts.
It was not coincidental that the exhibition is named “The Yellow Movement”: in 1997, the Russian Museum hosted Vladimir Zagotov’s exhibition “The Yellow Movement”, and now it is followed by a new project “The Yellow Movement”, a continuation over two decades and over continents, which reflects how the artist sees the world and captures it. “’The Yellow Movement’ is by no means a political or social phenomenon, rather it discloses the way how I perceive the world: I was born in August under the summer sun, and the yellow colour has been, and still is, accompanying me all my life. It flows from one canvas to another, casting a warm glow over them”, ‒ said the artist.
The gist is its non-figurativeness: meandering impressions following one after the other, day after day. The composition, colours and forms, they all depict solitary travel enterprises, unexplored places and untoward meetings. The canvases, on the one hand, are an attempt to capture and represent how the artist experiences the world, who sees it as a journey of a lifetime; still on the other hand they stir our imagination: the artist deliberately splashes and drips paint on his canvases and uses only shapes, stripes and crucial symbols, thus stirring our imagination to interpret and experience a work of art. Each canvas, its brush-strokes and composition, is full of dynamics and movement, which tricks our mind into thinking that everything is volatile, vivid.
One of his works of art is a set of six fragments which can be arranged differently. The way how they are arranged (up to dozens of compositions), to his mind, influences the way how we experience the canvas, its rhythm and essentially how we perceive its colours. It was a mere coincidence, said Vladimir Zagorov, when he caught the first glimmerings of how the canvases can be arranged differently. These movable fragments, to his mind, are “the fragments of the journey” and reflect the idea that our mind is intermittent in nature.
South Africa inspired Vladimir I. Zagorov to paint a new canvas. “Each day, I lay on colours inspired by the day. Ideally, creativity is not about thinking what and how to paint, rather what you do must correlate with the rhythm and atmosphere between an artist and environment. I don’t paint, I just help perceptions transform into colours”, – said he.
Although Vladimir Zagorov has been working in St Petersburg all his life, his canvases, unlike St Petersburg, are sparkling, succulent and sanguine. “The colours on my canvases are all within me, I don’t invent them. Over one or two years, my works can embrace new hints and hues, which would imply new meanings. Still, the palette remains the same: bright and vivid”, - said the artist.