Effect of comparison surely strengthens authors’ originality

National Art Museum presents Vita-Ludi-Veritas exhibition projects

National Art Museum presents Vita-Ludi-Veritas exhibition projects — featuring artists Vladimir Tovstik, Yelena Shlegel and Vladimir Goncharuk


Rich palette of the exhibition

The exhibition halls on the museum’s first floor show about sixty paintings. While artists are often inspired by gloomy weather and rainy days, at the same time, many are disinterested in global issues of modern life. We all see the world via the prism of our inner world. The key idea is to express spiritual aspects of life and their depths. Our reality consists of masks, it is deceptive and changeable. This is the basis for artists’ desire to express subjective experiences and passions in historical and fantastic reminiscences, while embodying intimate and poetic angles. These have become a unifying impetus for seemingly different artists: Vladimir Tovstik, Yelena Shlegel and Vladimir Goncharuk. Their paintings are full of life, play and sincerity.


Vladimir Tovstik

Vladimir Tovstik boasts an acute sense of modernity and the feeling of captivating the past. His paintings radiate the joy of life, love for life and optimism. The artist creates his own special image of the past and present, in which cultural epochs and artistic trends are intertwined. Vladimir is an urban artist and is fond of the urban environment — with its distinctive atmospheric fluctuations, movement and variation. The spiritual atmosphere of past and present days is presented in close connection and continuity. Romantic picturesque and emotional intensity — with a light veil of sadness — is organically woven into the fabric of his figurative works.


Yelena Shlegel and Vladimir Goncharuk in the background

Yelena Shlegel’s artistry brings us back to romantic and fantastic realism and to the understanding of art as a service of beauty. She is internally emotional, musical and poetic. Colourful dreams, whimsical fantasy, dreams of the past and the future come to life on her canvases. Modern people lack art filled with kindness, a profound spiritual and moral content. Ms. Shlegel often chooses romantic fiction in various forms as a source of inspiration — as opposed to the ordinary and the everyday. Music, poetry and literature are constant companions of her life; in one way or another, they influenced the formation of her artistic language. This greatly helps the artist to create an image — through a thorough retelling of parts, symbols and allegories. Musical and literary symbols are put into specific artistic associations. Yelena speaks the language of realism but metaphysics in her work comes from her subjective perception of a real object. Using the power of association, the artist tries to collect fragments of her visions.


In turn, Vladimir Goncharuk’s works are built on a combination of real perception of reality and fantasy games. Symbolic cultural allusions in his paintings give much food for thought. A symbolic carnival of the game of meanings is hidden behind the author’s interpretation of reality and focusing on the reality of the image. The content of his paintings is not expressed directly but hidden behind the canopy of metaphors, symbols and irony. Allegory, metaphor and symbolism create a contrast between realism and the fantastic images created by the author, giving it a touch of mystery.


On seeing these at the museum, one might think that there are too many bright colours, canvases and information. It might seem logical to reduce this extensive exhibition palette. However, the effect of comparing original parts of a single large exhibition defeats all other variants of expression of this truly magnificent artistic material.

By Veniamin Mikheev
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