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Ivan Sotnikov. Heracles.

Ivan Sotnikov. Heracles in the skin of Kiferon lion № 3. Pencil on paper. 2012.
16 june 2021—19 july 2021

 The name of Ivan Sotnikov (1961, Leningrad - 2015, St. Petersburg), artist and priest, marks a specific period of 35 years of St. Petersburg art. 
The first artistic world for Sotnikov was the Hermitage, where his mother worked and where he spent his adolescence in the Young Friends of Art club. Sotnikov, a graduate of the Children's Art School No. 1, did not continue his education at the Art School at the Academy of Arts, choosing his path to the underground. In 1982, Timur Novikov, together with Ivan Sotnikov, founded the New Artists group. In the mid-1980s, Sotnikov was already one of the most highly regarded painters of the Leningrad unofficial culture, and for the right to show his paintings at their exhibitions, New Artists competed with the Mitki. In the 1990s, Sotnikov exhibited little, since he was ordained and began to serve as a priest in the churches of the Novgorod diocese. He returned to public art life in the mid-2000s, and his exhibitions P.M.Zh. S.P.B. P.Z.Zh. at the New Academy of Fine Arts (2008), Battle with a Squirrel at the Navicula Artis gallery (2013), Painting of the XX - XXI centuries at the New Museum of Aslan Chekhoev (2015) have become the most important events.

The first graphic exhibition of Sotnikov in the Russian Museum displays a cycle of 14 works about the ancient Greek hero Heracles (2012). Starting in the 1980s, Sotnikov worked in series, like most of the masters of contemporary art, from Claude Monet to Pablo Picasso, from Henri Matisse to Andy Warhol. However, the individuality of the characters and the uniqueness of the paintings have always been important to him. Therefore, serial images of the infant Heracles, strangling a snake in a cradle, or killing his music teacher Linus with a kifara blow, or "posing" in the skin of a defeated Kiferon lion, are each endowed with its own design of the composition.
Sotnikov liked to say that his work is divided into pictures "from the head" and pictures "from life." The  Heracles Series are accompanied by landscapes of 2010 - 2015, created on the Adriatic in Montenegro and on the Black Sea in Tuapse. The geography of the artist's travels coincides with the space of the ancient Greek world, stretching from the Balkans to the Caucasus. The seas depicted by Sotnikov breathe modernity and are immersed in eternity: this is how Montenegrin fishermen and tourists see them, the same they appeared to the ancient Greeks, who dared to reach the Atlantic Ocean on their ships, where, according to the myth, the ancient hero erected the Pillars of Heracles, and head in the other direction, to the east, where another hero sowed the field of Colchis with the dragon's teeth. Sotnikov's expressive graphics convey the tough spirit of mythical adventures. And at the same time it liberates, carrying that image of light elastic free plasticity, which is associated with the art of Ancient Greece. Sotnikov's work combines museum culture and the free element of the new avant-garde art.
Exhibitions
Evgeny Romashko

Evgeny Romashko

25 november 2022—16 january 2023

This exhibition of works by People’s Artist of the Russian Federation and Head of the Academic Painting Faculty of the Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Art and Industry Evgeny Romashko is timed to coincide with the artist’s 60th birthday. Approximately 70 works of his from over the years will be displayed.

Igor Tcholaria. Taming the Chaos

Igor Tcholaria. Taming the Chaos

23 september—13 november 2022

Taming the Chaos, a solo exhibition of the work of Igor Tcholaria, numbers some 60 paintings, graphic artworks and sculptures. Igor Tcholaria was born in Abkhazia, which stretches along the coast of the Black Sea. He received his basic grounding in art at the Sukhumi Art School, and subsequently continued his education in Leningrad, at the Vera Mukhina School and the Academy of Arts.

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