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Alexander Sementsov. Pain Syndrome

Alexander Sementsov. Who Are We? 2002. Oil on canvas
28 june—12 august 2018
The exhibition “Alexander Sementsov. Pain Syndrome” presents a series of works dedicated to the War in Abkhazia (1992–1993), executed by the artist in St. Petersburg.

Artist Alexander Sementsov was born in Kerch, Crimea, just before the Great Patriotic War broke out in 1941. He graduated from the Academy of Arts in Tbilisi, lived in Sukhum, Abkhazia, where he worked at the physics lab while being engaged with painting and rock climbing. In the early 1990s, he moved to Leningrad and joined the Union of Artists. His solo shows were held at the Borey Gallery, one of the first art galleries in St. Petersburg. It was there that the series “Blade,” devoted to the War in Abkhazia, was presented to the public for the first time.

Sementsov witnessed the armed conflict between Georgian and Abkhazian forces in 1992 during a short visit to his motherland.  This experience transformed his self-identification as a person and as an artist, having mobilized formerly dormant creative resources. 

Exhibition curator Alexander Borovsky: “Sementsov possesses dynamic and free drawing skills, masterfully shaping the form and conveying the mood. His strokes can be thin as threads and sharp as etched lines, or suddenly become painterly (especially when combined with ceruse patches), mostly grisaille-like, but sometimes rich in colour nuances. His drawing can be almost literal, although  it is always ready to switch on a certain degree of formality on the verge of grotesque.” 

Today, thirteen years after Sementsov’s death, an interest in his work is revived. The war series was exhibited at the Moscow Academy of Arts in 2014. Perhaps, nowadays such an exhibition is as relevant as ever, conveying a major humanistic message to the society. 

Alexander Sementsov. Upper Eshers. 1993. Watercolour and ink on paper. Alexander Sementsov. Spring Will Come and Children Will Wake Up. 1993. Watercolour and ink on paper Alexander Sementsov. Descent from the Cross. 2001. Watercolour and ink on paper. Alexander Sementsov for Art & Times, 2002

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