Exhibition of December
«Cities and villages of Elena Likhatskaya»
15 December 2017 - 24 January 2018
Cities and villages of Elena Likhatskaya
A good, healthy beginning, alas, is less and less common in the works of contemporary artists - today's world with its disharmonious arrhythmia is more motivating to the tragic and painful reflections of creative people. It is more marvelous to meet in the art of such artists as Elena Likhatskaya, who bring to life a note of joyful aesthetic empathy. The artist herself is beauty and woman of sense, a cheerful traveler, ready to embrace the whole world. Siberian, who has lived with her husband in New York for several years, but does not think of life without a homeland. Friends in Siberia and elsewhere in Russia are waiting for her every year, like a flight bird, with new impressions and new exhibitions.
And finally, another exhibition - in Saint-Petersburg, embodying two aspects of the Western world: the historical suburbs of Paris (the residence of L'Atelier sur Seine, near Fontainebleau) and New York's Manhattan. But, despite such a difference of spaces, Elena's works prove that the world is one, and people in it are surprisingly similar, and this is not an unification. Various in characteristics, open and sympathetically touching, people in the artist's paintings are united by a relation to life as a happy and amazing process, invariably kind and inexhaustible. Elena prefers multi-figure compositions - original scenes from life where there is no human hierarchy, and all the characters are of equal value.
A bright and completely folklore language, organic for Elena Likhatskaya, is adjacent to such a movement as primitivism. Is it necessary to explain that the primitive in art does not imply the primitiveness of thinking? The opinion of ignorant in the art people that "even a child can paint like that" is absolutely false. Only a professional artist can think like this, who carefully preserved in her soul the immediacy, the purity of the child's worldview, the ability to combine reality and a fairy tale or turn reality into a fairy tale.
Folklore vision of the artist is not "spoon-matryoshka", but a complex rethinking of urban folklore, children's drawings and her own national identity. In the numerous genre paintings of Elena, we will not find deliberately mocked "folk" characters - all these are our contemporaries, always modernly dressed. In these characters, the artist is not looking for individuals, but characters, charming, simple-hearted and amusing. But seen through the prism of the folklore worldview, they suddenly become universal and embody not so much people of different countries as humanity.
Elena Likhatskaya is a bold director and mistress in her paintings, in them she herself establishes laws. Transformation of the world in the pictures of the artist affects everything. First of all, in the convention of space, flattened, built along the vertical by parallel plans. The decorativeness of the plane is preserved even when there are obvious hints of prospective cuts. The architectural environment as a part of the picture undergoes deformations in proportions and forms, and becomes mobile, alive and even humanized. Both color and form, it begins to resemble a fabulous, fictitious architecture with its own non-strict, arbitrary scales. According to the laws of this space, not only chamber buildings look warm and cozy, but also French palaces and American skyscrapers.
Emotional phenomenon of Likhatskaya - color. As a child easily connects the shades that are not harmonious in terms of sound, so the artist creates her own dissonant-harmonious sound, preferring open colors, combinations of which, for all their decorativeness, form a complex, purely painting coloring. The feeling of improvisation is created due to a wide, sweeping brushstroke, moving, pulsating spots of color. Actively used outlined contours, then dark, as at Cezanne, then iridescent. Sometimes hidden drama penetrates into the emotional fabric of pictures, but Elena prefers to release not fears and complexes into the world, but sympathy and kindness, so the main quality of her paintings remains boundless love for all the diversity of life manifestations and the desire, at least in her paintings, to transform the whole world in a kind happy paradise.