Cosmoscow • Andrey Volkov. PA Gallery
September 15 – 17 2022
     
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Andrey Volkov. PA Gallery

Andrey Volkov was born in Moscow in 1968. He graduated from the Moscow State Art and Industry Academy named after S. G. Stroganov in 1993. He has been exhibiting since 1986 and also acts as a curator of exhibitions and publishing projects. Since 1995, he has been a member of the Moscow Union of Artists, and he has taken part in the parallel programs of the 51st Venice Biennale (“Colore Non Solo” project) and the 6th Moscow Biennale (“Revisiting Boundaries” project). 

Volkov’s painting demonstrates the viability of non-objective art in its original understanding: as a rejection of figurativeness, as a direct experience, devoid of the slyness of a conceptual game of abstraction. This art has neither a goal nor a specific prototype (real or speculative), because “painting is nothing but paint on a canvas, which causes a number of psycho-emotional reactions, both intended by the author and random,” according to Volkov. 

Volkov’s pictures are paintings par excellence, as if absorbing the impressions accumulated in the process of movement, processed into space formed by matter. The latter is understood as paint, which is thought of as a substance with infinite possibilities. Dense or light, saturated or dissolving to transparency, nuanced with the thinnest vales as if they were the melting memories of the original pigment. By covering canvases in layers, that matter forms compositions with elements that shine through each other, bursting with flashes of color in the most unexpected places. The painting has lost the coordinate axis initially imposed on it with a given top/bottom vector, and the paint, released by the artist to free-float across the canvas, seems to have gained independence. Despite an attempt to get out from under the dictates of the corners of the stretcher, Volkov’s painting is an experience that combines spontaneity with orderliness, chance with awareness, randomness with the control that restrains it. The concentration that distinguishes his work is reminiscent of the art of the Color Field painters such as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. It is this rigor, restraint, and precision in controlling the transparency of the paint that allows Volkov to achieve an almost tangible, not-wrought-by-hand glow in his monochrome paintings. 

Sometimes the picture acquires a mirror gloss, blocking the eye from immersing itself inside the colorful element, forcing the viewer to look for a point of view that would allow him to catch the play of shades and textures that form the body of the shimmering mass. “I want to slow the viewer down, so that the material density of the picture creates a kind of gravitational effect, so that the viewer feels their own time,” says the artist. 

Volkov’s works are part of the following collections: the State Russian Museum, the New Jerusalem Museum and Exhibition Complex, the Kolodzei Art Foundation (USA), the Kostroma State Gallery, and the Gregory Gallery (USA). The artist currently resides and works in Moscow.