Valery Chtak “Exhibition of Identical Paintings”, 2022
Installation (series of paintings, 120 x 100 cm, acrylic on canvas)
The number of paintings and the overall dimensions of the installation vary
Characters and objects in multi-layered monochrome paintings are depicted in a simplified manner, and the space in which they act is completely absent: their silhouettes are literally pinned to the surface of the picture, divided into several rectangular cells. These figurative compositions contain important attributes of Chtak’s personal freedom, expressed in skateboarder and musical subcultures and rhyming with street art (although Chtak emphasizes that he has nothing to do with street art), as well as recurring images of his iconography, including a bird, an urban landscape, a suitcase, etc.
The composition also includes texts integral to Chtak’s works. They establish an important connection for the artist with the heritage of conceptual art. At the same time, Chtak does not turn the viewer into a reader. With the help of foreign languages, he translates part of the texts (individual words, replicas) into the category of pattern, ornament, decorative element, thereby connecting the verbal semiotic and visual planes of the language.
However, Chtak does not stop at the linguistic foundations of the artistic reflection of conceptualism and takes the next step in overcoming the boundaries of an autonomous art object. He introduces the context of its appearance into the semantic structure of the work. His project at Cosmoscow is a reaction to the criticism that he constantly repeats himself. He argues: “You say I make pictures that are all the same? Okay then, here’s an exhibition of identical paintings.”