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Anastasia Zuevich





Sergey Zagraevsky. Plyos.



The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program

and has not yet been edited.

So it can be used only for general introduction.



System analysis of figurative and symbolic content of works of art found reflected in the work of art historian Erwin Panovskogo (1892-1968), who used to name his method the term "iconology", used by Cesare Ripa in 1593 in the work "Iconology, or description various allegories". In its modern meaning this term was first used Abraham Warburg (1866-1929) in 1903. Work Panovskogo relied on the works of Warburg, but Panofsky was the first to formulate a systematic approach to iconology. His methodological principles were marked in lectures and articles in the years 1928-1931 and took complete form in 1939 in "Studies in iconology".

In tasks ikonologii in the analysis of the painting is artistic interpretation of the contained in the product, the disclosure of explicit and implicit symbolic, dogmatic or mystical meanings in figurative and picturesque form. Artist Panofsky defined as, "who is full of images". He wrote about the hidden symbolism artistic images where for naturalistic likeness of the image depicted may be hiding allegorical story about another object or phenomenon. In the analysis artwork Panofsky focused on the gap between the level of "readable" and "read". It is important that, in his opinion, the character does not just represents itself as a sign or allegory of something, but is visual expression of an idea. A set of characters in the film formed in the narrative, which may differ from the obvious "literal" is lying on the surface of the plot. To exist and to read these symbols when the analysis can only in unity with the artwork – as an integral part of open or encrypted representation of the artist about something, not directly depicted in the painting.

Panofsky suggested to distinguish three levels of analysis artwork:

1. Precongress analysis under analysis the actual values and the analysis of expressive values;

2. Iconographic analysis;

3. Iconological analysis.

On the first level is considered the primary (formal) the plot and the world artistic motifs developed in the work. Interpretation is done on the basis of knowledge of the depicted objects and events, their ways of transmission in different historical conditions. To achieve adequate interpretation on this level must have knowledge of the history of a particular art style, that is, to understand what means at a certain stage of development stories expressed the relationships between the depicted characters, events or objects.

At the second level occurs a comparison of the story with knowledge interpreter in the field of stories and allegories of world mythology with the aim of identifying the secondary meaning of art works.

On the third level of analysis is aimed at search for the hidden inner meaning or entity the contents of the product as a whole.

Work art iconological when the analysis is viewed as a manifestation of the basic the characteristic principles of the culture, historical period or stage of development philosophical thought, the discovery of the universal "foreign" ideas in the private "internal" picture. Artistic motifs and images and allegories are regarded as symbolic equivalents of reality created by the artist. Analysis and the interpretation of particulars is wholly dependent on the perception of the whole, in which these particular included. Indeed, it is impossible to explore a part of the whole, and then to draw the characteristics of part to whole.

Iconology sets goals "to reach the center of all things" through the knowledge of "the primal", the study of "external" as examples of "internal". To solve the problem iconological interpretation means to come closer to understanding the original essence the kernel works, primary image artwork created by artist. None of the artists are not paints and therefore as often stated in the art description: "This picture symbolizes the desire... it opened the way...", etc. the Picture is a reflection the deep unconscious, subconscious and overconscious of mental processes, and to begin to understand the hidden motives of the creative the artist and appreciate the beauty of their symbolic embodiment in the picturesque work, we have to pay for help to sensuous intuition on the basis of knowledge about the psychology and the system of philosophy (internal picture of the world) the artist.

For iconological interpretive analysis used in this paper a painting of the famous contemporary Russian artist-primitivist Sergey Zagraevsky "ples" (size – 100 x 100 cm). The painting was done in 2000 and located in a private collection.

To interpret any work of Sergey Zagraevsky (born. in 1964) with iconological positions difficult though, because today in this direction of art the absence of established terminology. For example, the painting of Henri Rousseau, Niko Pirosmani, grandma Moses, Maria Primachenko, Leonov and Pavel called "naive art" and "primitive art" and "primitivism," and "primitive", and "naive". Mikhail Larionov called his experiments in this area, "neo-primitivism". Zagraevsky himself calls his art "naivizm", and after him this term picked up many young artists, often with "naive" at all nothing to do. In short, there are many options, and it is necessary to define some terms.

Let's start with "painters of the sacred heart": so in the beginning of the XX century art critic and collector Wilhelm Ude called Henri Rousseau, Seraphina, Camille and Andre Bomba Beauchamp. To this list we add Pirosmani, grandma Moses, Primachenko, Leonov and Katya Medvedev, and we will have a well-defined collective image: it's the people, the majority of his days doing anything but creativity, in the best case, writing "for myself" or took occasional lessons painting, and then "found yourself" in art and appreciated by critics, collectors and gallery owners at a relatively advanced, often retirement age.

Call the work of such artists actually "primitive" or "naive" art. Without going into linguistic subtleties, we will assume that in this the context of the word "primitive" and "naive" are full synonyms. This is the first a significant direction in this area of fine art.

There second, no less significant and known: "primitive" paintings of many the artists who had academic training and extensive experience in other styles. This Paul Gauguin, Mikhail Larionov, and Pablo Picasso, Natalia Goncharova, and Paul Klee, and Clement Redko, and Oskar Kokoschka, and Yury Vasnetsov, and many other. Probably, it is impossible to call their work "a stylized primitive" – it was too big to do any styling. Each of them has developed his own unique style, based on traditional plastic "primitive art". Let's call the seconddirection "primitivism" (a derivative suffix "ISM" seems quite appropriate here).

Now, defining basic terms, we are entitled to wonder which of these destinations include the paintings by Zagraevsky.

Immediately catches the eye, that bright, strange landscapes Zagraevsky is made not by a professional, and all their children "naive" – that other, as a skillful stylization, art welcome, giving the author an opportunity to tell us something important. The composition in his works always well-tested, thought out selection of parts: nothing more, all inscribed exactly in its place. The lack of prospects and wild camera angles is good too thoughtful reception, moreover, if there is a hint of normal perspective, the author intentionally breaks it. As for a piercing, almost never mix of colors – purple, yellow, red, green, some combination of them are clearly psychedelic in nature. (Psychedelic – reception, when certain the combination of colors is directed to cause the desired psychological mood viewer; Zagraevsky they create a light, joyful attitude).

And considering what teacher Zagraevsky was a classic of twentieth century art Tatiana Mavrina (1902-1996), a late work which can also be rightfully attributed to primitivism, we may speak about it as about Zagraevsky the artist-primitivist.

Infinity the paintings by Zagraevsky, which applies to presents for interpretive analysis of a painting "Plyos", are in General very close to "child". Not "art for children" (it's a different direction related to the book illustration or poster), namely the children's beautiful work. For creativity Zagraevsky characterized by reverse perspective, the absence of chiaroscuro aerial haze, a relatively accurate portrayal of parts (in any case, the apparent lack of inclination to generalize). The experienced hand of the artist visible only in the little things: the stability of the stroke, masterly possession the technique of painting and graphics, the composition and color balance, some recurring "special" techniques, many of which we see on the picture "ples" (the semi-circular horizon, the "flattened" sun, squat trees with huge roots, multicolor water, landscape flowers, buildings with Windows illuminated with colored lights in any time of the day).

Now, by making a some clarity in biographical and historical context of painting the artist, we can postulate that the most adequate tool interpretation for us is intuition, because it is congruent intuitive the method of cognition and reflection of the world that uses the artist himself when creating his work. Feature creative artistic intuition is that a true artist objectifies himself for the feeling of intuition as such, and not intuitively perceived object. Thus, the artistic intuitionis an intuitionmore complex, second order compared to conventional intuition. Accordingly, the only true interpretation will be one that is focused not on the search for "conscious intentions" of the artist, and one that reflects the "innate" Central primary way works, behind its creating and leading the artist through all the stages of creation. In this regard, the most a faithful interpretation is a maximum approximation to reconstruction "works in the soul", for absolute no replay will never (we should recognize in this report).

Opening his soul to the work, making your own logical mechanisms to be silent, so as not to drown out the voice of the artist that is coming out of the picture on not clear to the consciousness language, we may suddenly discover that the picture gradually fills all of our interior space. And then we can feel the presence of yourself not only the primary image work, but also reflections of feelings and emotions, which was filled with the artist when he created.

Exactly mainly perceptual, the method we tried to apply this experience iconological interpretive analysis of the paintings by Zagraevsky "Plyos".

The basis the compositional balance of the painting is the interaction of the two main volumes – the Church in the foreground and the river in the rear. White Church finds the response of the bright spots on the water, the Church and the surrounding trees, the green of the hill and at the bottom of the building to create exceptional color and compositional balance works (such balance is typical for most works Zagraevsky).

For identify the story and its Genesis it is important to note that the picture presented Zagraevsky is a direct allusion to the famous series of works by Isaac Levitan (1860-1900), dedicated to the Plyos is a small "provincial" town on the Volga river, where Levitan lived and worked for three years (1888-1890). Here Levitan first found those motifs and themes, which afterwards immortalized his name, and at the same time and the name of the Plyos. And it is closer in composition work Zagraevsky close to one of the most famous plesovskih works of Levitan – "Evening. Golden Plios" (1889). And this affinity of the composition even more emphasizes the stark contrast plastics. (About the specifics of the surgery Zagraevsky we mentioned above; neither of which Levitan feeling peaceful silence, the soft glow of sunset light, delicate haze of river mist this, of course, can not go).


Isaac Levitan. Evening. Golden Plios.


But figuratively-symbolic number "Golden Plios" Levitan and "Plyos" Zagraevsky almost identical. Cozy a Patriarchal town, the surrounding forests, fields and, of course, the Volga expanses were given both artists welcome spiritual balance and diverse nature to creativity. Transparent evening air seemed filled with a sense of harmony of nature and existence.

Volga appears on both the paintings are commensurate and friendly human soul, she is depicted not solemnly and pathetic, as can be seen in the works of many other Russian artists, as warm and peaceful. The image of the Volga river is presented as a kind of incarnation of life in she wants pure, clean, natural movement, poetic entity.

The leading type of expression and "Golden Ples" Levitan, and "Plyos" Zagraevsky you can determine by turning to another one famous painting Levitan, "Above eternal rest", where philosophical ideas expressed in a much more clear and unambiguous form. Given the desire to this picture can be recognized and allegorism, and metaforizm, but still leading the type here is the symbolism. The symbolism of eternity, peace, peace can be traced clearly and unambiguously.

Being "clean", "non-thematic", "resozialisierung" landscape paintings plesovskih Levitan and Zagraevsky have no explicit plot, but their harmonic wholeness wholeness is akin to the human soul. The whole figurative system of painting these artists thoroughly "humanized". Accordingly, the example of these paintings can be traced the evolution of historical periods, world views, scientific, religious, philosophical, social contexts and cultural codes.

"Postmodern texts" works of Levitan and Zagraevsky, in spite of visible difference in their semantic form, similar in paradigmatic content. The difference in semantics of these paintings is due to the fact, even eternal values at different times are interpreted in different ways. The similarity of the paradigms has a specific socio-historical basis. Both artists lived and created in the epoch of formation of essentially new socio-economic and production systems, and both professed in his creativity is a kind of escapism – a departure from the harsh and ugly realities natural oligarchic capitalism a joyful and peaceful (Levitan) or joy-emotional (at Zagraevsky) world of "art for art's sake".

Perhaps this is the main the reason that the landscapes of both artists there is a feeling of communal harmony man in nature, but there is no feeling of harmony in society. Anxiety, which led these authors to painting, can be read even against their will.

And thus the harmony of the whole person (in the unity of nature and society) acquires a utopian character. Even the creation (for the author) and contemplation (for the viewer) the most beautiful works of art while that does not allow the person to regain "Paradise lost."

Our time cannot be called the turbulent era of creative research. In the art dominated by either seen-perevedennye both in Russia and in the West, conceptualism and abstract art, or "traditions of Russian realism". Each style, each direction "serve" their own critics, each direction has its own established circle of connoisseurs and spectators. The stability built into the cult, all new at best rejected (Yes, in the best case, as the rejection at least some reaction!), but mostly just ignored. And "external" (about art) world as being polarized in the times"cold war", by and large, remained. And in this cruel reality absolutely not the place is clean and pure artistic harmony. Hope Dostoyevsky that beauty will save the world, in our time, the same utopia, it was in the nineteenth century.

But the era of "cultural stagnation" sooner or later give way to eras of creative research. And we have the right hope that the reign of evil, cruelty, money, intrigue and villainy on Earth forever, and forever, according to Pushkin, "on all elements man is a tyrant, traitor or a prisoner." And this hope gives us a wonderful picture of genuine artists.