Saturday, April 29, 2006

Russian Realism at Principle

A few days ago I visited Principle Gallery on King Street in Old Town Alexandria, to view their “Russian Realism 2006” exhibition.

Russian artists, like most contemporary artists coming from the once subjugated countries that were part of the Soviet Union’s axis of influence, are generally highly trained artists, with many years of formal schooling on the basics of drawing and painting, a form and manner of teaching which is (and has been) sadly missing from most American art school for many years.

And this exhibition is a terrific example of how any subject can be elevated from the mundane to the sublime by the simple power of art in the hands of a talented and skilled painter. A painting of smoked, dried fish, or even a cement factory, abandon their subject and become memorable as art.

I am not familiar with any of the Russian artists in this exhibition, but they all certainly show exceptional technical prowess, and a few also manage to cross the very fine line that distingishes a technically well-done painting from a technically well-done painting that is also an exceptional work of art based on other nuances such as presence, impact, composition and effect on the viewer.

Good show!

Silverthorne on Mel George

Alexandra takes a quick look at Mel George's work in our current "Compelled by Content II" exhibition. Read her thoughts here.