“The Reverse Side” by Alexander Sukhin

I visited this exhibition in early October, even before my vacation in Turkey. For understandable professional and everyday reasons that always arise before a vacation, no matter how you prepare for it, it was not possible to write and publish this post on Alexander Sukhin’s exhibition “The Other Side” on time. At first I was worried and sad, but now I’m even glad – the sensations are still fresh. This means that the exhibition is worth attention.

Alexander Sukhin is not just an artist, but a true travel artist. A collage of passport pages scans of Alexander himself and his family is dedicated to his trips. It is interesting to assume in which part of the world the idea of ​​this or that work was born. “The Reverse Side” collected works different in topic and deep meaning, however, the irriality of most of them became one of the unifying factors. Is it possible in the wild nature of the African savannah to meet a zebra with a wave-like shaved hair or a wave-like in itself?

I think the most “natural” work is “Nadin’s House (village Pyalitsa, Tersky Bereg)” of 2011, in my selection-gallery of selected works of the exhibition located below. Firstly, it is accompanied by a living story in explication. Secondly, it depicts the life of a man from the Russian North – from this fact everything inside is filled with warm memories from childhood in the village. Just pay attention to such small, but important details: hanging clothes for drying, half-curtained windows, and in one of them you can see either the silhouette of a person, or an object standing on a table or other piece of furniture, tools, etc. In terms of the appearance of the house and the condition of the surroundings, we can draw certain conclusions about the owners of this house, but now we do not need it. More noteworthy and important will be the observation associated with the picture frame – it does not distract from the consideration of the work, but also supplements it with its own pattern.

Patterns and I would even say prints is a key link in the exhibition. In some works, they are confusing, forcing the gaze to wander in a circle or tirelessly, taking a step forward, returning two back. In others, they refer to the re-viewing of already studied drawings of the exhibition. This cyclicity, “puzzle” and the visual fullness of the picture, which is difficult for primary perception, are supplemented by completely understandable philosophical meaning and humor, sarcasm and, at times, grotesque.

The exhibition is also rich in demonstrated styles of drawings. To enumerate each would significantly lengthen this post, so let us dwell on one drawing, a fragment of which I placed above. The “Magic Pencil in the Cartesian System” was created in 2014 using pointillism, that is, the creation of textures and volumes by means of spots. If you look closely at this drawing, you can see pencil sketches and even – your eyes should fall on a white dove under the pencil itself – corrections. The attentive eye is likely to detect more such cases of open correction of work.

In my opinion, in the center of the hall between the columns  the most important object of the exhibition is hidden – a small metal sculpture-cube of intersecting and intersecting “rods” reminiscent of a children’s puzzle in which you need to find the right way to exit the labyrinth. It is curious that there really is a beginning and a way out of this maze – in order to find it, you need to go around the sculpture 360 ​​degrees, study from different distances. After the “ritual” is performed, a secret door opens to the world of the exhibition – its reverse side with additional meanings.

Images open in full size by clicking on them.

The exhibition runs until November 25, 2019 at the Museum of Artistic Development of the Arctic named after A.A. Borisov, at the address: st. Pomorskaya, 3 (entrance from the side of the museum courtyard).

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