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Exhibition of Stanislav Plutenko, 2002


The News Line, Wednesday September 4, 2002, Number 8044, Page 8 "Art"

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Exciting new work by Russian artists
Hay Hill Gallery
11 B Hay Hill, Mayfair, London W1
Until September 28
Admission free


      HAY HILL Gallery is featuring contemporary artists, from the Soviet Union, now called Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) - and this is an excellent opportunity to see some exciting work.
      For many years, the works of Russian artists were not shown in the west. Western censorship and black propaganda against 'the communist country' prevented any interchange between artists.
      During the period of Stalin, Soviet artists were also restricted by the bureaucracy, who demanded 'realism' from its artists and banned the use of particular styles, out of fear of any expression of opposition to their counter revolutionary rule.
      The stifling of art by the Stalinist bureaucracy was the opposite of Lenin and Trotsky's position on art. The Bolsheviks, took the position that the state should not interfere or dictate on art.
      Hay Hill Gallery manager, Mikhail Zaitsev, introduced the paintings and explained:
      'We are a young gallery specialising in the contemporary art of the former soviet countries. Not 'just' from there, but particularly from there.
      'We want to show that our art in Russia is blooming and changing.
      'Like everywhere else in the world there is always something unique in culture, something that you can't find somewhere else something for which there is no one to compare with.
      'We aim to give artists from the Soviet Union and other countries more of a chance to get exhibited.
      'For instance we have this exhibition of Timur Akhmedov who is from Uzbekistan and you can see the colourful influence of the Benzantine art and architecture in his painting,' Zaitsev said.
      Timur Akhmedov, Fruits on Blue (oil on canvas) 2002 born in 1968.
      Akhmedov paints with a high tension in the harmony of his colour.
      The paintings are clear and simple only at first sight.
      They are a creative alloy, of Central Asian cultural traditions and the European art school.
      'We are bringing the best Russian artists to London - those who are already well known in Russia, to demonstrate how their work is changing.
      These artists particularly are trying to get away from the restrictions realism placed on the artist.
      'Russian contemporary artists are using a wide variety of approaches in their latest works - using very different methods - not like it was before, realism only.'
      Many of the artists are well known in Russia, painters who have produced work over a long period of time. They are moving away from realism and experimenting with many different techniques.
      Zaitsev continued: 'We can compare their work from their realism period and now. So we are able to show development and their styles are indicative of the way things have changed.
      'However, there are very few galleries in Russia, and so Russian contemporary painters and artists find it difficult to show their work.


      'You have to be a very high ranking artist and be well known in order, in the Russian art world, to get your work exhibited.
      'So we think Hay Hill Gallery offers this opportunity to the young artist and contemporary artists who are mostly completely unknown to the British public.
      'Fans': 'The Monk of the Sun' is one of a set of four paintings with a 'Fan' theme by Dmitry Sandjiev shown in the gallery's first exhibition 'Legends and Myths of Dmitry Sandjiev'.
      Dmitry Sandjiev was born and raised in austere Siberia, and is a Kalmyk by nationality. He has moved away from his also very excellent realism techniques, and uses images from world culture and religion to convey the 'spirit of our time', with its complex sociological codes.
      These appear mythological - and recall the psychedelic styles of the hippy period in America during the late '60s - a time when the US state was desperate to turn the huge student opposition to the Vietnam war away from revolution to spiritual enlightenment and psychedelic drugs.
      Hanging with Akhmedov are works by two other artists, A.Sokcht 'Person and Dog' an artist from Krasnodar in Russia and S.Kurmaz 'A Horse', from the Krasnodar in Russia.
      Stanislav Plutenko is another artist showing. Plutenko has his own original 'mixed' technique using oil, tempera, acrylic. watercolours and glazed by transparent paints.
      Plutenko is known for painting 'sarcasm on reality'. His characters are absolutely earthly, always astir, fluttering somewhere, with awkward bodies and faces.
      Paying the Bill; and Dali can he seen presently and there is a more extensive exhibition of Plutenko's work opening on 16th September.
      The friendly little Hay Hill Gallery is bringing some exiting work to London and is well worth a visit.

Photo Report from the Reception of 17 September 2002

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Mayfair & St.James's Life, Issue No.5, October 2002
Section Arts & Antiques, Page 17

Interior Decoration
by Tim Forrest

. . .
      The Hay Hill Gallery is a venture between the British company Sirin Ltd and Russian company Art Service Centre Ltd with the aim of introducing modern artists whose styles follow academic traditions. Their current show features works by Moscovite artist Stanislav Plutenko, whose striking figurative works are alive with colour. His figures which can verge on the grotesque are still sympathetic and are executed in a mixed technique of oil, tempera, watercolours and acrylic. He was last shown in London at the ICA in 1996.
. . .

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