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The Artists of Saint-Petersburg


8 September to 4 October 2003

To celebrate St Petersburg’s 300th Jubilee, the Hay Hill Gallery is presenting an exhibition of paintings by four artists, all from St Petersburg (Russia): - Vladimir Kozhevnikov, Nikolay Reznichenko, Eugeny Scherban, and Oleg Tenyaev

Alexey Kiryanov was born in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) in 1955 and later graduated from its Academy of Fine Arts. Most of Alexey’s subjects are rogues and dissemblers who conceal their quirky, bitter wisdom beneath their fool’s caps. Essentially Alexey Kiryanov portrays one and the same character in all of his paintings, but because he places his places his main protagonist in different circumstances and epochs these cause variations in the character. Though his protagonist may be resigned to a constantly changing world, in all its poverty and vanity, he remains isolated within it. A melancholy and all-forgiving irony helps him to cope with the reality.

Vladimir Kozhevnikov, aged 53, has been involved in the restoration of frescos and interiors in ancient churches and monasteries for two decades. At the present time he is concentrating on his own paintings, which he describes as expressive impressions. Vladimir has participated in a number of shows in Russia, France, Sweden, and Great Britain. Many of his works are exhibited in prestigious museums including the Russian Museum in St Petersburg. His paintings also hang in the Pompidou Centre in Paris and in the House of Congress, Washington, USA.

Oleg Tenyaev was born in the Urals in 1960. From early childhood he knew he was destined to become an artist. In 1990 Oleg graduated from the Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad. He is completely down to earth, and lacking in whimsy. He believes that the most wonderful things in life are the natural things, and include Man living in harmony within Nature. His world, be believes, is the world as God created it, a world in which Nature seems to have nurtured Man and revealed many of her secrets, even though many aspects of Nature still remain a mystery. Though he may perceive these mysteries these more clearly than most, Oleg Tenyaev aims to evoke an emotional atmosphere rather than trying to attempting to spell out the secrets of Nature’s beauty. He becomes a visionary on our behalf, and imbues his visions with his own feelings and emotions. Tenyaev’s paintings are held in private collections in Russia, Italy, and the USA.

Nikolay Reznichenko was born in Saratov region of Russia in 1958. From 1982 onwards Reznichenko lived in Karelia in the North-West of Russia where he taught painting and graphics. In 1986 he moved to St. Petersburg. Reznichenko has considerable experience of restoring icons and to a large extent his art has been influenced by the Russian Orthodox tradition of icon painting. At the same time he has experimented with a style influenced by the Russian avant-garde. He has participated in a number of exhibitions in Russia and abroad. Nikolay’s paintings are in many private collections in Russia, Great Britain, Germany, and the USA.

Eugeny Scherban is a 38-year-old artist who was born in the Ukraine and is a graduate from St Petersburg’s Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Eugeny’s favourite subjects are seascapes and sailing vessels. His particular enthusiasm began in 1996 when he sketched a small sailing vessel in the Cutty Sark Regatta which he had admired. Eugeny Scherban’s paintings are a synthesis of the academic style and a deliberate incompleteness. The latter enables the spectator to provide details of a painting from his or her own imagination. Scherban travels widely and wherever he goes he makes numerous sketches. He has painted several stage settings for the Marinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. In 2000 Scherban participated in an exhibition called Poetic Realism at the London gallery on Cork Street to great acclaim. Many of his works are held by private collections in the UK, the USA, and Scandinavia.

The Lady, 2 to 8 September 2003
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by Janina Pogorzelski

An exhibition in London's Mayfair spotlights the work of five contemporary Russian artists, all from St Petersburg, as part of this year's 300th anniversary celebrations of the founding of Russia's cultural capital. Among the 20 paintings on display are "expressive impressions" by Vladimir Kozhevnikov, an exploration of man living in harmony with nature by Oleg Tenyaev, avant-garde works by Nikolay Reznichenko, seascapes and sailing vessels by Eugeny Scherban, and intriguing figures by Alexey Kiryanov, including the street urchin (shown below).
The Artists of St Petersburg will be at the Hay Hill Gallery, 11b Hay Hill, London W1 (020-7629 1910) until 27 September. It is open from 11am to 6pm on weekdays, from 11am to 5pm on Saturdays. Admission is free.



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