Fluid Dynamics

Alexei Lantsev

June 2012

About the exhibition

Fluid Dynamics is a major exhibition of new work by exciting contemporary Russian artist Alexei Lantsev. In a series of paintings Lantsev explores the interplay of light and the effects created by layers of colour, shape and form. Captivated by Isaac Newton’s Opticks, these paintings are a testimony to the artist’s experiments with the refraction of light and the fluid nature of paint. The current exhibition consists of works from different series -- Power of Water, Naive Calligraphy and Newton’s Experiments – they are united under the name Fluid Dynamics. The title is, of course, just a play on words, which naively reflects my fascination with science.

From the artist

On Style…

Having being taught art in the style of Russian realism, my move to abstraction does not mean a rejection of the figurative style of painting. My figurative sketches capture the memories of a place or a person and my sketches are live drawings of the here and now. The abstract work is an extension. My figurative and abstract paintings are strongly related in the decomposition of figurative representation into planes of colour. In my abstract painting the forms and proportions of colours create movements. There are no material objects, no politics and no literature. For me, it is like music, with a freedom of movement and expression within an uncontaminated subjective universe.

On Colour…

Colour is of the utmost importance to me. A metaphorical solution is provided by colour. The intrigue starts with the relationship between two colours. This can be either contrast or harmony. Each viewer provides his own solution - colour illicit an individual response of a viewer - it can be associated with or affect a person’s mood – like the major or minor do in music. In painting and in drawing the most important thing is movement and proportion. If you succeed at communicating movement that is really serious art – that is my main aim. It is the use of light and the proportions of colour that create movement.

On Light…

The manipulation of light and the relationship to its symbolic meaning, as in the great paintings of Caravaggio in the 16th century or the Impressionists in 20th century, is also a key concern for the contemporary abstract painter. I am not just interested in light on the horizon / horizontal axis but I am concerned with a more complicated construction of light. I am interested in how light can exist inside the painting, how it can come from within and move in different directions.

On Water…

For ten years now I have worked only with water based paints Water is my main assistant. At the Art Academy my teachers told me: "Alexei – you use water in a way that no one else can – this is your strength". At that time I didn't believe them, but over time I have realised that my occupation and my strength is in this medium. The way I work with water is what distinguishes me as an artist - it has great significance for me...

On Chance…

Chance is critical in art. I am convinced that the artist's hand, if properly trained, can outrun the mind. So what seems to be ‘chance’ is not necessarily happing at random. Sometimes the artist can interpret faster and reflects more truly, than the conscious thought process. It is in unexpected moments that you can surpass yourself – do something you have never done before, accept those unexpected moments of creativity, overcome your fear, take the risks and be open to novelty.

 
 
 
 

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