Dates: February 25 - March 21, 2021

Venue: Exhibition halls of the Russian Academy of Arts

            21 Prechistenka street, Moscow

The Russian Academy of Arts presents an exhibition of works by the Honored Artist of Russia, Academician, the First Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Arts Victor Kalinin and his spouse, the Corresponding Member of the RAA Irina Kalinina. Entitled Equinox, it features selected paintings and graphic sheets produced mostly in 2020 during the quarantine period.

Victor Kalinin belongs to the generation of the 1970s. A graduate of S. Stroganov Moscow Institute of Arts and Industries where he studied under  the distinguished painter Geliy Korzhev, in his canvases the artist combines the basics of the Russian school of painting, today's searches, art trends of the 20th century and his deep understanding of characters with a powerful pictorial and plastic generalization.

The artist's graphic works for the first time exhibited to the wide public at the Russian Academy of Arts have been executed in the author's complex mixed style. Similar to quick sketches, these very small pieces containing a sense of confessions cover a wide range of  topics. Emotions, reflections, experiences expressed in colors and accompanied by the author's texts are a kind of a document of time, a pictorial and poetic chronicle of the short, but productive period of Victor Kalinin's creativity. This is how the artist describes his work:

"... Periodically, there is a need to change the format of my works, the technique. One moment you can control the material, the next it leads you. Sometimes it does not go where you originally intended it to go. Lately, I have been working a lot on paper. When you reject big canvases and start working in a small sheet size, it seems, that this small space is under your complete control: you are  either  "mercilessly" slamming it with a hard pencil, or "endearing" with a soft oil pastel,  recoloring it with a dense layer of tempera, or trying to keep its glowing through the watercolors. 

Gradually, it becomes clear, that in every case, the paper while preserving its "paperness" starts to acquire properties of an unbreakable  wall as if urging you to be a match. It is as if the paper is not fragile, vulnerable, doomed to ephemeral existence and  your attempt  to overcome it takes on these properties. It results in storylines and appearance of these or those characters who either ghostly slide on the sheet's surface, or try their best to keep fr om slipping into oblivion...

Such work experience in a small format has been useful for me during the isolation in 2020. Besides working with graphic materials I felt a need in their pictorial interpretation.  Painting as it is has its own advantages and peculiarities in the small format too.

As a result, I have created almost 200 works united in one cycle and took an opportunity to have them published in the  book entitled  "In the Seclusion".  Now, my works of the small format are on display in the halls of the Russian Academy of Arts...".

Irina Kalinina is a lyrical painter who has a talent to see beauty in everyday life. Her pictorial manner is based on the art school of S. Stroganov Moscow Institute of Arts and Industries wh ere her teachers were the painter Sergey Fyodorov, sculptor-animal painter Vasily Vatagin, painter Victor Kalinin who later became her husband.

The artist's artistic images are always full of emotions and connected with folk traditions. Irina Kalinina believes, that the study of folk art and intuitive insights awaken in the soul the memory of what should not be lost and becomes consciously important.

"The Russian folk art has entered my life since my childhood - at first, just as a natural habitat and over the years it began to acquire a mystical universal meaning...".

"The solar ornamentation on household things, zoomorphic motifs  in children's toys, protective and benevolent symbols on tools, ideograms of water, earth on peasant embroidery - all of them have aroused and are still of a keen and continuous interest" - says Irina Kalinina.

The work by Victor Kalinin and Irina Kalinina gives us an idea of the complex perception of the environment, acute reaction to the surrounding reality which the artists organically and masterfully depict in their art. 

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