PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST: SOLO EXHIBITION OF ANDREY ESIONOV AT THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS
Dates: November 10 – December 12, 2023
Venue: Exhibition halls of the Russian Academy of Arts (21 Prechistenka street, Moscow)
The Russian Academy of Arts presents a solo exhibition of works by the renowned painter and graphic artist, master of portraits and city landscapes, Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, Honorary Member of the Florence Academy of Fine Arts (Accademie di Belle Arti de Firenze) Andrey K. Esionov. His pictures are realistic. However, one can find in them both metaphorical and symbolic features, sometimes even surrealistic motifs. Drawings and sketches fr om nature, subjects and characters, scenes and human types in the artist’s mind are transformed and turn into edifying short stories, maxims and aphorisms always having a peculiar subtext.
The exhibition’s title “Portrait of the Artist” is not accidental. There is a well-known idea of how the master sees himself and how he positions himself, how the
the viewer and art critics perceive him. The self-portrait is a complicated and subjective genre, it always has an element of idealization and hypertrophy. Another thing is when the opinion of the artist, his “image rating” result fr om opinions of professional art historians, art critics and gallery owners. As for the works by Andrey Esionov, about whom representatives of art culture of various countries and aesthetic preferences have spoken a lot, it has turned out that all of them are almost unanimous in analyzing and evaluating the creative potential of this Moscow master of painting and graphics. As a whole, heterogeneous verbal reviews have formed into a multifaceted assessment of the artist’s personality and art, in other words - into the fairly objective portrait of him. This is how the Russian, French, Italian, English art critics, perhaps without knowing it, have made a mosaic portrait of the author of the exhibition, while his “self-portrait” is the works that are on display.
The work of Andrey Esionov contains a wide range of features of great skill. That is why the space between epithets to the artist is so large starting from the verbal outburst of emotions of the remarkable Italian painter, Academician of the Florence Academy of Fine arts Andrea Granki: “The Virtuoso of the third millennium” to the serious analyses of the President of the Florence Academy of fine Arts Christina Achidini: “ … in essence, the space, that Esionov has set aside for himself is the space of freedom, wh ere he is exempt from obligations and rituals and can afford to plunge without looking back into the crowded ocean of the iconography of the world – and here his brilliant technique helps him”. All these things allow us to consider and feel not just individual works by the artist in the context of his author’s manner and figurative thinking, but the process of his talent development, in other words, the evolution of the master’s creativity, his imagination and fantasy, as well as the associative perception of reality.
As a proof of the above, there was an exhibition of Esionov’s works in seven Cathedrals of the Eternal City on seven hills and finally now in the “forth Rome” – Moscow in the halls of the Russian Academy of Arts which has always been the standard of professional culture, spirituality, excellence and meaningfulness of art. The art initially has a special inexplicable sacredness, which is inherent in the best works by Andrey Esionov, he does not lim it himself to cannons and forms always going out into the vastness of his imagination. Perhaps, one of the incentives for such an impact on the artist is an ambivalence of his nature and character. Being the master of a wide range of genres and philosophy he has no priorities, because in each of his works he sees the continuation of the previous ones. Reaching the next horizon in creativity, as a kind of a peak, he discovers the new stage for himself, thereby stimulating the imagination of lovers and connoisseurs of true art.