Artwork Title: Glass of Milk

Glass of Milk, 1984

Geliy Korzhev

...[he uses] the genre as a means of setting and resolving artistic tasks around meaning and composition. Korzhev himself described the process: "Think of the psychological still-life. It is necessary to find a new approach to the execution itself, too. Striking chiaroscuro, definitely some artificial light, maybe a naked flame (a candle or kerosene lamp). "A person's things, a book, a teapot, a basket, some rags etc. The main thing, though, is to portray the state of the person who owns those things. Their occupation, thoughts, lifestyle, even the events that could have taken place just before the scene shown to the viewer." The objects in Korzhev's still-lifes - an axe, a hand drill, some worn shoes, a Russian hat and jacket, clay pitchers, simple enamel pots and pans, a glass with a rag soaked in milk - are clearly present, convincingly material: they recall not merely the everyday life of Soviet times, but in a far broader sense the traditional lifestyle of generations of Russians. "I am more of a still-life painter than anything," Korzhev would say of himself. Indeed, his still-life composition technique of placing large objects in the foreground with a little shallow, barely defined space behind is clearly visible in the majority of his large-scale narrative paintings, from the iconic works of the 1960s to the cycles created in his final decades. (
Uploaded on Aug 8, 2017 by Suzan Hamer

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