. MARTYNCHIK WALERA ART (underground period 1970-1987)
Nonconformism in the Soviet visual Art as Continuation of the Russian Avant-Garde tradition
Walera Martynchik was born in the post war Soviet Union in Belarus. His artistic style was formed in 60th and 70th.There was only propaganda art existed and allowed at that time. But the first political and cultural liberalisation "The Thaw" had lifted the heavy "Iron Curtain" and through the narrow gap information (images) had flooded libraries, art magazines and museums. Only at that time young artist in the former USSR had learned that the Modern Art does exist and the most shocking was the fact that the provincial Belorussian town Vitebsk in the 20th was the place where the revolution in visual art took place, where Mark Chagall was born, Kazimir Malevich tought his theories and suprematists and costructivists laid foundation of new aesthetics. The tradition of Avant-garde culture was inspiring for the young artist but cotradicted the repressive practice of the Soviet Art education. Any attempts to experiment provoked suppressive measures as expultions, srtipping of scholarship and conspiracy, the underground existence was only the option for creative person to survive as an artist at that time. Since graduating from Belarusian Academy of Fine Arts in 1972 Walera Martynchik had been developing his unique style based on continuation Russian Avant-Garde tradition, emerging at that time computing art and philosophy of complexity. He called his first large comositions Zones. Paradoxically, inspite of been a synonim for prison camps his canvases had been the only zones of freedom for almost 20 years of total conspiracy, lack of exhbition and contacts with international world of culture.
In the70thWalera had a chance to visit studios of underground artists in Moscow well known now as Celkov, Yankelevsky and Rabin which had profound stimulating effect on his art. After Perestroika he was a founder and a curator of "Forma" the very first group of underground artists in Belarus. Creating such a group his aim was to demonstrate that independant cultural movement had existed not only in Moscow but in other cities and places but deep underground. Since 1990 Walera lives and exibits internationally in the UK.
ART OF MEMORY
The great soviet encyclopaedia and my childhood were inseparable. It was mandatory to subscribe to the encyclopaedia by the Stalinists government for the officials in the post war Russia.
My father was one of them and for many years those 50 heavy volumes, full of coloured images of the old masters replaced the absence of children’s books and toys and they defined the nature of my approach to creativity which mostly depends on written word from dictionaries and encyclopaedias.
This allowed me to abstract the inspiration from the whole history of thought; from the Euclidian atomic theories to the present philosophy of complexity
"BIG-BANG" 1987, diptych, 200 x 440 cm
I called my first compositions Zones. I had been working on them deep underground for almost twenty years because only in secrecy could I survive as an artist at that time in that country. Those canvases were the only place where I could ignore the then current, weird, political and social life. Only there did I felt free to experiment and work on the creation of a Spiritual Universe inside a Closed System.
"CONSOLATION ZONE" oil on canvas, 200 x 220 cm,1981, Nancy and Norton Dodge collection of Soviet Underground Art, USA
The 20th century revolution in Visual Art was inspired by the philosophical and mystical doctrines. In search of absolute and universal values artists turned to theories representing Cosmic Consciousness which had provoked the invention of Abstract Art. In their compositions the very first abstract artists depicted fragments, cross sections of elements of the invisible world of other dimensions falling from space. The idea of the Cosmic Consciousness was revelation and inspiration for my Art as well. But in spite of depicting fragments I have taken courage to represent all that invisible world by making it visible. That spiritual world which I see as a world- divine laboratory where new universes, new emotions and new dimensions are being created. Using visual metaphors and sense of humour of course.
"BEGINNING" Oil on canvas, 200x220 cm, 1981, Nansy & Norton Dodge collection, USA
The “Glass Bead Game” by German novelist Hermann Hesse, first published in 1946, was a major inspiring provocation. The sound of those scattered beads, their kaleidoscopic combination of shapes and forms became for me a visual translation of the “Conceptual Game which integrates all Fields of Human and Cosmic Knowledge through forms of Organic Symbolism’
"PROVOCATION" 200 X 220 cm, 1979, Private collection, Belgium
Combinatory Play, (as defined by A. Einstein in 1945) seems to be the essential feature in productive thought’’ This is an extraordinary method to generate ideas. It allows one to reshape and reconstruct. To fragment and to transform. Combining ideas dramatically and geometrically increases the complexity of a system and changes our perception and nature of interactions. Endless dynamics. new combinations for new futuristic possibilities.
"EXPULSION" 1987, Oil on canvas, 200 x 220 cm,