Exhibition of works of Pavel Otdelnov, which Agency. Art Ru opens on its site on Ozerkovskaya Embankment, represents some sort of result of apprehension of artistic nature of light as expressed by means of painting. The very name of the exposition “Neon Landscape” in a way defines chronological boundaries of Otdelnov’s pictorial narrative, which is up-to-date to the utmost. “Neon, or rather luminescent light illuminates offices, railway stations and salesrooms – the entire social space. One hardly pays any attention to it. But then these very lines of daylight lamps that run far into perspective determine the vector of today’s humankind movement”, the artist says.
For the most part modern art in different media incarnations merely exploits light technologies assigning it secondary role, Pavel Otdelnov thinks. The artist in turn makes it a main character of his works. Light generates and organizes the ambience appearing not only in common things, but occasionally in anti-aesthetic ones as regards traditional assumptions. Works of Otdelnov present urbanism in its pure evocation. Laconic geometric forms presented in tender tones of rusty, iron-grey, bluish color are easily recognizable for the eye of every city dweller – but at that saturated with light spots: automobile headlights, lights of take-off runway, indicators, reflections of either sunset or sunrise. Otdelnov is not new to the theme of industrial landscape – and here he smoothly integrates into it the object of his artistic exploration.
Otdelnov’s art is for the most part a space without a hero if we traditionally assume the latter as personified image. The very space becomes non-anthropomorphic, but extremely expressive character, variable, but always identifiable. If we see on picture something anthropomorphic, we take it as a reference point and to some extent identify it with ourselves”, the painter argues. Only if alone with the space, one can perceive and appreciate the extent of how easy this seclusion is to get – a luxury almost unattainable to a megalopolis dweller. Such sentiments make works of Otdelnov as if snatched from uninterrupted stretch of the world around us.
Another conceptual layer recognizable in the artist’s works is time. Aesthetics of empty railway trucks, old stations and roads doesn’t stand for expected nostalgia; their decay does not suggest decadence. Frozen time of the 70s on them obviously reports historical fracture, a nearly physically felt crack between epochs – strangely optimistic. “Our means of perception of time have changed a lot over the last century, Otdelnov says. – But desolate landscape could exist even a millennium ago as today, almost intact”.
This distance is what “displays”, like emulsion, the reality that has become invisible to the accustomed eye. Neon light gives a man back “Euclidean space” of the Renaissance becoming a true Pole Star in space and time.