Sergey Dozhd, Dark Dominantes, 2013; Oil on canvas, 100×70cm

Exhibition Preface

Sergey Dozhd, an academician from the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, has been pursuing his art dreams alone over the past 30 years. He didn’t jump on the bandwagon to follow the contemporary art of Europe and the United States. Neither did he follow the Russia’s Political Pop highly praised by the West. Instead, he sticks to Russia’s tradition to explore avant-garde art and persistently goes forward with abstraction. He has devoted himself to studying the works of Malevich, Picasso, Kandinsky, Rothko and other artists since 1980’s and created his earliest collection of PSY abstract paintings. Unwilling to put them on display, however, Dozhd kept pushing himself ahead in this off-the-beaten track for 30 years. He didn’t bring his works to the global stage until 2012 when his works PSY Abstraction: Expanding the Space of Abstraction was published. Art critics said that by then he had established a brand new art form, the PSY ART, both theoretically and in practice. These works ranging from sketches, paintings, installations, videos and photographs have demonstrated a novel expression of the spiritual world and immediately attracted global attention after being exhibited in Russia, the United States, Canada, Germany and France.

Dozhd names all his works

Dozhd believes that abstract artistic expression is yet to be sufficiently understood by audience, as many think its way of creation simple and there are so many works untitled or having only a serial number. Dozhd named all his works. He said naming reflected his journey of art creation and elucidated the essence of his works.

Dozhad admits that no works depicting the unknown have come up to his expectations so far. To explore further with abstract painting, he thinks it necessary to expand the art into the inner world to express feelings, intuition, awareness, unawareness and creativity. He invented the concept of PSY to integrate and depict all these psychological phenomena and take it as the philosophy of his artistic creation. Dozhd brings forth his own theory and works of PSY Art.

Dozhd let shapes, colors and layers speak

For Dozhd, every shape means something. For instance, a square is used to represent thought, triangle symbolizes intuition while circle speaks for feelings and emotions. The combination of different shapes form a complicated foundation for the tangible to flow towards the intangible, just like a conduit in the inner world able to lead to infinity.

As for colors, Dozhd once said:“I do not feel colors. The ideas are much more important for me.” When he created, colors arose unconsciously to complete an idea, and every idea always corresponded to a color. According to him, cold hues represent intuitive processes, which quickly and directly penetrate our consciousness. Warm hues signify feelings. When they develop, they begin to warm the space around them. Yellow and white further more represent understanding. On another level the colors describe spiritual states. These can be complex and find their representation in complex hues. Then there is also such a thing as non-color. Here the color recedes into the background, because the “colorfulness of the idea” is more important. To achieve non-color, Dozhd said he often applied a coat of paint and scratch it off repeatedly until a mere intimation of a color remains. That was a hue unable to be defined but producing a strong atmosphere.

At Today Art Museum we are embracing Dozhd’s first personal exhibition in China. Its opening follows the previous exhibition I curated at the National Art Museum of China, “Eastern Figuration VS Western Abstraction: Tan Ping dialogue with Luciano Castelli”, a month ago. It might be accidental to have these two exhibitions on Western abstract art open successively. But I personally see some inevitability. When I acquired a doctorate degree from Germany and started to work a dozen years ago, though unable to buy a car or an apartment, I collected an abstract art painting (180*540 cm) on installment payment. Chinese people’s growing interests with abstract art mirror the inevitable changes in artistic creation and appreciation from figuration, realism, non-realism, expressionism to abstraction. Together with the Black Square of Malevich, abstract art has developed for 100 years. As the western fervor with abstract art has receded, the Chinese obsessed with abstract art must face up to the changing trend, make free choices in their artistic creation and pursue new breakthroughs.

Through the PSY Art exhibition, Dozhd sheds lights on how an artist makes free choices in his artistic creation. His works bear a strong Russian flavor and provides a distinctive perspective to enrich the current sino-foreign exchanges on abstract art.

By Curator Huang Mei

About the exhibition

Opening time: 19 June,3:30pm.

Duration: 2015.06.20 — 2015.06.30

Opening: 2015.6.19 15:30

Location: 1st floor exhibition hall of Building No.3, Today Art Museum

Courtesy of the artist and Today Art Museum, for further information please visit www.todayartmuseum.com.

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