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07.11.2008

The Resurrect ed Time of a Great Culture. Amir Timergaleyev.

One constant part of his consciousness was open to the outer world
Saul Bellow

Both Amir Timergaleyevs art and name have long been associated with the circle of key figures among most recent European art trends. His creative path is inseparable from that of the late 20th century generation and can be defined as free figurativeness.
Those figures and that generation are generally regarded as bearers of the most vital and active tradition in contemporary culture, one that has preserved the entire heritage of the 20th century classical avant-garde. Even now its impact can be fully recognised by an observer. This trend has doubtless produced museum-level, star-level art. Moreover, it is quite obvious that future belongs to this type of art, moving freely along the axis of visual events and outperforming any other artistic language.

Amirs art idiom has absorbed, embodied and expressed the whole range of problems raised during the fin-de-siecle art, its entire intellectual quest for a new ethos in art and a new reality. The universal nature of this reality and its transpersonal values did not prevent the artist from remaining true to his independent original approach to world culture, particularly to the art of Post-impressionism.

Amir Timergaleyev has been recognised as true follower and true heir to classical values shared by Henri Matisse and Amedeo Modigliani, Paul Cezanne and Mark Chagall, while at the same time never hesitating to question authority of these iconic figures, these spiritual leaders of newest art systems. Amir himself notes as a feature of his art a tendency to exist in several times simultaneously, to time-travelling during which immersions in the past and flights to the future blend naturally.

His art tends to transcend time barriers while his recollections and foresights complement one another, constantly outlining the fateful circle of the 21st century culture and identifying its basic coordinates. The novelty Amir is creating in his work only looks sharper in contrast with the attention he is paying to the past; his acute perception of the present is intensified by constant striving towards the unknown, and in the end towards the highest mysteries of art.

Sophisticated figurativeness of Amirs paintings, their rich texture and originality of their color and light compositions combined with their natural look, his direct appeal to modern man all this shows an artistic personality of world-level importance. He brings back to our culture the art of great styles, of ultimate human values that inspired geniuses of the past from Leonardo to Van Gogh, from Van Gogh to Gerhard Richter.

Thus painting is elevated above the horizons of current relevance and contemporary visual strategies.

Great cycles of culture are displayed in the very fabric of Amir Timergaleyevs work. Subjects, including women engrossed is self-reflection, interiors of art studios filled with cosmic sunshine, landscapes with a road receding away like an individuals life, sailboats soaring like giant butterflies and vases full of fruit resembling ancient frescoes, mingle and become one life-giving image, thus acquiring a great power of credibility.

Their concreteness is blurred as they turn into universal states of man and nature, into archetypes of their mutual relationship. While preserving their reality they transcend the confines of the figurative and move towards the imagery of trans-avant-garde. Amirs personality matches his art well: inquisitive eyes, a ready smile, regard for his listener, a romantic look with his mane and a radiant face, explosive speech and inner calmness based on clarity of thought and firm belief in his ideas.

He is a paradoxical combination of Byronism with the heroes of Jim Jarmusch, a character from a story by Borges, a copyist of ancient texts fascinated with radical images of culture and with the biblical apocrypha.
The artist laughs, talks tongue-in-cheek, persuades, conceals what is the most important, enthralls with deep artistic thought, reveals himself and then leaves empty space for understatement in the manner of John Cage. His art abounds in recurrent meanings, randomness transformed into deeply personal signs and symbols, and sets forth fundamental iconology where man reigns supreme. His art embraces boundless landscapes, where cities, people and objects are lost in their metaphysical folds, post-modernist culture disappearing beyond the ever-receding horizon.

Amirs nomadic ways go hand in hand with his well-established position as a cultural scientist, a collector and keeper of pyramids and the ruins of ancient civilisations. Modernity, whose ideology and worldview feed on powerful energy fields of axis cultures, appears in Amirs works as brimming with irrational revelations and voices calling from the future. Unique techniques Amir employs, as well as his ability to describe and comment on his own work, create an effect of a picture as an art object where painting appears as a nostalgia for a painting or a recollection of a painting, where the dense informative texture conceals, like a cocoon, a true masterpiece, a visual pearl. Multi-layer landscapes, brilliant with all their structured associative series, and genuinely artistic qualities openly testifying to the birth of an absolutely new vision of the world all this becomes a manifesto of a brand new culture, a culture of return to natural values.

Antiquity and trans-avant-garde, medieval stained-glass panels and Symbolist art, European Renaissance and American Conceptualism all freely co-exist in Amirs compositions, creating a remarkable artistic context of the Third Millennium. A virtuoso in handling cultural styles, Amir discovers an absolutely new language of visual linguistics.

In this inter-textual dramaturgy Amir finds a new personal existence as an image from the mythology of the independent intellectual cinematography, a man moving through centuries. When he stops he becomes a witness, a scribe, a copyist from the book of post-history, using both ruins of ancient cultures and their revived forms appearing in our swift, virtual civilization.

Amir does not shy away from restoration or reconstruction, sometimes working with refuse and relics of the past, cleaning history and culture from their slag for the sake of finding a new philosophical stone a meta-reality and its poetics of eternal return and images of the Absolute. In this role of a time-traveler, like a character from the opera Victory over the Sun by Malevich, Amir defeats history and claims art as a trophy, modifying his finds within strange quotation mirrors and blending immediate reality with the most significant art events.

Amirs work hovers within the boundaries of the future, in its aesthetic ecology, in the phenomenon of its defensive symbols, never losing sight of world catastrophes and tragedies of the past, yet turning tragedies into harmonious ideals and images of happiness in artistic reality.
Thus, a new human being is modeled, resurrecting historical memory and revitalizing lost ties with the body of our common home the planet Earth.

By Vitaly Patsukov
Catalogue to the exhibition in Kazan in 2008

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