'Universe of the Arts' writes about the influence of Nikolai Kuzmin's childhood and origins on his painting.
The philosophical profoundness of his art, its intellectual, even more than ideological – spiritual –, foundation were made up by Kuzmin throughout his career.It starts with the idea of motion, of a search for a way to carry on. The evocation by the painter of a childhood memory gives an extraordinary image of it: the image of a painting carried along by the wind, an object of anxiety as well as fascination, like a metonymical metaphor of the artist’s spiritual path, carried along by the elementary forces of the Creation. Later the young Kuzmin learns in the Stroganovka how to search for a ‘philosophical comprehension of the creation process.’ There he discovers how ‘not to copy but re-create nature’ on the canvas. The artistic creation becomes a search for the divine: religion supports the edifice made of his works. Moreover he gives a preponderant role to the ‘protectress Virgin of the Russian land’, present in some of his paintings, going with her in his desire to ‘see what hides behind the horizon, where the sun sets’ and to feel oneself take a place in the large painting of the divine creation.
Lastly the first quality of his œuvre, its sincerity and humility, is founded on his constant will to elaborate a unique approach to painting, matching his history, his personality, and his philosophy of life.
Let us finally quote the maxim of one of his professors, who replied to him, answering the questions of young Kuzmin about the works, shown in its corridors, made by the best students of the academy: ‘these painting are shown for the same thing not to be done…’ This is about calling young artists to be inspired by Kuzmin for his spirit of independence and freedom while inventing, as he does, their own way.
By Thibault Josset
From September 24th to October 20th, 2011
From November 24th to 27th, 2011
The dreams, beautiful lady, 2002, O/C, 120 x 110 cm (47.2 x 43.3 inches)
A dazzling day. Notre-Dame de Paris, 1998, O/C, 92 x 73 cm (36.2 x 28.7 inches)
The farewell, 2002, O/C, 100 x 90 cm (39.4 x 35.4 inches)
Once again my arms are raised to the heavens of my native country, 1990, O/C, 88 x 100 cm (34.6 x 39.4 inches)
Evening in winter, 1971, O/C, 98 x 87 cm (38.6 x 34.3 inches)
The Muscovite legend of the invisible town of Kitiezh, 2006, O/C, 50 x 75 cm (19.7 x 29.5 inches)