Biography

Brief Biography+

Brief biography

1944 born on April 7, in Kirsanov (during evacuation); the family returned to Moscow in that same year
1967 graduated from Moscow Engineering and Physical Sciences Institute, Faculty of Cybernetics 
1968-1970 private painting and drawing lessons 
1971-1974 Doctoral studies at Engineering ad Physical Sciences Institute
1981 graduated from Evening Folk Arts University, painting classes
1983 earned diploma from higher degrees of Evening Folk Arts University

Artwork

1961

first paintings (made under the influence of contemporary arts exhibitions during youth festival in Moscow and the American Industrial Exhibition in 1961); first contacts with abstract expressionism and abstract surrealism 

1962-1964

new interest in constructivism, birth of a series of geometric abstract compositions devoted to music 
(„syncope painting“) and series of wooden painted sculptures

1965-1966

first experiments with fragmented „discreet painting“, discovery and research in constructions connecting figurative and abstract elements in to holistic picture 

1967

acquaintance with painters E. Bulatov, O. Vasiliev, I. Kabakov; participation in creative discussions and meetings of a future Stretenska group; production of a series of complex compositions containing geometrical construction elements along with figurative elements 

1970-1975

experiments with various formats and discovery of conceptual spherical space; production of round painting series with spherical spatial structure; acquaintance with artists R. and V. Gerlovin, I. Čujkov, sculptors I. Šelkovský and L. Sokov; deeper interest in methods used by conceptualists; birth of a series of minimalist round format paintings 

1976

participation in famous exhibition of seven artists in L. Sokov’s studio leading to Šelkovsky’s emigration and publication of the first foreign edition of A-Ja1977 magazine
participation in Venice and Torino biennale (part titled unofficial Russian arts)

1979

Parisian edition of the first A-Ja magazine volume devoted to the Russian contemporary arts for the first time and containing an article of V. Paciukov titled Sergej Šablavin

1980

Parisian edition of the second volume of A-Ja magazine containing an article of S. Šablavin on art production of O. Vasiliev

1976-1982

birth of the series of conceptual and hyper-realistic paintings devoted to contemporary urban issues; participation in exhibitions of the Urban Committee of Graphic Designers and other exhibitions and discussion organised by Sculptors’ club in Moscow’s Artists’ House

1983

production of first objects and installations from 1985 
production of series containing „discrete“, „harmonic“ and „mixed“ paintings, objects and installations full of diverse visual material (geometric elements, signs, symbols, figurative painting fragments, etc.) depicting issues of intertwined reality relations and spatial perception, memory and subconscious perceptual functions; he describes his art works as border-line arts situated on the crossroad between post-constructivism, conceptualism and abstract and figurative op-art as well as postmodernism

1990-1996

he worked in Russia (Moscow), Germany (Hamburg, Meppen, Cologne) and took part in exhibitions like Kunst Europa (Wilhelmshaven a Meppen)

1995-2005

he participated in projects and exhibitions presenting pieces from collection of Kendy and Jacob Bar-Gera in Russia,  Germany, Italy, Israel and Switzerland

1998

received scholarship from Bayer concern, the first personal exhibition of Sergey Schablavin, Stadtmaler 1998 as part of Russian season programme 1998 – 1999 in German Leverkusen

2008

participation in opening of Nonconformists’ exhibition. Second Russian avant-garde from collection of Bar-Gera in the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava

2011

was nominated for Kandinsky prize 2011 for Landscape formula 2 project in the category of Project of the Year 

Museums and Collections+
  • Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
  • Russian museum St. Peterburg
  • Museum of private collections of Fine Art Museum of A. S. Pushkin, Moscow
  • Museum of contemporary art  ART 4RU, Moscow
  • Joan Miró Museum (Fundació Joan Miró), Barcelona
  • Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum of New Jersey, New Jersey
  • State Museum of Contemporary Art (Costakis Collection), Thessaloniki
  • Bar-Gera collection, Germany – Switzerland
  • Museum Bochum, Bochum
  • RITU Contemporary Art Museum, Moscow
  • Jekaterina Cultural Fund, collection of J. A. and V. A. Semenichin, Moscow
  • Meppener Kunstkreis, Meppen
  • Kunsthalle, Wilhelmshaven
  • Bayer Collection, Leverkusen
  • Collection of Transilvania University, Lexington
  • First International Museum for Persecuted Art, Ashdod
  • Collection of J. Nutovich, Moscow
  • Collection Beata and Slavo Mladý, Slovakia
  • Private collections in Great Britain, Italy, Germany, USA, Austria, Netherlands,  Switzerland, Sweden, Greece, Poland, Russia and others
Impressum+

The exhibition in Bratislava City Gallery presents Slovak public with a selection of art produced by famous Russian artist Sergey Shablavin (1944). His works were exhibited in Slovakia for the first time as a part of Russian art collection titled The Second Russian Avant-garde – nonconformists from Bar-Gera collection taking place on turn of 2008 and 2009 in the Slovak National Gallery. Now, we have the opportunity to get a closer view of Sergey Shablavin’s paintings. He is one of those painters associated with non-conformist label – it acts as communication code, an identification mark, a quality brand mainly for the foreign audience or as a tool helping us to integrate the artist’s creation and view it. By the way, an eye with its possibilities and ways of looking at the world around us as well as process of perceiving facts and its painted reflection, stands in the centre of the author’s agenda.

Sergey Shablavin (1944) is one of prominent representatives of the Russian non-conformism, a kind of art which mainly meant alternative to official culture in the former Soviet Union. It neither formed a continuous flow, nor it gave birth to a uniform group, however, this notion is assigned to art works of various and diverse personalities and agenda. This group was glued together by the urge to stand up against ruling party and its image of culture and art. Most of these globally recognized painters faced many troubles finding their way to art creation. Not only were they hindered in their education, but also they could hardly express their clear personal attitudes and pursue art agenda which deviated from officially adopted prospects and requirements designated for fine arts (hidden under a vague name of social realism or socialist art). Soviet regime did its best to preclude and hinder their professional ambitions: starting with membership in trade organisations all the way to staging exhibitions and presenting results of their work. Many of them had to be employed in various jobs or perform public benefit tasks (such as illustrating children’s magazines, fiction books, textbooks, etc.). Shablavin was originally a mathematician who had devoted many years to science and worked in various institutions far from art creation. He started as a self-educated artist, then attended private lessons and finally graduated from Evening Folk Arts University in Moscow only in 1980-ies while taking a „third route“ of artistic education in former Soviet Union.

Right from the start, Sergey Shablavin devoted most of his works to abstract creation with some links to works of so called Lianozov group; pretty soon, they adopted a geometrical language of op-art while experimenting with different fine art languages. He was chiefly interested in relations between fine arts and music, he titled his works: „syncope“ paintings and formed picture constructions combined by abstract and figurative elements. At the end of 60-ies, he managed to get in touch with some unofficial artists like Erik Bulatov, Ilja Kabakov and Oleg Vasiliev who lived and socialized on Sretensky boulevard in Moscow; their creation and activities were later titled Moscow conceptualism in art. They became close as a result of their common opinions and creative issues; discussion with them sharpened his creative views, too. Since the time that Shablavin’s works were published in „emigrant“ magazine A-Ja (1979), issued in Paris by sculptor Igor Shelkovsky, Shablavin became one of regime and social art enemies. However, this fact did not preclude him from focusing on his favourite activity – painting. Until 1987 when „avant-garde“ art could leave the premises of private apartments and cellars as a consequence of perestroika, he only painted in his leisure time. Despite that, Shablavin made a point of thoroughly exploring potential hidden in painting as a medium.

Sergey Shablavin finally found out that the best way of portraying himself and his art perception is landscape. Although using expressions of realistic and hyper-realistic painting, his art works are not traditional and his landscape portrayal seems much more sophisticated. In reality, his paintings are complicated optical structure with their own rules for combination of individual elements and features into new and intertwined units. Shablavin is a painter who studied persistently since 70-ies and explored precise relations between perceived and portrayed objects, our visual perception of the world around us and its illusive reflection on canvas. In the light of aforementioned, the painter started to focus on visual perception of reality rather than reality itself. In Shablavin’s creation, one can specifically observe fusion of photorealism and elements of visual deception – trompe l´oeil, as well as constructive and geometrical methods employed in a conceptual way. Unusual format shortly became one typical feature of his creation playing a key role in the whole painting. Most often, he would draw a circle, an oval or a rectangle – or an opposition of both formats of spherical and rectangular form, while implanting landscape motifs amidst of them. He noticed that a format defined in this way tends to „cooperate“ much better with portrayed motif than traditional form. Moreover, he started to investigate some notions related to painting and portrayal, a relationship between landscape and geometric structure, abstract and subject form, reflecting form, a background, foreground, space and  area, light and shadow (dark); detail and the whole, anarchy, chaos and order, dynamics and stability or picture and text. These were the tools enabling him to strike balance and leverage various ways of perceiving and portraying the world around us.

As for motifs, Shablavin’s landscape encompasses various types: we can find urban and controversially civilized society (grey interiors of concrete housing estates and vacant public transport stops are very close to Slovaks, too). He intentionally chooses Moscow often, since he is very familiar with this metropolis he lives in, especially with its new – and hardly attractive – suburban parts. This is often a romantic and idyllic country with sea levels, forests and lowlands of Russian countryside. He pictures them in various ways, sometimes as wide horizontally spread panoramas, another time as circles or some type of spherical lens (the impression is that the landscape is reflected in concave mirror) or a composition based on prolonged vertical. Some paintings contain centrally located human silhouette – a female or male one – which tends to semantically determine and then again mystify message to be shared with the viewer. A text in the painting never contradicts the image; its role is to confirm, „support“ and duplicate the information, which comes to the viewer in two semantic levels – in an iconic and text code and both these add a mysterious paradoxes and tension to the painting.

Each Shablavin’s painting is a unique microcosm, a world on its own ruled by its own laws and at the same time it is always a message about the world, an expression of artist’s relationship with life and art. Moreover, he articulated his humanistic approach to artistic creation  quite clearly in several confessions. Although, Shablavin’s paintings often radiate silent melancholy, alienation, existential loneliness as well as abandonment of person in the modern world, his paintings still express harmony and their inner energy is positive. As if every move of the painter’s brush, each of his paintings indicate that despite sorrows, miseries and tragedies around us, there is still hope... 

KATARÍNA BAJCUROVÁ

Exhibitions+

EXCLUSIVE EXHIBITIONS

1984
Squaring the circle. Computer centre, Analytical computing machines, Moscow

1985
Beyond traditions. Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, Moscow

1986
Space and form. All-union cardiology centre, Moscow

1994
Illusion –feature –reality. Moscow Fine Art Gallery, Moscow

1995
Intersections of times. Dialogue –Bank, Moscow

1996
Circles and Squares (part of exhibition presenting 8 Russian non-conformists). René Reichard Gallery, Frankfurt upon Main

1998
Sergey Shablavin , painter of the town Bayer AG, Wiesdorf; Galerie am Werk, Leverkusen

2004
Sergey Shablavin –Non Conformist. Quaedvlieg Modern Fine Art Gallery, Maastricht

2006
Sergej Šablavin. Projekt Zmiznutie (maliarstvo). Galéria Fine Art, Moskva

2006
Sergey Shablavin . Escape Project (painting). Fine Art Gallery, Moscow

2011
Sergey Shablavin . Landscape formula. Ajdan Gallery, Moscow

2014
Sergej Šablavin, Bratislava City Gallery

 

COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS

1967 – 1970
group exhibitions in Moscow Engineering Physics Institute

1976
exhibition of seven artists in a Studio of L. Sokov – a sculptor

1977
Arte Sovietica. Biennale / Soviet Art. Bienale. Venice, Torino

1978 –1986
annual seasonal exhibitions in a Municipal Committee of Graphic Designers, Moscow

1979
exhibition of artists from A-ja magazine in a studio of I. Šelkovský, Paris

1986
spring exhibition of Moscow Fine Arists’ Union, Moscow

1987
problematic exhibitions in House of Artists on Kuzneck bridge, Moscow

1987
An artist and presence. Exhibition – Avant-garde art festival as part of International Forum of Cultural Activists. Exhibition hall in Krasnogvardeysky District, Moscow

1987
Object 1. The first exhibition of objects. Municipal Committee of graphic designers on Small Georgian St., Moscow

1987
Inter-Art 87. Warsaw, Poznan, Krakow

1988
Geometry in art. Exhibition devoted to K. Malevich,  exhibition hall in Krasnogvardeysky District, Moscow

1988
Thousand years of Russian culture. House of Artists, Moscow

1988
spring exhibition of Moscow Fine Artists’ Union, Moscow

1988
1st creative group. Avant-garde art festival. House of Artists on Kuzneck bridge, Moscow

1988
Labyrinth.  Exhibition mapping avant-garde art, Central Youth Palace, Moscow

1988
Soviet Art 88. Finland

1989 
Labyrinth.  Labyrinth. New art from Moscow. Schloss Wo-tersen, Hamburg; Altes SchloßBennigsen, Hannover

1989 
New Art from Moscow. Hauswedel und Nolte Auction, Atlantic Hotel, Hamburg

1989 
Exhibition of Soviet artists. Costakis' collection, Vienna, Athens

1989 
Soviet Art 89. Finland

1989 
Art Fair Basel 1989 / Soviet art exhibition, art fair, Basel

1990 
Uniformity and variability. Contemporary Moscow artists. Industrial fair, HMC, Hamburg

1990 
Logics of paradox.  Avant-garde exhibition as part of UN UNESCO in Moscow, Central Youth palace, Moscow

1990 
Alternative art of 60-ies. Soviet Cultural Fund. Moscow

1991 
Lianozovo –Moscow, painting and poetry of 60-ies. Literary museum, Moscow

1991 
European Art 1991. Verein Kunstfreunde, Wilhelmshaven

1991 
European Art 1991. Kunstkreis, Meppen

1992 
Lianozovo –Moscow, Sammlung collection of V. Nekrasov. Museum Bochum, Bochum

1992 
Moscow romantic. Exhibition of contemporary art by Karat company, Central House of Artists, Moscow

1992 
Three perspectives of the Russian landscape. Karenina Gallery, Vienna

1992 
Art after 1945. Hauswedell und Nolte Auction, Hamburg

1993 
Harmony and absurdity. Moscow Fine Art Gallery, Moscow

1993 
Art – Myth 93. Exhibition hall Manege, Moscow

1995 
12 artists from Moscow. Bildness und Holz Fabric,
Lauenburg; Naumann-Stiftung, Berlin

1995 
Nonconformist Art of Soviet Union 1956 –1986. The Norton & Nancy Dodge Collection. 
Zimmerly Art Museum, The State University of New Jersey, New Jersey

1996 
 Nonconformists. Second Russian Avant-garde 1955 –1988. Collection of Jacob and Kendy Bar-Gera. Russian museum, St. Peterburg; Tretyakov State Gallery, Moscow; Städel Museum, Frankfurt upon Mein 

1996 
Eight Russian nonconformists. René Reichard Gallery, Frankfurt upon Mein

1996 
In between the faith and aesthetics. 15 contemporary Russian artists. Art Management, Hamburg

1997 
Nonconformists. Second Russian avant-garde 1955 –1988. Collection of Jacob and Kendy Bar--Ger. Kunsthaus, Leverkusen; Museum von Josef Albers Quadrat, Bottrop

1997 
10 Russian nonconformists. Clara Maria Sels Gallery, Düsseldorf 

1997 
Artistic event in Moscow Fine Art Gallery, meeting with the Jabloko party leader G. Javlinsky, Moscow

1997 
Collector’s world, a perspective of the contemporary art. Exhibition of J. M. Nutovich’s collection. Museum of private collections, Moscow

1997 
Artist – hero of the painting.  Exhibition hall. 
Phoenix, Moscow

1997 
Moscow paintings in art work of Moscow artists. A3 Gallery, Moscow

1998 
Russian landscapes of the end of 20th century
Galerie russe du Centre, Geneva

1998 
Nonconformists. Second Russian avant-garde 1955 –1988. Collection of Jacob and Kendy Bar-Gera. State gallery of the town of Samara, Samara

1999 
Russian landscapes of the end of 19th century
20th century. Kemerov regional museum  of fine art, Kemerovo

1999 
Museum of contemporary art (exhibition project). Russian art between the end of 1950-ies and beginning of 1980-ies, from abstract to conceptual art. Central house of artists, Moscow

2000 
Non-conformists. Second Russian avant-garde 1955 –1988. Bar-Gera collection. Arte Moderna Gallery e Contemporanea Palazzo Forti, Verona

2001 
Nonconformists 1955 –1988. Paintings and photo-documentation. Märkisches Museum Witten, Witten

2002 
Manege. 40 years of nonconformist art coming from the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery
and private collections. Art – Manege programme 2002, Moscow

2002 
Non-conformists 1955 –1988. Paintings and photo-documentation. Contemporary Art Museum, Moscow; Saratov State Museum, Saratov

2003     
Moscow abstract art (retrospective exhibition from Tretyakov Gallery collection). Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

2003 
Persecuted Art and Artist – First International Museum for Persecuted Art, Ashdod

2003 
Moscow–Berlin 1950 –2000. Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

2004 
Moscow–Berlin 1950 –2000. State historical Museum, Moscow

2004 
Nonconformists from Moscow. R. M. Besser’s collection. Ludwig Museum Koblenz, Koblenz

2005 
Avant-garde in underground. Russian nonconformists from Bar-Gera collection. Kunstmuseum, Bern

2006 
Soviet alternative art 1956 –1988 (coming from G. Costakis’s collection). The State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki

2006 
Art Fair FIAC 2006. Paris

2007 
Water poetry in Russian art from 16th to 20th century. Retrospective exhibition from Russian museum  funds. Palais Lumière, Evian

2007 
15 years of Ajdan Gallery. Jubilee exhibition of Ajdan Gallery, Contemporary Art Centre Vinzavod, Moscow

2007 
Art of protest by the second Russian avant-garde from Kendy and Jacob Bar-Gera collection as a part of the International Festival of Four Cultures. Lodz Historical Museum, Lodz

2008 
Magazine on the window-sill – history of A-Ja magazine. Museum and social centre of A. Sacharov, Moscow

2008 
Power of water (16th to 20th century) from Russian museum collections. Russian museum,
St. Peterburg

2008 
Nonconformists. A second Russian avant-garde 1955 –1988 from Bar-Gera collection. The Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava

2009 
Around the world with painting stand. Joint project of the Russian museum and the State Museum  –  Caricyno open-air museum.  Caricyno Grand Palace, Moscow

2009 
Art Moscow 2009.  Ajdan Gallery and Fine Art Gallery, Central House of Artists, Moscow

2009 
Art Fair FIAC 2009. Paris

2009 
Seva`s Blue Horizon: The Poet Seva Nekrasov and Artists of Unofficial Moscow. Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum &Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Jersey

2009 
Auto-portrait. Moscow Contemporary Art Museum, Moscow

2010 
Each time a different type of art. Selection of art work from collection of V. Bondarenko. State Contemporary Art Museum of the Russian Art Academy, Moscow

2010 
Glasnost: Soviet Non-Conformist Art from the 1980s. Haunch of Venison Gallery,
London in cooperation with Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin

2010 
Sky in art. Russian museum, St. Peterburg

2010 
Unbearable freedom of creation. Contemporary art exhibition as part of Tretyakov gallery programme,  House of Culture VDNCH (pavilion 84), Moscow

2011 
Exhibition of Kandinsky prize nominates for 2011. Project of the year nomination, Central House of Artists, Moscow

2011 
Art Moscow 2011. Ajdan Gallery and Fine Art Gallery, Central House of Artists, Moscow

2011 
Hostages of emptiness. Aesthetics of an empty space. Tretyakov gallery Moscow; Rostov upon Don

2012 
Contemporary Russian Art. Retrospective of contemporary Russian art from J. Kiblicky’s collection. Fondi –CREIA Regione Lazio, Rome

2012 
From monumentality to documentary. Retrospective of contemporary Russian art from Tretyakov gallery Moscow, Moscow.

 

SERGEY SHABLAVIN

Sergey Shablavin (1944) is one of prominent representatives of the Russian non-conformism, a kind of art which mainly meant alternative to official culture in the former Soviet Union. It neither formed a continuous flow, nor it gave birth to a uniform group, however, this notion is assigned to art works of various and diverse personalities and agenda. This group was glued together by the urge to stand up against ruling party and its image of culture and art. Most of these globally recognized painters faced many troubles finding their way to art creation. Not only were they hindered in their education, but also they could hardly express their clear personal attitudes and pursue art agenda which deviated from officially adopted prospects and requirements designated for fine arts (hidden under a vague name of social realism or socialist art). Soviet regime did its best to preclude and hinder their professional ambitions: starting with membership in trade organisations all the way to staging exhibitions and presenting results of their work.