Gallery 11.12 presents Alexander Zhernokluev’s solo exhibition. The gallery director Alexander Sharov expecting the exhibition said: “Our collaboration with
Zhernokluev started in 2008 when the artist began to work with his series Red Sailors. It appealed to me at once and I tried to present it as much as possible not only in Russia but also in America by showing the works in Art-expo 2008 in New York. It is necessary to say that the works were accepted incredibly warmly abroad. There I saw other pictures of the artist, for example I at once noticed the series Man on Black by its great power. I’m really glad that in the big solo exhibition of Alexander Zhernokluev in our gallery there is a continuation or a reference to these works.”
Faces, figures of a body – in different angles and poses with different measure of draughtsmanship, with different level of light intensity, but almost always in monochromic color and always on black. There is a temptation to say that these images are about to show through black, develops as a film, though the technique “oil on canvas” supposes that black background appears at the end, it somehow cuts the excessiveness, illuminates the texture. Black background is dominant, it is empty and achromatic, due to it the grey tones are becoming apparent, not speaking about the brushworks of white pigments, that become brighter in it. –
The painter Alexander Zhernokluev is absorbed by the picturesque technique, it is evident in his pictures. Light, colouring, energy of plastic arts and reality are more important for the artist than heroes. The hero can be the same in five persons, as in the polyptych, which fragments reproduce the same man, sitting in the same pose: we see how painting changes his look and emotional condition.
The artist says that he seldom paints from nature, he often uses photography. It is better to look at Zhernokluev’s painting in such prospect, to make out some kind of challenge to photography, an attempt to soften its repressive documentation in relation to the viewer and reality.
One of his early series ( the beginning of 90-s) was inspired by the first photos, the anonymous prints of the XIX century (certainly, the erotic contents). The artist says that he wanted to give back to painting everything that photography had borrowed. This post-modernist game continued in a series of pictures Red Sailors.
The young (and not so) sailors and also the author (ex-sailor) are depicted only in rich red tones on a white background: in many pictures they are dancing, singing, laughing, hugging, - in such poses they could be caught only by photo or video.
Self-absorbed, thoughtful heroes of Alexander Zhernokluev’s series On Black – are antipodes of daring portrait figurativeness, coming from glamour and advertising. Most of the represented pictures will be shown for the first time.