16.06.2021 – 24.07.2021


Artists who participated in the project: OLEKSANDR ROITBURD

Oleksandr Roitburd’s personal exhibition is on view at Shcherbenko Art Centre. It includes two new series of his works: paintings of sculptures and female half-figures. The series are quite different at the first glance but they have one key feature in common: Roytburd flirts with the academic canon in his unconventional personal style.

As the artist himself comments, he “retells famous sculptures entering into a dialogue with the classics and classicist aesthetics. This narration is loose and “more expressive than usual.” But this time it is the depicted sculptures that allow him to be so liberated, their conditional recognizability gives rise to a playful interpretation. Thus, the ancient textbook classics (Cupid and Psyche, Venus Callipyge, Discobolus), masterpieces of the Renaissance masters (Brutus by the Italian sculptor Michelangelo and The Resurrection of Christ by the French mannerist G. Pilon), and examples of classicism (Venus by I. Vitali) acquire softness, playfulness, randomness as if they are reflected in a defective mirror.

“It was an exercise of extracting polychrome from monochrome,” the artist comments. In his paintings, Roitburd puts museum figures in the darkness. In the light of a candle they acquire subtle, sensual shades, and then also humanity and closeness to the viewer. The canon turns into someone painfully familiar with a frightened look or excess weight on the thighs… Finally, visitors of the exhibition will meet an old acquaintance who is the artist himself in a self-portrait. Including his own portrait in each series is the tradition of the artist.

Roitburd started creating the series of female half-figures a long time ago, but the most recent works are presented in the summer of 2021. Again, referring to the academic program, the artist creates vivid and playful portraits that are erotic and ironic at the same time. Depicted (as if from a selfie) women hold objects that make you think who she is and what she is thinking about. Easy but balanced game with heritage, flirtation, and honor, eternal history, and covid modernity – Roitburd continues his casual exercises.