Evgeny Semyonov - Contemporary Day Sale London Sunday, June 28, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Germany

  • Exhibited

    Moscow, Galerie Iragui, Living Mathematics, 4 March – 2 April, 2009

  • Catalogue Essay

    The “Heart” painting is one of the works from the “Living Mathematics” series. I have returned to this series again and again, and have added more works over the last 20 years. The idea for the series comes from the illustrations in the children’s mathematical puzzle books that I loved so much as a child. I like the definition that was given to this project by the artist Victor Pivovarov who described it as ‘a nostalgic poem about lost clarity’. I was once attracted by the opportunity of transforming a randomly selected picture into an artistically philosophical image, using the visual material that played a part in the formation of my identity, in order to create my own model of the world. In the space of my paintings there is no place for specific characters. To me this space is sacred, in which there are ‘Gods and Heroes’, or, ‘signs and phantoms’. At the same time, those heroes are a part of me and a new meeting with them fills the soul with emotion, similar to the feeling when one suddenly finds a toy from their childhood. I create icons. The first layer of the painting is the colour red, an idea borrowed from the Byzantine and Russian icons. Sometimes it is a bold shade, sometimes it is toned down, sometimes coming through as a thin line, it shields the composition and preserves the sacredness of the space.
    Following a certain rhythm and working across the entire surface of the canvas, I aim at creating an artistic space which is valuable in itself. For me it is an opportunity to practice “pure art”, something similar to the drawing of hieroglyphs.
    The literary element in Russian art, which is very close to me, and the inclusion of text in the work as an integral part of the painting, is very much an organic process.
    I think it would be interesting to let you in on a secret, or a special factor within this painting. Under the paint of the right panel there is an older painting from 1992 entitled ‘That’s it’. I sometimes paint over my old paintings, not because I consider them unsuccessful but because I think, that in this act of re-using previous works, their energy and ‘soul’ continues to live. Someone might say this is a sign of madness. Maybe…..
    (Artist's statement, April 2009)



Oil on canvas in two parts.
Overall: 120.3 x 220.3 cm. (47 3/8 x 86 3/4 in).
Initialed and dated [in Cyrillic] 'E.S.-09' lower right of right panel. Signed, titled and dated 'E. Semyonov 2009 "Heart" and initialed and dated [in Cyrillic] on the reverse of both panels.

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £49,250

Contemporary Day Sale

29 June 2009, 4pm