Curators: Elena Gribonosova-Grebneva, Elena Osotina, Anna Koleichuk
Preview: March 31, 19.00
In late March, an exhibition titled The Geography of Light. Paintings and Graphics by Yuri Larin will open at the New Manege, timed as a tribute to the recently deceased master on his 80th anniversary of birth (1936-2014). The exposition will feature many of his previously unshown works.
As long as Larin’s artistic path was closely associated with the geography of his journeys, the exposition mirrors its major patterns. Pursuing perfect harmonies of light and color as a key challenge he set for himself, Larin deliberately identified his most significant locations. Finding his reference point in the discreet and sometimes monotonous landscapes of the Moscow region, the artist yet strived for rich palettes and diversity, which he started to master in his journeys in the south of Russia, the Caucasus and the Baltics. By the late 1970s, Larin’s concept of “limit state” painting was shaped, which implied a departure from the plein-air approach and relied on the prolonged concentrated and active emotional and sensual reflection of natural motifs. The essence of the relation between the earth and the sky as shown in the nuances of lighting, the nearly mystical relation, as the artist himself believed, came clear to him in a place called Nida in Lithuania, which became his new Mecca.
The exposition would first bring the viewer in front of Larin’s works in various media and genres in the chronological order followed by a biographical film shot by Konstantin Pulyarkin and Alexei Ryumin. One can follow the artist’s path from his early works to more mature landscapes through the peak of creative discoveries following an artistic catharsis during a stay in Nida.
A separate chapter will comprise Larin’s works inspired by his southern and Caucasian journeys, which are not only distinctive in their unique palette combining smoothly goldish ocherous and sky-blue shades but also convey unique spatial dynamics reflecting to the passionate “high-altitude” observation of reality.
Thus, visitors are invited to follow the artist’s evolution from creating landscapes-still lifes-portraits from nature to somewhat imaginary ‘plein air’ painting from memory, which reflected his signature “limit state” concept. His deceivingly expressive paintings — when related to their patterns, shapes and spatial composition — build on a complicated inner concentration of light-color flattened solutions masking the charged depth of a lyrical emotion.
Yuri Larin (1936–2014) is a Russian painter and graphic artist, a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR since 1977. Larin was born in Moscow to the family of a key Soviet political leader, Nikolay Bukharin, and Anna Larina. Following the arrests of his parents in 1938 and until 1946, he lived with his relatives, and following the arrest of his step-father, he was taken to an orphanage near Stalingrad. A hydraulic engineer by training, he worked at the construction of the Saratov Hydro-Electric Plant and at design institutions. In 1960, he began his studies at the department of drawing and painting of the Krupskaya People’s University of Arts, and then, from 1965 until 1970, he studied at the department of art design at the Moscow State Higher School of Arts and Industry (the former Stroganov Institution). His career as a professional artist began in the early 1970s. From 1970 until 1986, he taught at the Moscow 1905 Memorial Arts School. His letter to prof. Vittorio Strada sent in 1980 contained the first statement of his artistic method he would later dub the “concept of the limit state”. He quit teaching after a serious illness, when he lost the ability to use his right hand. He only worked with his left hand since 1986. He died and was buried in Moscow.
Works by Yuri Larin are kept in the collections of:
the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, the New Jerusalem Museum of History, the Architecture and Art, the Museum of Oriental Art, the State Literary Museum, the Andrey Sakharov Museum, the Radishchev Saratov Art Museum, and many other national and international private collections.
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