ALEXANDER AIZENSHTAT

Irina Antonova visited
Aizenshtat’s studio

Irina Antonova visited Aizenshtat’s
studio

Art conversation between Irina Antonova and Aizenshtat and the impressions she
shared after the visit.

Irina Antonova, president of the Pushkin Museum, had a close relationship with Alexander Aizenshtat and so was very familiar with his art. Yet, his general attitude featuring his oeuvre , remained incomprehensible to her. In intendance to comprehend it, Antonova requested a visit in Aizenshtats studio, hoping to get an opportunity to discuss about what was troubling her mind.

When attending the studio , she spoke about the phenomenon seen in art created during the 19th and 20th centuries. The phenomenon in which the basic perception of life reflected in that art emphasised the beauty of reality , highlighting all what is positive and good.

But not so in Aizenshtats art. In his art the opposite is reflected. “It seems to me like In the bottom of your perception lies a complete different comprehension of life which is expressed in some darkness and tension falling out, leaving the viewer uncomfortable and disturbed…

Why did you choose to focus on this matter of life unlike the artists who preceded you?”

Irina Antonova during a
visit in Aizenshtat’s studio

Irina Antonova during a visit in Aizenshtat’s studio

And so Aizenshtat answered:

“As an artist I aim to express myself through my creation. In my worldview I perceive life as a tragedy, thus in my paintings i’m trying to touch that tragic matter of life.

The tragedy itself is very interesting, not from a personal experience but in a macro perspective.

The world is an evil place, an antithesis to G-ods will.

Homeless and drugged people, suffering and dying as a direct result of a corrupt system and vicious leadership.

Millions murdered during the Holocaust deliberately, soldiers and civilians being killed in wars. Just a few examples of the unending tragedy of life”

Antonova’s impressions shared after the visit.

‎From the background of my knowledge about art, I must tell that Aizenshtat is an absolutely original phenomenon, very large, of course. It became clear to me immediately that he is a very important artist, but he is also very original in his approach to dialogue with the world around him.

He could have gone any way in our time, but he did not choose the path of abstract art, he did not leave the object, he remained within the framework of the matter of the real object, which in our time is much more difficult to do than to work in other manners. I haven’t yet found any parallel, any correspondence to it. He has an absolutely original language, he works without resembling anyone – and this is his originality and uniqueness. He has his own path. Moreover, Alexander Aizenshtat is a very dramatic artist. His work is the drama of life on a grand scale, perhaps not of him personally, but the drama of today’s life, the drama of man in the 20th–21st centuries in general.

Irina Antonova at the opening
ceremony of Aizenshtat’s exhibition in
the Pushkin Museum

Irina Antonova at the opening ceremony of
Aizenshtat’s exhibition in the Pushkin Museum

He has very attractive images, but there are also images, especially male ones, that are internally very intense and complex. The elements of deformation are not very strong, but they are present absolutely everywhere. The general feeling from the picture is always an internal conflict of some kind, or we feel elements of confrontation in so many things. A lot of symbolism. It is absolutely clear that there are some reflections on the universe in relation to what is happening in the world, and every time there are dramatic events. But his manner is very energetic and picturesque. He is a very strong colourist, his color scheme is some kind of find. He has his own expressive language. This is a major artistic phenomenon, which, unfortunately, does not yet occupy the place that it should occupy in the world.

He has such rigidity. In religion itself, as I understand and know it, there is this beginning too. Inflexibility in a number of positions, fervor. This religious coloring is present in Aizenstat’s work.״ is a very important artist, but he is also very original in his approach to dialogue with the world around him.

He could have gone any way in our time, but he did not choose the path of abstract art, he did not leave the object, he remained within the framework of the matter of the real object, which in our time is much more difficult to do than to work in other manners. I haven’t yet found any parallel, any correspondence to it. He has an absolutely original language, he works without resembling anyone – and this is his originality and uniqueness. He has his own path. Moreover, Alexander Aizenshtat is a very dramatic artist. His work is the drama of life on a grand scale, perhaps not of him personally, but the drama of today’s life, the drama of man in the 20th–21st centuries in general.

He has very attractive images, but there are also images, especially male ones, that are internally very intense and complex. The elements of deformation are not very strong, but they are present absolutely everywhere. The general feeling from the picture is always an internal conflict of some kind, or we feel elements of confrontation in so many things. A lot of symbolism. It is absolutely clear that there are some reflections on the universe in relation to what is happening in the world, and every time there are dramatic events. But his manner is very energetic and picturesque. He is a very strong colourist, his color scheme is some kind of find. He has his own expressive language. This is a major artistic phenomenon, which, unfortunately, does not yet occupy the place that it should occupy in the world.

He has such rigidity. In religion itself, as I understand and know it, there is this beginning too. Inflexibility in a number of positions, fervor. This religious coloring is present in Aizenstat’s work.״