The power of emotional anguish, which Andrey Antonov, a real pacifist, subtly feeling human pain and suffering, put into these sculptures, is refracted in the current historical and political context by a special, infernal kaleidoscope. Can we really find a consistent and consistent justification for violence for the sake of violence, destruction for the sake of destruction, war for the sake of war?
Main media: sculpture, graphics, painting.
Honored Artist of Russia, member of the Union of Artists of the USSR and Russia.
1968-1973 Moscow Higher School of Industrial Art (former Stroganov)
1959-1964 Sverdlovsk Art College. Shadra
2011 Creation of the Andrey Antonov Foundation
2013 Opening of the Antonov Gallery, Yekaterinburg
2019 Opening of the Antonov Gallery, St. Petersburg
**Back in 2017, the local court ruled to release the unique, specially equipped sculptural workshops, in which the best Sverdlovsk sculptors, authors of many monumental works that adorned the streets of the city, worked for almost forty years. The reason was the failure to pay the suddenly formed rent debt, issued by the administration after the dubious land reform. The building, which could become a public property, a memorial and art museum, a living center of cultural production, was simply removed for the sake of power appetites or simple ignorance. In 2021, the abandoned, empty, “not inherited by anyone” workshops were (either by chance or due to arson) completely destroyed.
On June 10, 2021, in Yekaterinburg, after almost forty years of living and active existence, the building of art workshops burned down, in which famous Sverdlovsk sculptors once worked - Andrey Antonov, Vladimir Egorov, Lyudmila Kruzhalova, Olga Mudrova, Andrey Onufriev, Lev Puzakov, Valentina Sokolova, Petr Sazhin, Andrey Chernyshov. The workshops, in fact, were the cultural property of the city, donated to it by the Union of Artists in the 90s, and literally belonged to the city administration, which, after the local land reform in 2017, issued the artists a million-dollar debt for renting land and premises. After stupid bureaucratic and judicial delays, the authors of the monuments and sculptural groups were forced to leave the workshops - unique, high, equipped with special equipment, ideally suited for monumental work - to leave. They didn’t defend, they didn’t win, they gave it away. Although it was possible to fight, achieve the status of public property, turn the workshops into a unique local museum or memorial complex. But who to fight? With a deaf bureaucratic machine, devoid of the organ of the sense of beauty? Appeal to the law, which in our case often covers banal racketeering and the extraction of territory? Every time we choose between Žižek, Glucksman... and Christ.
On June 10, 2021, exactly one month before the tenth anniversary of the death of Andrei Antonov, a real pacifist who subtly feels human pain and suffering, the workshops, abandoned, empty and useless, are on fire. Either arson, or hooliganism, or an accident, but the hearth was located precisely in Antonov's workshop. He was perhaps the most productive sculptor of all. As well as during the life of Andrei Antonov, after his death the workshop often hosted friends and turned into a real self-organized memorial museum filled with books, graphic and pictorial works, sketches, models and a huge number of sculptures. Ilya Sologub returns to the site of the workshops and takes photographs of Antonov's works in the ashes - photographs that today, through individual history, are refracted in the real life of the whole country by a special, infernal kaleidoscope. From the place that was the center of cultural attraction of the whole city, which could continue to live and breathe, ruins remained.
The figures of bronze defeated warriors, a mother and a child, a chamotte sufferer merge with the background of a terrible ashes sprouting with grass. You can imagine their slightly restrained emotionality within the framework of a white cube, which always shifts the viewer's attention to the formal tricks of the material - surface reflections, its refractions, the work of the color of metal or stone. Once in the context, Antonov's sculptures suddenly came to life: their emotional anguish intensified, mixed with the color and texture of brick and concrete, black burnt wood and even fresh green leaves breaking through between them - heralds of abandoned human ruins. But after all, the context, being individualThe figures of bronze defeated warriors, a mother and a child, a chamotte sufferer merge with the background of a terrible ashes sprouting with grass. You can imagine their slightly restrained emotionality within the framework of a white cube, which always shifts the viewer's attention to the formal tricks of the material - surface reflections, its refractions, the work of the color of metal or stone. Once in the context, Antonov's sculptures suddenly came to life: their emotional anguish intensified, mixed with the color and texture of brick and concrete, black burnt wood and even fresh green leaves breaking through between them - heralds of abandoned human ruins. But after all, the context, being individual, refers to the general, thickens the colors of emotions: “A person fights, defends himself at all times, in different countries,” says Ilya Sologub. Mothers lose and mourn their children, fathers send them to war, left as a legacy by the irremovable state. For whom do these figures cry and suffer?
Today, the workshops continue to stand in their untouched, ruined nobility. No one knows what awaits them, whether they are subject to restoration or demolition. It is no longer those who have lived and worked in them for almost forty years who decide.