Olga Kovalenko
Member of the USSR Artist Union Member of AICA

Each in their own way, Andrei Zadorine, Natalya Zaloznaya, Vladimir Doroshkevich, Aleksandr Demidov and Sergei Rimashevsky (Fig. 6.8) are also looking for harmony. In his paintings, Doroshkevich tries to evoke the image of a metaphysical and Utopian realm of equilibrium, order and harmony. There are traces of the theme of magical light throughout the oeuvre of Andrei Zadorine. Silently and ceremoniously, it flows through all his paintings, its golden aura surrounding the individuats clad in silence and creating a special spiritual space. Based upon the ambiva-lence of meanings and observations, the reconciling of opposite principles, it contains sadness and joy, it casts a spell with its all-consuming melancholy, but lues at the same time with its anticipation of happiness.

In the work of Aleksandr Demidov (Fig. 6.9), the quest for harmony unfolds in a dialogue with tradition, and the artist's source of inspiration largely consists of late nine­teenth and early twentieth-century Russian art, especially the legacy of artists from the St Petersburg artists' collective called Mir tskussta and the circle of poets linked to It In Ms paintings Demidov uses a delicate interplay of colours and lines to try and evoke the poetic musicality of this Silver Age of Russian culture, meditating nostalgically amidst pale faces, withered flowers and lifeless objects. His tie to tradi-tion is not only evident from his devotion to a certain kind of theme and his clearly visible use of several formal methods, it is also there at the much deeper level of the per­ception of the world and attitude towards life in general. The tradition of intense spirituality and an earnest focus on whatever moves the human soul is of primary importance to Demidov. His paintings are populated by figures who are naively touching, sometimes to the роint of being maudlin. Like marionettes, they live their bizarre lives alienated from day-to-day reality. But as If a spotlight is unexpectedly turned on, as if lightning flashes with its distorting cold light, in this humble little theatre we suddenly recognize the theatre of our own lives.In the context of twentieth-century art in the grip of fervour for the shocking experiment Belorussian artists should probably be classified as traditionalists. There are not really any Irs or buts about that Painting occupies a perma­nent first place among the visual arts as they are developing at the moment in Belarus. For many artists, the classical mode of painting continues to be the excellent medium it has always been for aesthetic and philosophical reflection. For most of the artists - and in this case we can also speak of graphic and three-dimensional art forms - the figurative nature of their work can be termed programmatic.

But it is a "new" kind of figurative work that creates a highly updated view of reality and embodies multifarious unexpected and deep meanings that are not open to verbal formulation and are solely accessible through the heart In the alienated silence of Andrei Zadorine's figures, in the deliberate Infantilism and unshielded vulnerability of the world of Aleksandr Demidov's fantasy. In the ironic and paradoxical images and situations depicted by of Ruslan Vashkevich (Fig. 6.10), in the sarcastic necro-romantic style of Arthur Klinov, in the supra-rational visual language Sergei Malishevsky (Fig. 6.11) uses to fixate the inexhaust­ible, chaotic world that suddenly emerges at the most un­expected moments, in all of this the spectacle of life reveals itself, and in a deeper, clearer, and more penetrating way than in any attempt at intellectual analysis. Adequate documented studies about the creative work of Belorussian artists have also been conducted into their tendency to aestheticize the expressive form. A majority of them are proponents of a polished visual language that excels in its insistent perfection.