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And After a Square I Set Up a Cup…
Date: 22.04.2010 - 25.05.2010

Gallery Elysium represents the heritage of one of the most interesting artists of the second half of the 20th century Vladimir Vasilievich Sterligov (1904 — 1973). Sterligov is a significant artist, whose works were underestimated for a long time. This exhibition is the first personal exhibition of the artist inMoscow. Sterligov’s works of late 1940s — early 1970s are exposed at the exhibition. The illustrated research catalogue was published within the exhibition; it contains 204 works of the artist, including 100 works, which were published for the first time.


Works by Vladimir Sterligov are close to philosophy and poetry of the Association of Real Art (OBERIU), to concepts of forms in plastic art by K. S. Malevich and M. V. Matyushin.

Sterligov’s plastic art depicted paradoxical, illogical world; it was connected with the alogism manifesto of Malevich in his painting Cow and violin (1913) and to the illogical poetry of Sterligov’s congenial friend, OBERIU poet A. I. Vvedensky.

Poets of OBERIU realized that the human mind does not understand the world, which a man lives in. Probably the world is not organized in a way we suppose. There is a world as well as antiworld. According to Sterligov, a man always contacts with this antiworld and finds methods of expression in art. He supposed that we lived in antiworld and took it for real world. Perhaps, the absurdity of other world is a real harmony.


There are many worlds, which coexist with each other and form special space in works by Sterligov. These worlds have characteristic common features: Absence of top and bottom — their reversibility, Absence of weight, Coexisting of the farthest and the nearest, Reflectivity of the world, Unscrewed space (volumes and forms are composed according to the principle of the Möbius strip), Staggered space (world in movement) and Surrounding geometry (object and background organize special space, so called hidden geometry).


Sterligov followed the principles of the Association of Real Art (OBERIU). At the same time he was a pupil of Malevich and Matyushin (the founder of organic style in painting). Sterligov created his own recognizable plastic art system, developing the ideas of classical Russian avant-garde. Malevich created suprematist straight line in order to reorganize cubism structures into abstract geometrical elements. Sterligov discovered the other cubism component — curve line. According to Sterligov, the curve line formed the Dome and the Cup. He considered them as a main component of the universe. He thought that all forms in the world tend curvely to the Dome and to the Cup.


Sterligov was engaged in study of form and color in his figurative and non-figurative works of 1960s–1970s. Art of Sterligov is inseparable from his inner world and his Christian faith. According to Sterligov, the curve line is not only pictorial element, but also moral and religious value. He considered the world as a system of the Dome and the Cup.


Vladimir Sterligov went through prison camps, the front, the Siege of Leningrad; but he stayed an artist of culture of 1920s.


On the occasion of artist’s exhibition, the gallery Elysium published the illustrated album monograph Vladimir Sterligov. Painting. Graphics. 1960–1973, dedicated to the artist’s life and art.

Photos from the exhibition
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