(E-E) Ev.g.e.n.i.j ..K.o.z.l.o.     Berlin                                                  


      (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Exhibitions >>

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov's Participation in the Second TEII Exhibition (1983)
in His Diary and Photographs

Text: Hannelore Fobo, 2021
Chapter 6: Paintings: landscapes from the Russian Period (1981)
previous page: Chapter 5: The Peterhof Book of Hours and The Homilies of Gregory
next page: Chapter 7: Paintings: WASP (1983)
Table of contents: see bottom of page >>


Chapter 6: Paintings: landscapes from the Russian Period (1981)

The process of selecting the paintings for the Second TEII Exhibition turned out to be much more complicated.

Three paintings are documented with exhibition views. They fall into two categories. Two landscape paintings from 1981, ‘The Square Near the Railway Station’ and ‘Red Pond’ belong to what E-E Kozlov later defined as his ‘Russian’ period. ‘WASP’ from 1983 belongs to Kozlov's new style which, by all accounts, started with the painting ‘Tuaregs’ (Noli Me Tangere) in 1982.

A third category also plays a role. It consists of those two paintings, ‘House’ and ‘Double Painting’, which were initially included and then removed from the exhibition. Each of these categories will be presented separately.




Landscape paintings

E-E-pho-DV41 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov in his Peterhof studio and flat Galaxy Gallery, 1981. In the background ‘Красный пруд / Red Pond’ Oil on fibreboard 82 x 92.5 cm, 1981. Inv. no. E-E-181015 Kozlov took the picture with the help of a shutter release cable.

E-E-pho-DV41
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov in his Peterhof studio and flat Galaxy Gallery, 1981.
In the background ‘Красный пруд / Red Pond’
Oil on fibreboard 82 x 92.5 cm, 1981. Inv. no. E-E-181015
Kozlov took the picture with the help of a shutter release cable. more >>

The landscape paintings with Peterhof motifs belong to a rather short period in Evgenij Kozlov's body of works, the so-called ‘Russian’ period (1980-1981), which starts with gouaches on paper. Works from 1980 display colourful, sculptural images of people set in the urban landscape of Saint Petersburg, as if composed with pieces from a wooden building blocks set. On p. 1-48 from Diary I, dated 21 April 1980, the artist explains his position: ‘Я хочу видеть жизнь вокруг себя яркой, красочной, похожей на детскую игрушку. Такой я ее и рисую. / I want to see life around me bright, colourful, like a children's toy. That's how I paint it. more >>

Colours are often applied evenly and almost without shades, standing in strong contrast to each other. In ‘Sunday in Petrograd’ they are green and red, black and white, light blue and pink. This gives the compositions a naïve and playful folkloric touch. In Kozlov's seminal work from 1980, ‘This Century's Dead Affections, Up Until ...’, illustrating the relation between America and the Soviet Union, we recognise Kasimir Malevich’s interpretation of Russian folk art through suprematism (Haymaking, 1929) and Vladimir Lebedev’s famous ROSTA windows placards from 1917-1922 more >>. As a matter of fact, many protagonists of the Russian and Soviet avant-garde used such features.

E-E-180087 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Петроградское Воскресенье / Sunday in Petrograd Gouache on paper, coated, 26 x 21.8 cm, 1980 E-E-180082 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov The paintings has two titles: —„Внешний облик отношений двух держав" / The Outward Appearance of the Relation between the Two World Powers” —„Мертвые Ласки Века“, До …" / This Century's Dead Affections, Up Until ... Tempera, gouache, ink and watercolour on cardboard, 95.5 x 72 cm, 1980

E-E-180087
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Петроградское Воскресенье / Sunday in Petrograd
Gouache on paper, coated, 26 x 21.8 cm, 1980
E-E-180082
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
The paintings has two titles:
—„Внешний облик отношений двух держав" / The Outward Appearance of the Relation between the Two World Powers”
—„Мертвые Ласки Века“, До …" / This Century's Dead Affections, Up Until ...
Tempera, gouache, ink and watercolour on cardboard, 95.5 x 72 cm, 1980

In contrast to the monchrome shapes of ‘Sunday in Petrodgrad’, Kozlov used different degrees of colour saturation in an untitled illustration for Andrei Bely's novel 'Petersburg' (1980). Dark lines accentuate the transitions from darker to brighter tones, creating a play of light reminiscent of that in fluted columns. This effect can be noted in the blue body of the figure to the left – the angel's soul – and it is particularly strong in the red coat of the figure to the right. Large strokes of gouache, applied in a painterly fashion, create an illusion of perfectly rounded figures. The red coat, an allusion to Kozlov's own coat, actually displays shallow grooves runnig vertically, giving it a sculptural look.

Different degrees of saturation also exist in ‘This Century's Dead Affections, Up Until ...’, but the transitions are very gradual and might not be noticed at first sight.

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Untitled (П). Illustration to Andrei Bely's novel 'Petersburg'.  Tempera, gouache, ink, and watercolour on cardboard, 28 x 32.4 cm, 1980

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Untitled (П). Illustration to Andrei Bely's novel 'Petersburg'.
Tempera, gouache, ink, and watercolour on cardboard, 28 x 32.4 cm, 1980

In a series of gouaches from 1981 with – mostly – figurative compositions, the artist developed this painterly style further to abstract, softly rounded geometric forms defined by coloured shadows.

E-E-181020 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Золотые фигуры в голубом интерьере / Golden Figures in a Blue Interior. Tempera, gouache, and watercolour on cardboard, 34.9 x 47.2 cm, 1981
E-E-181020
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Золотые фигуры в голубом интерьере / Golden Figures in a Blue Interior.
Tempera, gouache, and watercolour on cardboard, 34.9 x 47.2 cm, 1981

The same year, the artist transferred this ‘soft’ geometric style to his oil paintings. Using oil – for the first time, so it seems – the transition between colours becomes rawer, and the texture, in places, pastose, which confers this technique a new sensual touch.

E-E-181006 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Отдых у лесного озера / A Rest at the Forest's Lake Oil on fibreboard, 65.5 x 83 cm, 1981 Detail of E-E-181006 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Detail of Отдых у лесного озера / A Rest at the Forest's Lake

E-E-181006
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Отдых у лесного озера / A Rest at the Forest's Lake
Oil on fibreboard, 65.5 x 83 cm, 1981
Detail of E-E-181006
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Detail of
Отдых у лесного озера / A Rest at the Forest's Lake

Again, most of these paintings are figurative, but there are some landscape paintings, too. To be exact, they are not landscapes in the proper sense of the word, since they present views of Peterhof and Saint Petersburg. Yet, unlike in the two gouaches from above, ‘Sunday in Petrodgrad’ and the illustration for Andrei Bely's novel 'Petersburg', the buildings in these paintings look like a natural part of their surroundings. Put differently, they look as if they had been grown by nature, not built by engineers or architects. Therefore, when referring to these paintings, the term ‘urban landscape’ looks out of place, and I will continue calling them simply ‘landscapes’

These landscape paintings include four ‘white’ paintings shown at the Letopis exhibition in February 1981 more >>. Because of their minimalism, unusual in Kozlov's art at that time, these four paintings can be considered as a specific subseries. Evgenij Kozlov returned to such minimalistic ‘white’ subjects only twenty years later see Diary II >>, notes to p. 2-55.

E-E-181003 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Железная Дорога / Railway  Oil and tempera on canvas, 63 x 82 cm, 1981 E-E-181003 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Detail of Железная Дорога / Railway
E-E-181003
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Железная Дорога / Railway
Oil and tempera on canvas, 63 x 82 cm, 1981
E-E-181003
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Detail of Железная Дорога / Railway



Below are two landsacpe paintings with Saint Petersburg motifs. The elongated, rounded shape of the trees is a typical feature of Kozlov's 1981 style.

E-E-181005 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Ленинград. Исаакиевский собор. / Leningrad. St. Isaac's Cathedral. Oil and gouache on canvas, 59 x 71 cm, 1981  E-E-181005 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Detail of Ленинград. Исаакиевский собор. / Leningrad. St. Isaac's Cathedral

E-E-181005
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Ленинград. Исаакиевский собор. / Leningrad. St. Isaac's Cathedral
Oil and gouache on canvas, 59 x 71 cm, 1981
E-E-181005
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Detail of Ленинград. Исаакиевский собор. / Leningrad. St. Isaac's Cathedral



E-E-181073 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Untitled (Tauride garden, orangery) Oil on canvas, approx. 60 x 80 cm, 1981

E-E-181073
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Untitled (Tauride garden, orangery)
Oil on canvas, approx. 60 x 80 cm, 1981




The two Peterhof landscape paintings displayed at the Second TEII Exhibition are bright, almost surreal compositions, an impression enhanced by a new, mushroom-shaped variant of a tree. But there are other ‘strange’ elements, as well. In the painting ‘Red Pond’, there is a long, thin, spiraling cloud, which looks like a Solomic column put horizontally. It dominates the upper half of the compostion, forming a counterpoint to the red pond – which is acutally blue. If it wasn't for the title, there would hardly be any reference to Peterhof, and the same goes for the other painting, ’The Square near the Station’. These two works are most unusual, and this might explain while the artist decided to show them.


 E-E-181015 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Красный пруд / Red Pond Oil on fibreboard 82 x 92.5 cm, 1981. Inv. no.

E-E-181015
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Красный пруд / Red Pond
Oil on fibreboard 82 x 92.5 cm, 1981. Inv. no.


E-E-181012 (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Площадь около вокзала / The Square Near the Station Oil on fibreboard 75 x 95 cm, 1981.

E-E-181012
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Площадь около вокзала / The Square Near the Station
Oil on fibreboard 75 x 95 cm, 1981.




Synopsis and TEII article (2007)
Introduction

Chаpter 1: Exhibition views

Chapter 2: Notes to Kozlov's exhibition lists in his diary

Chapter 3: Exhibition lists

Chapter 4: Works on paper: The Peterhof Book of Hours (1982)

Chapter 5: The Peterhof Book of Hours and The Homilies of Gregory

Chapter 6: Paintings: landscapes from the Russian Period (1981)

Chapter 7: Paintings: WASP (1983)

Chapter 8: Selected, yet removed: House (1982) and Double Painting (1982)

Chapter 9: Excerpts from Kozlov's Diary IV

Chapter 10: Searching for the language of the future

Chapter 11: Work in process 1982-1987.
House / Minor Target Shooting and Double Painting / Oile

Chapter 12: Closing comments




Research / text / layout: Hannelore Fobo, June / July 2021

Uploaded 18 July 2021
Last updated 20 June 2024