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EXHIBITION PROJECT
EVGENY CHUBAROV.
THE ARTIST THE MEDIUM
EXHIBITION PROJECT
EVGENY CHUBAROV.
THE ARTIST THE MEDIUM
THE ART OF EVGENY CHUBAROV
THE ART OF EVGENY CHUBAROV
The project introduces a conceptual bridge between the post Byzantine/ Medieval art and contemporary art on the example of carefully selected objects: from the examples of Russian icons of XIV – XVI century, collection of illuminated Armenian Manuscripts – to the brilliant abstract works by Evgeny Chubarov.

The large-scale paintings by Evgeny Chubarov create a totality of imagery that invites us to partake in the notion of the sublime. Traditionally, we associate the sublime with something that is imposing and awe-inspiring. It transcends the merely aesthetic and is associated with a sensation of the unattainable. The unfathomable that we cannot comprehend at all or that is only marginally accessible to us is one of the essential attributes of the sublime.
The project introduces a conceptual bridge between the post Byzantine/ Medieval art and contemporary art on the example of carefully selected objects: from the examples of Russian icons of XIV – XVI century, collection of illuminated Armenian Manuscripts – to the brilliant abstract works by Evgeny Chubarov.

The large-scale paintings by Evgeny Chubarov create a totality of imagery that invites us to partake in the notion of the sublime. Traditionally, we associate the sublime with something that is imposing and awe-inspiring. It transcends the merely aesthetic and is associated with a sensation of the unattainable. The unfathomable that we cannot comprehend at all or that is only marginally accessible to us is one of the essential attributes of the sublime.
Evgeny Chubarov
Untitled, 1991-1993
Oil on canvas, 300 x 400 cm
Armenian manuscript
illuminated on vellum
Constantinople ?: 1675, 110 x 90 mm
In his work, Chubarov developed his own idiosyncratic visual language. Especially toward the end of his life, he abandoned figurative images and retreated to his inner freedom which was tied in with his spirituality. Wassily Kandinsky's famous adage of the "inner necessity" certainly also applies to Evgeny Chubarov.

According to Kandinsky, art should not describe the outer realities but express and transport the deeper states of the soul. Kandinsky declares "inner necessity" as a criterion for evaluating art: an image is successful if it adequately expresses certain emotions and moods. If a painting achieves this, it does not matter whether it faithfully depicts the outer reality or not. A painting may be figurative or abstract – what's important is that it only employs shapes and colors that are necessary for the visual expression and efficient transformation of specific emotions.
His works contain numerous layers of linear ornaments, wherein micro and macro structures come to permeate each other during the process of painting. The work is completed in sections, not in one major "paint attack" on the canvas. Chubarov seems to have been gifted with an intuitive inner command that guided his ideas while he was producing his works.

At times, there are round lines that extend from one side to the other. Then again, there are more powerful and larger interplays of lines that frame the first layer. Added to this are small rectangular, square and triangular black color juxtapositions that are strung together, as seen in the detail views in this catalog. Often, we also find squeegee marks that are composed of several colors and were applied at the very end so as to finish the previous worlds of lines.
Evgeny Chubarov
Untitled, 1996
Oil on canvas, 300 x 200 cm
Resurrection – The Descent To Hell
1470–1480s, Novgorod
47,7 х 38 сm
Chubarov was greatly inspired by Christian medieval art, Islamic architecture, Arabic calligraphy and Armenian illuminated manuscripts, which inevitably influenced his vision and art. The artist was always surrounded with illustrations and some of originals of those masterpieces while working in his Berlin studio.

In addition, an ancient art was the subject of Chubarov's interest during his time in Moscow, especially Armenian art of that period.
Chubarov was greatly inspired by Christian medieval art, Islamic architecture, Arabic calligraphy and Armenian illuminated manuscripts, which inevitably influenced his vision and art. The artist was always surrounded with illustrations and some of originals of those masterpieces while working in his Berlin studio.

In addition, an ancient art was the subject of Chubarov's interest during his time in Moscow, especially Armenian art of that period.
Evgeny Chubarov
Untitled, 1996
Oil on canvas, 200 х 150 cm
Khachkar
13th century, Armenia
110 x 170 cm
Khachkars – elaborately cut memorial stones with a relief cross in the center that is surrounded by geometric and plant motifs belong to the tradition of the Armenian Church. The rectangular, upright stone tablets are up to three meters in height. The front sides are decorated with bas-reliefs. They represent one of the central symbols of the Armenian culture. Similar to the ornaments of the khachkar, Chubarov perfected his shimmering and glimmering paintings, which – like cosmic events – suggest his innermost emotions. These memorial stones that were displayed both at the entrances of traditional Armenian churches but also fashioned as free-standing steles are the matrix for his visual art.
Khachkars – elaborately cut memorial stones with a relief cross in the center that is surrounded by geometric and plant motifs belong to the tradition of the Armenian Church. The rectangular, upright stone tablets are up to three meters in height. The front sides are decorated with bas-reliefs. They represent one of the central symbols of the Armenian culture. Similar to the ornaments of the khachkar, Chubarov perfected his shimmering and glimmering paintings, which – like cosmic events – suggest his innermost emotions. These memorial stones that were displayed both at the entrances of traditional Armenian churches but also fashioned as free-standing steles are the matrix for his visual art.
Evgeny Chubarov
Untitled, 1994-1995
Oil on canvas, 200 x 150 cm
Sharaknots (or Books of Hymns from the Armenian Church)
Painted by Arak'el of Geghama Armenia, Erzerum.
Late 16th century, 120 x 71 mm; ink, tempera and gold on parchment; 364 folios
Chubarov was aware that the spiritual art tradition of his home country of Russia was subcutaneously expressed in his work. Still, he also created a visual iconography that thoroughly exemplified the contemporary world. Starting from the vantage point of the enormous freedom of form as practiced by the 20th century avant-garde that was dominant until World War I, Chubarov later adopted formal references from the second avant-garde after 1945 that guided him to his increasingly dense imagery.

Icons are an obvious choice for Russian artists to depict hundreds of years of this religious tradition. They are complemented by the commemoration of the Armenian tradition that draws a direct line to the All-Over paintings by Evgeny Chubarov.
Chubarov was aware that the spiritual art tradition of his home country of Russia was subcutaneously expressed in his work. Still, he also created a visual iconography that thoroughly exemplified the contemporary world. Starting from the vantage point of the enormous freedom of form as practiced by the 20th century avant-garde that was dominant until World War I, Chubarov later adopted formal references from the second avant-garde after 1945 that guided him to his increasingly dense imagery.

Icons are an obvious choice for Russian artists to depict hundreds of years of this religious tradition. They are complemented by the commemoration of the Armenian tradition that draws a direct line to the All-Over paintings by Evgeny Chubarov.
The symbolism in Chubarov's work is hidden and needs to be decoded. It is hinted at in the line shapes that thicken in some works into concentrations of form. Apart from the large works in black and white, his polychrome paintings take us on a tour through inner worlds that are unthinkable without a deeply experienced spirituality. In other works, the lines float freely in the pictorial space. His inspiration led artist in creating a visual iconography that thoroughly exemplified the contemporary world and the spiritual medieval art traditions.

Chubarov, essentially, was the Medium bridging the two worlds with lines that gained a special meaning in his hands. He translated his emotions, moods and intellectual insights to a visual language in a unique way never seen before.

Dr. Tayfun Belgin,
Director Osthaus Museum Hagen
The symbolism in Chubarov's work is hidden and needs to be decoded. It is hinted at in the line shapes that thicken in some works into concentrations of form. Apart from the large works in black and white, his polychrome paintings take us on a tour through inner worlds that are unthinkable without a deeply experienced spirituality. In other works, the lines float freely in the pictorial space. His inspiration led artist in creating a visual iconography that thoroughly exemplified the contemporary world and the spiritual medieval art traditions.

Chubarov, essentially, was the Medium bridging the two worlds with lines that gained a special meaning in his hands. He translated his emotions, moods and intellectual insights to a visual language in a unique way never seen before.

Dr. Tayfun Belgin,
Director Osthaus Museum Hagen