Sergei Chepik celebrates 20 years of exile with an exhibition at The Catto Gallery – London 29th June – 17th July, 2008
Russian master artist Sergei Chepik celebrates 20 years with a solo exhibition of recent works hosted by The Catto Gallery from 29th June until 17th July, 2008
This solo exhibition of recent works by the Russian master, Sergei Chepik, celebrating 20 years of his creative work in the West, takes place at The Catto Gallery, London, from 29th June until 17th July, 2008. Thirty one works have been selected for this exhibition and are largely inspired by his home for the past 20 years – Paris. The works are carried out in oil, watercolour, pastel and mixed media, with prices for lithographs starting at £950. ‘L’Ange de Nôtre Dame’ looking over Paris as a subject looks back to his first painting created in Paris in 1988, ‘The White Angel’, which also paid homage to the cathedral Nôtre Dame, as does ‘Paris: La Cité’.
Chepik is internationally renowned for his monumental biblical works; and ‘The Last Supper’ measuring 90 x 255cms will be one of these haunting yet compassionate works on view. Other themes explored in this exhibition include, the spectacle and drama of the Bull Fight, together with scenes of Venice and its annual Carnival. One of his major commissions in London of this genre was for four monumental paintings of the Life, Crucifixation and Resurrection of Christ installed on permanent display by The Catto Gallery in St Paul’s Cathedral, London from January 2005. This series of paintings entitled, ‘I am the Light, Truth and the Life’, was the first painting to be installed in St Paul’s since Holman Hunt’s ‘Light of the World’ in 1904.
The artist is known not only for his variety of theme, power of imagination, virtuoso technique, subtlety of his palette, but the strength of his line, and the diversity of genres he uses, as well as for the wealth of his interpretation and a savagery and emotional power which astonishes. His works in part look back to the medieval devotional paintings with hidden meanings and icons appearing throughout his work.
His love of Paris, his home and refuge from 1988, is expressed in his touching evocation of the beauty as well as the seedy underbelly of the city hinted at in ‘Le Moulin de la Galette’. He painted the city and the Seine often in the 1990s and for this show has added views that embody the character of Paris, executed in muted tones with his great dexterity of light.
The only stained glass window ever designed by Chepik will also be for sale at this show. This work has 24 panels backlit to heighten the colours and is over seven foot in height. The work depicts scenes from the Bible, folk tales from Russia and Europe, as well as classical myths. All these scenes have been given a twist by Chepik, so nothing is as it seems.
His grotesque revellers seen dancing in ‘Carnival in Venice’ highlight a life for the day attitude that perhaps Chepik has held on to throughout his life, after being rescued from the Soviet Union by his then lover and now wife Marie-Aude Albert. This observation of the manic energy of the players in this scene hints at their empty lives or search for meaning with Chepik looking beyond the chaos of the scene. His minutely observed portrayals of differing aspects of the majestic spectacle and ultimate futility of the bull fight, as seen in ‘Torero’, also hint at this constant soul searching.
“Chepik’s art will ‘represent’ this century to those who come after us; and the art of a Russian is more entitled to fulfil that task than most. In his fierce psychological enquiry, Chepik has come to study the indifference and the turned gaze of individuals as well as the ferocity of mass murderers and Ivan the Terrible.” Godfrey Barker, (Art Critic and Journalist)
Mrs Gillian Catto, owner and curator of The Catto Gallery, said, ‘The work of Sergei Chepik amazes on many levels not least for constantly evolving work and his ability to renew himself; offering a wealth of powerful pieces to amaze the collector. We are delighted to be able offer collectors another opportunity to see Sergei’s work.’
For further information, images and a catalogue of the forthcoming Sergei Chepik exhibition, contact The Catto Gallery, 100 Heath Street, Hampstead.
For further information:
Mrs Gillian Catto
The Catto Gallery
100 Heath Street
London NW3 1DP Tel: 020 7435 6660
Fax: 020 7431 5620
Category: Fine Art News