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Dimtri Plavinsky

by John E. Bowlt, Alexander Jakimovich

ISBN 0847823156 / 9780847823154 / 0-8478-2315-6
Publisher Rizzoli
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

Dmitri Plavinsky was born in Moscow in 1937. In 1956, he graduated from the theater department of the 1905 Institute of Art. In the sixties, Plavinsky became one of the founders and leaders of the artistic nonconformist movement in Russia. Since 1991, he has lived and worked in New York. His art works are in the collections of several American museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as major museums in Russia and Europe.

This book is the first comprehensive monograph of the art of Dmitri Plavinsky--paintings, graphic art, objects, and installations from 1958 to 2000. It consists of three sections. The first section is made up of essays by John E. Bowlt, who introduces the artist; Alexander Jakimovich, who positions Plavinsky's art within the historical and philosophical context of contemporary art; and Elizaveta Plavinskaya-Mikhailova, who offers an in-depth discussion of the themes and techniques in Plavinsky's graphic art. The second section is a catalog of Plavinsky's work. In the third section, the artist presents his reflections on art, culture, and travels.

The catalog portion is divided into seven chapters, the last of which, "Abomination of Desolation," deals with the compulsory inculcation of atheism in the Soviet Union and, as a consequence of that governmental policy, the breakdown of moral principles and the way of life of the peasantry, as well as the destruction of the Russian village.

The artistic themes range from the temporal space marked by the origins on earth of the prototypes of fish, reptiles, and other prehistoric animals to the genesis of primeval cultures, ancient and early Christian states, and the computer era of the twenty-first century, with the City of New York as its symbol.

Plavinsky defines his artistic style as one of Structural Symbolism, in which the unified image of the world is broken down into sequences of symbols submerged in the layers of time: past, present, and future. Different directions of the symbols, incongruous speeds in the temporal space, layers shining one through another--all of this creates an X-ray image of Time Unified.