Oleg Vassiliev: Paintings 1967 – 2012, until 17th January 2014, Faggionato Gallery, 1st Floor, 49 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JR
In 2008 Faggianato held Russian artist Oleg Vassiliev’s first major show in London and now hold a retrospective that celebrates his life and includes some of his last works. He died in January this year.
His works certainly do not conform to the State’s idea of Socialist Realism and he was considered to be one of the leading exponents of the Soviet Non-Conformist Art Movement (the “unofficial” Russian Art Movement) which emerged in the 1960s.
The paintings, which include some (Lusja with Tulips, 1967 and The Aisle, 2004) which are being exhibited for the first time, are a mixture of the Russian early 20th century Avant Garde and the lyrical realism of the previous century. They are a fusion of almost abstract light and realism – “the light of consciousness”. There is a sense of looking back combined with a feeling of looking forward; a spirit of hope imbues them.
The artist himself said “To me, the visible and tangible world is more a thing of remembrance than of perception of reality.”
One thing is certain in my mind and that is that this a show worth seeing.