Bу his firm arm of a geometrician, Alexander Sitnikov firstly is drawing a complicated configuration of the human spirit and then he lets this image, firmly constructed and clearly interpreted, burst out into a storm of colorful and digital improvisations and rebel against its own geometric hermetically...
I.Chernovich, art critic
Viewing works by the Russian artist Alexander Sitnikov is somewhat like being in a theatre or cinema, in front of something constantly moving, a tangle of extreme tension and great audacity. His painting “The Rape of Europa” places us in a room which we could define as stage décor, from an imaginary theatre, of course, because such a staging is almost impossible and technically too complicated. And it is impossible for Europa to escape. Because if the painting is always in movement in the artist’s mind, the image is absolutely immobile; therefore the mobility is always psychological. Time and numbers are closely connected: the exploding sun is at the same time on the clock. This is a clock-face that has a sort of wave, a ray, a slit that indicates how to get out: time gives an opportunity to escape.
Sitnikov is a multi-faceted artist. He goes through epochs and eras, and covers all the artistic currents that he has united in his original and very personal synthesis. Thus, he can move an action wherever he wants to and in his “My Daughter Has a Beautiful Mother”, for example, he transfers his family and himself to the Egypt of ancient times. He travels across history, across currents, across his thoughts that are focused on the human condition: cruelty, pain and chaos. His chaos, though, is perfectly geometric and seems even natural – a chaos consolidated on numbers. This chaos turns into a “bearable” despair and this bearable despair is at the same time scientific.
Numbers can alter and represent a musical note, a musical scansion or the time where everything unites and stirs up. And the music seems to unify all the spatial wandering, and all the wandering in his figurative space. This world is made anew from various fragments, various parts, and often of the relations between dream and geometry, between the manifest and the concealed. Thus, piano keys belong to a purely philosophical level, a level so high and so elusive that there is no other way of representing it. Such a maximum fragmentation helps to recreate the whole through emotion identified by Sitnikov as the heart, the ever-present heart with its potential to be everywhere.
The works express the courage of living in turbulent times when we pretend that everything can go on and that everything is quiet - but at the same time we are uneasily aware how difficult it is not to give up in such a situation. It is not without irony that the artist gives the title “The Golden Age” to one of his works representing a new golden age: while somebody is playing music and a mother is lulling a child to sleep, nothing stops a murderer, or the transformation of a human being into a beast. This is, undoubtedly, an expression of sadness and despair which are, nonetheless, quite bearable, and which are not leading to an extreme representation because Sitnikov has a great love for life and painting, even though he feels their power and burden, especially in a society like ours.
When examining one of Sitnikov’s painting, the viewer understands that it is possible to subdivide it and to place oneself within its space, wherever one likes better. For example, in “The Dream” one can find serenity on the woman’s hand or face; but if we lift our eyes we will see a beast that attacks the painting and the dream represented by the painting, and eats its eye. Before starting this painting, before destroying it, before devouring this dream, the artist is bound to blind himself: he is bound to wake up.
These works are very powerful, sagacious and striking: already in the 1980s it is an explosion, a passage from one “Weltanschauung” (world view) to another, probably a presentiment of the transformation of the Soviet era into the present one. Likely, an intersection of two destinies: Russia and art. While in the past art was supposed to be “classical”, it had to have a precise meaning, while in the past the world that art represented was hardly understandable in its simplicity, nowadays it is even less understandable in its great complexity. But, through all the metamorphoses and transformations which are mostly beyond our control, Sitnikov comes to the centralization of the heart – a heart that he sees as vital and reproductive, able to regenerate both the painting and Russia. He sees this heart as firmly geometric, not strictly academic, but based on reason. In “Eros, Philos, Agape” the figure, the animal and probably the crazy geometry disappear, leaving the central space to the heart which is the pulse of the universe, the heart which, in all the artist’s works, is able to “see”, which is never blind: the heart as the greatest extension of vision.
professor, Doctor of history of art
Alexander Sitnikov was born in 1945.
1966 - 1972 – Moscow State Surikov Art Institute (studio of N.A. Ponomarev and O.M. Savost’juk).
Since 1975 – Member of the USSR Union of Artists (since 1993 – Moscow Union of Artists).
1970 - 1980s – Series Not people – Beasts and The Blind Deaf-and-Dumb.
1982 – Grand Prize of 5th Triennial of Fine Arts, New Delhi, India.
1984 – First Prize of 7th Biennial of Contemporary Art in Kosice, Czechoslovakia.
1980 - 1990 – Series Burden and Demos.
1985 – 2000 – Concerto, a series of works dedicated to composers Dmitri Shostakovich and Alfred Schnittke.
2002 – Awarded the State Prize of Russia for the series My 20th Century.
2003 – Awarded the Silver Medal of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.
2000 - 2006 – Series Native Tongue, Instincts, Pictroglyphs and Rhetoric.
2007 – Associate Member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.
2008 - 2012 – Series Invention Etudes, Puppet theatre.
2012 – Full Member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.
2012 - "Dialogue with the continuation". Olga Bulgakova, Alexander Sitnikov, Natalia Sitnikova. Gallery on Chistye prudy, Moscow.
2010 – Kunstraume. Einladung in die temporaren kulturellen zonen. Frankfurt am Main. 2010.
2009; 2000 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. "Mimi Ferzt Gallery". New York, USA.
2008 - 2009 – Alexander Sitnikov. ARTstudio ObjectONE gallery, Moscow.
2008 – Alexander Sitnikov. "Octyabr" magazine art and literature project. Cultural centre "Pokrovskie vorota", Moscow.
– Alexander Sitnikov. One-picture-show.Saratov State art museum. A.A.Mylnikov gallery, Engels.
2008 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. Painting. Objects. Saratov State art museum.
2007 - 2008 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. State Tretyakov gallery, Moscow.
2006 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. "Life Signs". M’ARS Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow.
– Alexander Sitnikov. "DOM" cultural center, Moscow.
2005 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. "The Physics of Time". AIS - AICA Project. Art salon. Central House of Artists, Moscow.
2004 - 2005 – "Trialogue". Olga Bulgakova, Alexander Sitnikov, Natalia Sitnikova. Moscow Museum of Modern Art.
2004; 2001; 1999 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. De Twee Pauwen gallery. The Hague, The Netherlands.
2000 – Alexander Sitnikov. New Hermitage gallery, Moscow.
– Alexander Sitnikov. "Today" gallery, Moscow.
1996 – Alexander Sitnikov. "Neskuchny sad" gallery, Moscow.
1992 – Alexander Sitnikov. CIAE. Lake Side Studio. Chicago, USA.
1990 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. "International Images" gallery. Sewickley, PA, USA.
1989 – Alexander Sitnikov. Town council of 16 district. Paris, France.
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
State Russian Museum, St.Petersburg
Ludwig Museum in the State Russian Museum, St.Petersburg
Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow
Kasteev State Museum of Arts, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Arhangelsk Regional Museum, Russia
Briansk Rigeonal Art Museum, Russia
Museum of History, Architecture and Fine Arts New Jerusalem, Istra
Kemerovo Regional Museum of Fine Arts, Russia
Magadan Regional Museum, Russia
Novosibirsk State Art Museum, Russia
The Omsk State Museum of Fine Arts, Russia
Karelian State Art Museum, Petrozavodsk, Russia
Rostov Regional Fine Arts Museum, Russia
The Saratov State Art Museum named after A. N. Radishev, Russia
The Semipalatinsk museum of Fine Arts, Russia
Museum of Contemporary Art. Nurenberg, Germany
Museum of Contemporary Art. Sofia, Bulgaria
Ludwig Forum for International Art. Aachen, Germany
Ludwig Museum of International Art in the China Art Gallery, Beijing
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
The Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art, Kolodzei Art Foundation,USA
Collection of M’ARS Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow