WHAT CAN WE SEE AS AN EQUIVALENT FOR LIGHT THEN PURE COLOUR
Lebedynets’s paintings are harmonic and joyful. One cannot find any conflict or loss therein, they are solid enough to stand any breakages possible. These paintings feature a kind of global perception of space, some universal composition of daintihood and strength. These pictures are abundantly gorgeous, passionate and heavy like if they had been saturated with scent of tropics. Lebedynets is capable of creating the most outstanding harmony of colours, striving to represent the brightness of the world bathing in the dazzling sunlight. This is the world of beauty, the omphalos of harmony that resembles the mythological Hesperides. Any colour becomes the objective and at the same time mystical substance for this artist, the language of a dream and imagination, of soul’s mysterious life. The emotion-saturation, ecstatic coloration, symphonism and polyphony of the whole picture – all this is inherent for this artist, let alone the specific substance of the painting itself perceived as a continual stream of existence, the reality in which the artist embodies himself.
Lebedynets unfolds his every work like a classic symphony, where the structure of music and architectonics are planned and organized with special care and tenderness. In his pictures we can find the truly musical dualism of the struggling origins, the development of the theme, the coda, the dynamic cadences and tremendous resolution in the end. They give the impression of the world recreated by means of art, a landscape regaining its freshness after a thunderstorm. This music manifests the awakening of the Dionysian tragic spirit and takes the image of the purgative fire of Heraclitus. This music of him is constantly on its shining run from Bach and Mozart to sensitive uncertainties of jazz plays. All of a sudden we witness the ‘birth of music from the spirit of tragedy’ (to quote Nietsche in a reverse way). It is also the call of the poet and philosopher for the restart and continuation of that Dionysian, multicoloured and joyful life which I feel in these pictures. In these paintings the Ancient Greek ideal of beauty and its Olympic triumph have become epitomized.
Nevertheless the huge painted canvas differs from a piece of music – unlike it the canvas unfolds in space, and not in time, it can be caught in one glimpse in all its breadth and height. It seems to me that young Mozart used to feel his grand symphonies exactly this way. And Pyotr Lebedynets, as a true painter, strives to bring all the space within a picture into one perceptive moment.
Lebedynets’s goal as a mature modernistic artist’s is to open the format of an ordinary easel painting and to develop it into a monumental field. According to M. Rotko, the representative of the ‘heroic generation’ of the abstract impressionism, ‘while making a big picture you seem to live therein. Then it goes beyond your power’. When the work’s format reaches its maximal size, this is only the clearest power of space which matters, leaving the characters and objects aside. This is an empiric space which can be taken as a lively substance of light and colour, possessing the extension and vibration of its own. At this moment an individual moves onto the next, higher level of being, of reality and perception.
The works of Paul Gaugin, the inspirer of modernism, are specific in portraying the deepness. They are deliberately flat, having neither forefront nor background, but their deepness comes from Time. His Time has already gone and frozen, it is a sort of geological time, on which ‘the present rests like a lily on a still water’. Gauging was the first painter who made the colour flow over the surface, creating flat spots. The light does not influence the objects, but streams out of them due to the contrast of colours. And if you take Lebedynets’s works you will find the same as the light and space effects are achieved with the help of colour contrasts. The new deepness, different from the Renaissance linear perspective comes to being. This deepness appears, brought to life by some forces which track in spectator’s eye or distract it from the two-dimensional canvas. So the forms of flatness emerge, characteristic of a newest abstract painting which ‘destroy the illusion and reveal the truth’ (A. Gotlib)
To keep these powerful spontaneous layers of colour together, to fill them with the noble strength – this function is performed by the solid and invisible inner basis of the canvas itself, resembling the strong-willed architectonics of the church building. Wise joints and fixings, ‘carpenters’ locks do not let the whole brave and challenging construction fall down, thus reigning the registers of the colour zones ‘from within’. Notwithstanding the utmost emotional tension and dangerously hot colourful streams, the whole work is taken as a persuasive victory of a respective thought-over construction over the chaos and destructive entropy.
But Lebedynets has managed to secure one more precious victory. He has won the battle against black colour. The artist can not escape the clots of darkness in his works, black finds its way as an ‘anti-colour’, an inevitable challenge and opposition to solar spectrum. It is nothing but the influence of seducible irrational artistic strive to the unknown darkness of spaces from where it is no return. When I look at these paintings I see the artist’s personalized drama, his struggle with the darkness threatening to invade his artistry. I am proud of Lebedynets because he has found enough strength to overcome it and turn it into the space of painting shining richly, its huge, unbreakable visual force field. He brings the living daylight into the scaring abyss of the Night.
Black colour on Lebedynets’s paintings makes us see a tint of speculative sorrow as an important point the artist’s cosmogonical world picture. Every new work by Lebedynets denies persuasively and emotionally the famous Kazimir Malevich’s thesis about the world as a polling rate. Small wonder, as the ‘Black Square’ with its brevity, the openness to interpretations and gloomy polysemy has manifested the borderline in the history of modernist painting. That is why Lebedynets let ‘the Square’ into his lofty paintings, so that its presence becomes ontologically justified. A work consisting of colour substance, its moving massive presupposes the complete disaster for black as an epitomizer of the evil forces. ‘The black hole’ becomes surrounded by the whole mass of warm colour. Here the flat and avaritious, ugly, carbon black of Malevich becomes the enormous, bushy, pillar-like at times black of Lebedynets’s, which greedily absorbs all other contradicting colours – the scarlet cadmium, green and ultramarine. The visual rhythms and tension of such a struggle take spectator’s soul similarly to some play by Shakespeare. The Square’ lives in Lebedynets’s painting, deprived of its original plot, broken into sharp debris, melting among hot colourful monoliths. These are the burnt rests of a once massive black continent, drifting into the Eternity like an ancient African Gondvana. The black squares of this former continent are clasped, weirded to loneliness, diminishing in size and importance. The blackness is being ruined, turning into fragments, circulating in a colourful ‘solaris’, in its rigorous grand stillness. It no more threatens with fall into the fatal darkness, being contrasted by such a jubilant equipoise…
The artist makes the calm, light surface of canvas reach the harmonious accord, some optimistic horizon, which is getting higher and higher having once felt the joyful effort of flight. Pyotr Lebedynets’s big rhythms and pulsars of light, the unique freedom and inner dynamism of painting, the clear emotionality of assonances and inexhaustible line and colour development, all this comprises the equivalent of the eternal stream of life, the human rapture to the Endless.
Dmitriy Korsun, the artist