until 21.04. | #1865ARTatBerlin | CWC Gallery presents since 10th February 2018 an exhibition by the artist Nikolai Makarov.
The solo exhibition includes numerous new paintings by the Berlin-based artist, which will be exhibited for the first time. The works of Nikolai Makarov are in well-known collections, among others u.a. by Pierce Brosnan, Oliver Stone, Richard Gere, Ellen de Generes and Al Pacino.
Photography as the origin of the paintings
Nikolai Makarov uses photographs as templates for his paintings, which he mainly produces himself. When selecting his cameras, he attaches great importance to the fact that photographic technology allows him to create the composition and atmosphere he wants for his painting as an example – a creative process that involves working with the camera, but marks the final decisive step outsourced another medium. Last but not least, the choice of subject is influenced by the interplay of the photographic view and the perspective of the painter. With this extension of the photographic process, he leads the reality perceived by the eye over the intermediate station of two-dimensionally photographed photographs
once more, albeit with a more mysterious and multi-layered, three-dimensionality, in that, level by level, he creates the motif on the screen in a shadowy and unfocused manner.
The multi-layered way of working of the Old Masters
At the beginning of his career, Nikolai Makarov switched from oil paint and brush to an elaborate painting technique with acrylic paint and spray gun. In the process of creating his paintings, he first creates an underpainting with black acrylic paint in order to determine the composition of the image and to create a dramaturgy of light with the means of design of the chiaroscuro. Subsequently, water-diluted acrylic paints are applied in several layers and blurred if necessary, which Makarov gives his paintings a Sfumatoe effect. The final layer is the pigmentary dye Kasslerbraun, obtained from lignite, which is washed into the canvas in the last step. The resulting brownish veil typical of Makarov’s paintings, which seems to cover up and float around the figures and figures, is reminiscent of the so-called gallery tone, the natural darkening process of oil paintings, which is actually caused by yellowing and oxidation.
Morbidity and vagueness in symbolism
The works of Nikolai Makarov have an unreal, partly sinister atmosphere based on symbolism. He combines the simplicity of the motif with the mystery – a basic assumption of symbolism that has made famous leading figures such as Eugène Carrière (1849-1906) famous. By means of photographic models, which serve as a preliminary work for the paintings and are subsequently transferred to canvas in a detail-free manner, Nikolai Makarov gets the impression that the line between imaginary and real sensory impressions is blurring. Images are transferred into a profound and indefinite sphere. There are no specific contents and meanings conveyed: Rather, it is about feelings, meditation, passion and dreams. Thematic associations such as darkness and death, often in connection with eroticism, are present as well as the processing of the “unconscious psychic life”, the original and the purity.
“The essential quality of symbolist art is never to conceptualize or directly express an idea.”
Jean Moréas, 1856-1910
About the artist Nikolai Makarov
Nikolai Makarov was born in Moscow in 1952 and moved to Ost-Berlin at the age of 23 to study German language and literature, history and Slavic studies at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin while working as a freelance artist. He began studying in Vienna with the eminent representative of Fantastic Realism Rudolf Hausner in 1984 and in the years until 1987 created the cycle “The late freedom”, for which he received a great deal of attention in professional circles. After reunification, Nikolai Makarov became one of the first Russian artists to network artists in Berlin-Mitte – not least by opening their own arts and culture club in Linienstraße. At the beginning of the 1990s, Nikolai Makarov also made his breakthrough in the USA on the basis of the New York art scene, since then he has played numerous international exhibitions, among them ao. 2010 in the State Tretyakov Gallery Moscow. Along with the recognition of his artistic work in the USA, Nikolai Makarov also participated in film productions. So he was u.a. on “The Devil’s Order” and “The Thomas Crown Affair,” whose protagonists Al Pacino and Pierce Brosnan are among his collectors, involved in the Art Direction. Nikolai Makarov continued his exploration not only with his own art, but also with the art and culture business as such, with projects such as the “Silent Museum” in Berlin, which he designed in the 1990s, in which he gave his paintings new spheres of influence through spatial installations. Nikolai Makarov’s works can be found in numerous collections worldwide, which, together with new paintings and art installations, are regularly shown in galleries and museums. In addition, the artist continues his impressive commitment to the Russian-German cultural exchange to this day. Nikolai Makarov lives and works in Berlin.Zur CWC Gallery
Bildunterschrift: © NIKOLAI MAKAROV, OHNE TITEL, 2017
Ausstellung: Nikolai Makarov – CWC Gallery | Contemporary Art – Kunst in Berlin – ART at Berlin