“Immerse yourself within your Self, and then you’ll understand what a personal way of life is, as well as the burden of time; the severity of our dubious era will leave you, and help you free your body and soul. Become artist in the most simple and natural way.”
Evgeny Chubarov (1934–2012)
Evgeny Chubarov, a painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and recipient of the prestigious Jackson Pollock Foundation award, stands as one of the most enigmatic artists of his time. Working in his unique style alongside iconic representatives of Soviet art such as Ilya Kabakov, Andrey Monastyrsky, and Erik Bulatov, Chubarov captured in his paintings the essence of a new era’s philosophy, visually expressing the energy of the world around him and transforming abstract symbols into images of contemplation rooted in conceptual art.
Identifying himself as an heir of Russian “archaic” culture, Chubarov drew parallels between his technique and the ideas of Malevich’s ‘Black Square’: “In my art, I intuitively seek the proportional relationship between black and white inherent in the ‘Black Square,’ the curvature ratios of surfaces, and the absolute white. I explore the hanging of structures, occlusions, and sudden breakthroughs of white through the thrill of white and black matter.”
During the 1970s and 1980s, the artist worked on his renowned series of powerful multi-figure ink compositions on paper. These figurative abstractions represented borderline states, duality, and the enhanced contrast of core elements, exploring the origins of form, conflict, and harmony, as well as the interplay of Yang and Yin. Chubarov’s art delved into the themes of death and birth, with human flesh intertwining dynamically with objects from unknown internal spaces, revealing new insights into the anatomy of the world and the human body as the foundation of the energy field within it.
In 1988, Chubarov made a transition from expressive figuration to complete abstraction. His iconic large abstract compositions garnered international acclaim, with exhibitions at renowned venues in Europe, the USA, and Russia. Notably, Chubarov’s monumental works were showcased alongside pieces by contemporary masters such as Mel Bochner, Sol LeWitt, Damien Hirst, Peter Halley, Stephan Balkenhol, and Frank Stella.
Evgeny Chubarov’s art is characterized by an internal dialogue and vivid expression, employing a contrast of colors while adhering to a strict discipline of technique. These qualities have remained present throughout all stages of his artistic career, making an invaluable contribution to the development of art and establishing him as a phenomenon of the modern era. Through his creative work, Chubarov envisioned the rebirth of customary gesture abstraction in a new intellectual form, presenting a unique found alphabet, language, and drama where the image and its conceptual implementation merge into an integral whole.
The works of Evgeny Chubarov can be found in prestigious collections, including those of the Pushkin State Museum (Moscow), the National Centre for Contemporary Art (Moscow), the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the Museum of Modern Art (Moscow), the Rutgers University Museum (New Jersey).
In honor of the artist’s 80th anniversary, the Gary Tatintsian Gallery hosts a solo exhibition featuring large abstract and figurative works from private collections.