On view in the Lower Gallery February 8 – June 7, 2020
The solo exhibition of Vladimir Dikarev’s art at The Museum of Russian Art features thirty-one paintings in a variety of media. Created between 1990 and 2019, they present a fascinating body of work that bridges continents and political regimes. Some of them were painted while the artist lived in the Soviet Union, but the where and when are not so important in Dikarev’s art. The artist is interested in what lies beneath and above, rather than on the surface of reality. His works chart the exploration of the style that he refers to as “poetic surrealism.”
The surrealist movement emerged amidst the burgeoning modernist art scene of the early 20th century and was, to a significant degree, a creative response to Freudian psychoanalysis. Proclaiming reason untrustworthy and seeking to unlock the revelatory powers of the unconscious, Surrealist artists explored individual repertoires of subconscious motifs. The result was a style rich in evocative and cryptic connotations despite the often realistic manner of the depiction.
Dikarev’s work transports the viewer to a world both recognizable and mysterious. The landscapes of earth, water, and sky teem with mysterious life: rock formations morph into man-built towers, towers into trees, trees into human bodies, and tree branches into clouds. This perpetual metamorphosis creates curious juxtapositions that provide a space for illuminating encounters of nature, culture, and time.
Most of the paintings on display are on loan from the artist. Two pieces are from the collections of Arthur T. Himmelman, and Ken and Marla Guddal. The Museum of Russian Art is grateful to all contributors for sharing Dikarev’s extraordinary artworks.