N. Voiskounski "LEONARDO’S SCRIPT"

ASTI Gallery

Exhibition of drawings by Margarita SIOURINA


The one who can go to the spring, should not go to the jug.

Leonardo da Vinci. ‘Treatise on Painting’

Exhibition of graphic works by Margarita Siourina LEONARDO’S SCRIPT can be considered as a sequel of her painting series STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN in reverse, ‘vertical’ reading, that is from the top down.

Referring to JOHN THE BAPTIST by Leonardo, we would definitely interpret his gesture: with a soft smile (the famous ‘sfumato’!) he guides the spectator’s glance from the image plane upwards to the Heaven, as if saying: THERE is the truth. Siourina with the intrinsic sur-realisticness as if following from her family name descends from the heaven, but not to bring us to earth. Nevertheless, she does not pull us down or grounds our perception, for she refers to Leonardo da Vinci – the symbol of inconceivable unattainability of perfection.

We should also mention self-confident shyness typical to her creative nature, or (mirrored semantically) shy confidence of her addressing to Leonardo’s drawings. In the presented graphic sheets, Siourina the graphic artist seemingly stays subordinate to Siourina the painter: she easily uses her pen and India ink (freely, is at the tip of the tongue); actually a painter improvises like that, and/or an expressionist… Reserved sophistication of her manner when creating quotation-copies is in antiphase with her powerful style of an animal painter.

A number of portraits are also exhibited, including the ironical self-portrait, however the ironical title (‘Margarita in the Library of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts is Studying the Transactions on Leonardo’) does not lower the level of Margarita’s exactingness to herself, and this makes the work a serious test to the degree of workmanship. I believe, the author did not set herself the aim to construct ‘a roll call over the ages’ and consolidate the point so very tackled upon: ‘traditions and up-to-dateness’, as she has included in the exposition the portraits of our contemporaries.

The graphic series LEONARDO’S SCRIPT is a bid for serious comprehension of creative works of the great Renaissance master, for which studies in libraries is just the beginning of tremendous work, its essence being to perceive – step by step, stroke by stroke – logical and alogical ways of the man who said of himself: ‘Like that the hell is bored me with me //To celebrate its triumph…’

Well, Vsevolod Ivanov was copying WAR AND PEACE by Lev Tolstoy to have an insight of creative laboratory of the Russian Genius.

Natella Voiskounski