Yulia Lazarevskaya


Not whimsical, not snobby and not kitschy miracles, which are created and created by Yulia Lazarevskaya, a native from Kiev, showed at her personal exhibition “Looking to the past” in the famous Kiev Chocolate House, a branch of the Russian Museum. Stroll, penetrating a special mood …

From time to time in Kiev among the intelligentsia the same dispute flares up. Does people ask each other, is there a so-called “Kiev text” in nature? And if so, how is it different from any other? In fact, an example of a very Kiev world perception is in front of everyone’s eyes. Visual, like painting. Because, in fact, this is painting! In mixed technology. Plus ceramics and photo.

Indigenous people of Kiev, and even those who were born and lived all their lives in the very heart of the City, on Podol, today, it seems, you will not find a day with fire. Lazarevskaya – just such a unique one. In general, it can be said, a man of legend, an intelligent symbol of Kiev. Her works are in the collections of museums and galleries in more than ten countries.

Not less than the artist, by the way, she is known as a film director, documentary. On the eve of Kyiv Day 2015 in this capacity, Julia, together with her co-author Mykola Mandrych, won the prestigious “Kiev” award for the documentary film “Igor Shamo. Postlude. With what we congratulate her, of course, with all my heart!

“I’m coming more from the material than from the meaning,” explains Julia Lazarevskaya, her love for the old lace. The old lace, tablecloths, embroidery, which served as material for her works, the artist bought up in the flea markets of Kiev and collected them from friends.

I look at the picture, read the name. “Marina”. Canvas, oil. 2011 – 2015

– Marina? No, this is not the name of the girl in the picture. It’s just the name of the genre …

Kachanovka “. Embroidery on canvas, oil, cardboard. 2008 is the main” for myself as an author, I consider the game, – said Lazarevskaya. With materials, texture, meanings. Fragments of vintage embroidery are often plot-forming for her works. Luxurious flowers, embroidered “cross”, obviously borrowed from the sleeves of the old women’s embroidery!

“Boat”. From the project “Girls”. Oil on canvas, lace. 2006 – 2008.

And Kachanovka – the famous estate, a monument of landscape architecture. One of its owners was the famous Ukrainophile Vasily Tarnavsky. The poet Taras Shevchenko came to visit him, as a result of which he wrote the story “The Musician”, and Repin and Makovsky drew the beautiful ladies there. Read also our separate colorful report from the trip: “The Time Machine: Kachanovka is a place where you can feel Repin’s neighbor “Bird”. From the project “Girls”. Oil on canvas, lace. 2006 – 2008. With all the seeming simplicity, Lazarevskaya operates with mythopoetic images. At the same time, her large-scale paintings themselves refer to folk painting: naive “pictures” of this kind by unknown authors of the 1930s – 1960s. and today you can meet at the dachas of modern Ukrainians.

Probably, life itself in consanguinity with the City gave an amazing “side effect”. The paintings of Lazarevskaya, with old photos pasted in and old richelieu lace, with fragments of authentic rural embroideries, and her pottery, appear in corpore as an undignified portrait of Kiev itself. No, let’s be more precise: they are an exact cast of his aura.

Red dress “. Oil on canvas. 2015.

Kiev serves as a background for self-portrait. Such houses have been preserved on Podol. They are optimistic, just like the City. But ironic – without a shadow of sarcasm. Meditative: timeless (Kiev is an eternal southern siesta !). At the same time, young and old. Like a bitterness in the general stupidly beautiful bouquet, nostalgia is noticeable in them. However, this is not the Sophoklovskaya tragedy: Kiev is a solid nirvana and an incarnate dao. We have an Ouroboros serpent and bites its tail (if to believe the mystics, this is happening right above the Landscape Alley and Zamkova, aka Tall, high in the center of the capital) blissfully. And, yes: even modern Kiev ladies willingly embroider a cross!

“Homo Ludens”. Polyptych from 18 parts. Canvas, oil. 2010 – 2011. It seems that the artist literally interpreted the title of the well-known work of Johann Huizinga “The Man of the Game”! However, this is more akin to theatrical mysticism. Yulia Lazarevskaya as an artist has long been working with the Kyiv Independent Theater “Mest”. The name of the latter is translated as “Bridge”. This word has something in common with the word “misto” – “city” in Ukrainian, and with English myst and mystery.

The artist’s sculptures are also quite “Kiev” in spirit. In Kiev, they like chamber, slightly ironic, fantasy “monuments”.

In her youth, Lazarevskaya graduated from the Kiev Conservatory. Apparently, that is why she likes to portray musicians so much.

But even the most heavenly eternity implies eternal loneliness. So sad are their faces, the poses of the “Girls” dolls, as well as other heroes of Yulia Lazarevskaya, are discharged. Against the backdrop of all the “timeless”, their age is so short … Like a wave in the sea of “Marina.” And even the elephants so loved by our grandmothers on the sideboard (the study of the “petty-bourgeois” culture – Lazarevskaya’s horse in general) wander along the picture in a melancholy, sad way, as if under Oginsky’s “Polonaise”. Each, though in a line, and by itself. Solitude is the flip side of paradise, a tart flavor that any work of the exhibition “Looking into the past” leaves. And – you are right: again, the city of Kiev itself.

“Print dress”. Fabric on cardboard, embroidery, oil. 2006

The “floral” background of the picture resembles the pattern of the fabric of print dresses that our grandmothers and mothers wore in the post-war years. The picture is clearly autobiographical: Yulia Lazarevskaya had a twin sister Tatyana (Dikareva), a famous musician, composer, director who created, in particular, the music festival “Russian Seasons in Minnesota”. Unfortunately, she died the day after the opening of the exhibition of Yulia Lazarevskaya in Kiev.

We express our condolences to the artist.

“Forest”. From the project “Girls”. Oil on canvas, lace. 2006 – 2008.

Looking at the “Girls”, you involuntarily recall the heroines of the “songs” of Alexander Vertinsky.

“Tree”. 2008 Oil on canvas, lace, photo.

In this work, the artist used an authentic photo from the family archive.

– Do you remember? Elephants in the canteen or on the piano has always been exactly seven. For good luck!

However, someone else, perhaps, would prefer to talk about the mixing of the “high” and “grassroots” urban cultures of Lazarevskaya, about the “quoting” of her creative method … This will also be correct. It is hardly advisable to classify her works as an art br, since “Naive” images in this case is the conscious reception of an artist-intellectual. And again, it’s said as about the City, which is still judged in the world according to the words of the main author in the twentieth century of the “Kiev myth” and “text” by Mikhail Bulgakov. But it seems that the existential sadness of the characters of Lazarevskaya is nevertheless closer to the “songs” of Alexander Vertinsky. Another well-known resident of Kiev. And, parting with the exhibition and its characters, we continue the mental conversation with the City, which is.